Refection can take many forms:
- ePortfolio: Students may create and document evidence of accomplishments and learning outcomes in an ePortfolio. This evidence may include papers, problem analysis, project outlines, annotated bibliography and other documentation.
- Journal: Students may record thoughts, feelings, observations and questions about their service experiences. Journals may be structured according to instructor requirements or may be unstructured. Students should begin keeping their journals as their service begins and should make frequent entries, so they can track their learning process. Journaling provides enhanced observation skills, exploration of emotions, documentation of the learning experience and improved communication skills. Faculty should provide feedback by responding to journals or guiding students in the content of their journals.
- Team journal: Students working on a group service project may keep a group journal, either in a traditional format or online in a discussion group. This type of reflection activity allows students to share and observe different perspectives on a service project. Students and faculty may decide how often each group member must make entries.
- Paper: Instructors may assign an essay or research project, in which students describe their service activities. Students should describe the service project, show connection of the service to course objectives and demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes.
- Class presentation: Students may prepare a presentation that describes to classmates the service experience and demonstrates what they learned.
Assessing Learning and Civic Engagement
The form of reflection and the specific desired outcomes will determine how a Service Learning experience is evaluated. Students should demonstrate their learning in the reflection assignment. Therefore, creating and clarifying student outcomes and designing appropriate reflection activities are critical to the Service Learning process.