Engaging Graduate Online Learners through Service-Learning

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Online graduate students were given the option of choosing to write their fi nal project or participate in a service-learning project. Students that chose the service-learning option utilized Eyejot, Google-Hangout, and Web-Ex to complete their reflective journals, talk as a group about their service experiences, and discuss their final reflective essays. Students that chose the service-learning option were more engaged than those who chose the hypothetical written final project. Michael Coquyt Asst. Professor, Educational Leadership Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Text of Engaging Graduate Online Learners through Service-Learning

  • 1. Dr. Michael Coquyt, Ed.D. Service-Learning Coordinator MSUM michael.coquyt@mnstate.edu Engaging Online Graduate Students Through Service-Learning

2. Overview Engaging Online Learners ASL and Engagement Elements of Engagement Combine ASL and Online (Eyejot, Google Hangout, WebEx) Project Overview Research Questions and Results 3. Engaging Online Learners Integrate active learning environments with authentic learning tasks Foster a personal connection with students Facilitate the process of learning in an online environment (Bates, A.W., & Poole, G., 2003) 4. ASL and Engagement Bringle and Hatcher (2000) posit, Although there are many manifestations of civic and community engagement, curricular engagement in general and service-learning classes in particular are core components as campuses progress beyond traditional models of engagement, such as expert-based approaches to outreach and professional service, that develop broader and deeper impact across the campus and within communities (p. 37). 5. ASL and Engagement When the reflective exercise relates to the students lives and experiences, the students motivation and engagement can increase. When instructors provide real-life context and provide an opportunity for students to engage in journaling in a service-learning project, their motivation and engagement have the potential to increase considerably (Waterman, Eyler & Giles, Arca, Bacon, Goode). 6. Engaging Online Learners Cont. Level of academic challenge and academic involvement Active and collaborative learning Student-faculty interaction Supportive campus environment Make use of deep learning approaches: reflective learning (Chen, P-S, D., Guidry, K. R., & Lambert, A. D., 2009) 7. ASL and Online Instruction Integrate active learning environments with authentic learning tasks (ASL) Foster a personal connection with students (Eyejot, Voicethread, WebEx). Level of academic challenge and academic involvement (SL project vs. Action Planreal vs. hypothetical) Active and collaborative learning (sharing sessions via. Google Hangout and WebEx) Facilitate the process of learning in an online environment and Supportive campus environment (Panopto News Item and Tutorial) Make use of deep learning approaches: reflective learning (sharing sessions via WebEx) 8. Software Used During ASL Project Eyejot Google-Hangout WebEx 9. Student Use of Eyejot 10. Sample Hangout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gu7-A3jow0 Will need to go to YouTube to view. 11. Sample WebEx https://mnscu.webex.com/mw0401l/mywebex/defau lt.do?siteurl=mnscu 12. Project Overview ED 789 School/Community Relations What Is Service-Learning? In essence, Service-Learning is an educational tool that consists of three essential elements: 1. Community service Service to your school (communicate the importance of nutrition, rest at PTC) or (communication to all parents about an upcoming event happening at school) or (putting together a survey for parents based on some school related issue or concern)(whatever you and your administrator decide) 2. Curriculum connection This course is designed to give educational leaders and other professional educators information and ideas about programs and practices which can help to foster and maintain/improve effective school community relations 3. Reflection Reflection following each meeting with administration, progress/work on project, sharing with other students (via Google Hangout) also performing service-learning, and a final reflective essay 13. Project Overview Cont. There are many definitions of Service-Learning. The following are examples: "Service-Learning seeks to engage individuals in activities that combine both community service and academic learning. Because Service-Learning programs are typically rooted in formal courses (core academic, elective, or vocational), the service activities are usually based on particular curricular concepts that are being taught" (Furco, 2002, p. 25). "Service-Learning [is] a credit-bearing, educational, experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility" (Bringle & Hatcher, 1996). 14. Project Overview Cont. The term 'Service-Learning' means a method-- (A) Under which students or participants learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that-- is conducted in and meets the needs of a community; your school is coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education (MSUM), or community service program, and with the community; and helps foster civic responsibility; and (B) That-- is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students (importance of communication see 2 Curriculum Connection above), or the educational components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled; and provides structured time for the students or participants to reflect on the service experience (National and Community Service Trust Act of 1990) 15. Project Overview Cont. Partial Integration (Optional Course Component) Partial integration substitutes a service-learning experience and accompanying reflection for a course requirement such as an alternative to a quiz, particular readings or a research assignment. Students self-select to participate. Generally, the objective is not substantial community outcomes rather student learning about an issue, reflecting on the experience and linking the experience with academic content. Instructors need to design service-learning assignments and traditional assignments to be equally demanding. For ED 789 this ASL project will replace the Action Plan Minimum 10 hours of service (meeting/discussion/planning/ participating) Reflective journaling (1/2 page) each following each meeting (1 Eyejot) Student (sharing) discussions via Google Hangout (2X) Participation in actual event and reflection (2 page min.) Final Reflective Essay (2 page min.) Final Reflective sharing (WebEx) 16. Project Overview Cont. David Kolbs Experiential Learning Theory as a Framework for Reflection What?- What happened? What did you experience? What was your role? What were the issues? (Descriptive phase) So What?- What does this mean? How does this connect to the course? How does this make you feel? (interpretive/emotive phase) Now What?- What is your responsibility? How will this change your action or understanding? (active/action phase) 17. Projects Updating the schools Crisis Plan critical incident training exercise involving a school bus Updating schools Health and Wellness Policy - communication efforts we do to reach out to students, parents, and staff regarding healthy habits with snacks and provide ideas of non-food rewards that district staff can implement within the school setting. Activities and Community Education (ACE) Advisory Council Organization/Collaboration focus on developing a cohesive advisory council for both Community Ed. and HS athletics 18. Research Questions 1. Why did you decide to do the alternative (service-learning) project? 2. How would you define engagement as it relates to learning? How engaged were you in your service-learning project? 3. Did your level of engagement (in your service-learning project) increase as the semester progressed? Explain. 4. Please summarize why you decided to explore your (issue) in your service-learning project. If you think you already answered this question in (Q. 1) skip to question 5. If you think you need to expand on your answer from question 1, please do so here. 5. Why did you feel that your issue was worthy of the time spent doing your service learning? 6. In your estimation, would you consider your service-learning project meaningful? Please explain. 19. Question 1 Why did you decide to pursue the ASL option? The service-learning project represents an opportunity to apply a practical learning experience in a real life situation which could produce real benefits. I was interested in doing a hands on project that allowed me to continue to expand on my leadership skills. The service-learning project provided a out of the box final that was unique compared to other assignments given in other courses. 20. Question 2 How would you define engagement and how engaged were you in your ASL project? I was very engaged in this process. In fact, it was totally dependent on my work. I developed the process to recruit members, created the member invitation/application, established the meeting dates and times, secured the meeting space, and created the meeting agendas. I also facilitated the meetings under the guidance of the Community Education Director. 21. Q. 2 cont. I believe that engagement is key to the success of learning something. Engagement allows someone to focus the learning and relate it to their specific circumstance. This project allowed me to be completely engaged as the primary coordinator and facilitator of bringing a team of stakeholders together to adhere to district policy in reviewing and updating the district wellness policy. This project allowed me to focus on reflection after each component and identify continued steps in order for the service project to be successful. 22. Q. 2 cont. The service-learning project reflected not only knowledge, but preparation, application, and reflection. What we do is more important than the things we know. My service-learning project included representatives of the entire community (police, dispatch, fire, ambulance, hospital, and school). There was no way to not be engaged. 23. Question 3 Did your level of engagement (in your ASL project) increase as