Department-wide Multi-semester Community Engaged Learning Initiative to Overcome Common Barriers to Service-Learning Implementation

Kathleen Timmerman, Michael Goldweber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Service learning in a Computer Science (CS) setting typically involves students applying their expertise on a project for a community partner. These unique learning opportunities are known to be highly beneficial to students. However, a number of significant barriers exist which prevent wide-spread implementation of service learning in undergraduate CS curricula. We identified three as primary barriers for us: classroom time limitations, project skills alignment, and partnership development. To overcome these barriers, we created a department-wide multi-semester community engaged learning initiative which integrates service learning throughout our curricula. With a commitment from ALL of our CS faculty to engage in service learning for a two-year timeframe, we chose a collaborative theme and started holding department-wide events that encouraged faculty and students to reflect on the common issue. These events reduce the classroom time burden of service-learning projects while maintaining the best practice of reflection. Additionally, the department-wide commitment allows for projects to travel amongst courses to align course SLOs to project requirements (e.g. a Database course passing a design to the Software Engineering (SE) course) and across semesters (e.g. from a spring SE course to a fall SE course) addressing the issues of mismatched skills and scope. Furthermore, maintaining partnerships became a united effort rather than the sole responsibility of an individual. The initial results of this experiment are exciting. The enthusiasm from our students indicate that our proposed model can be a successful approach to ensuring that all students can be exposed to multiple meaningful community engaged learning opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2022 - Proceedings of the 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Pages808-814
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390705
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2022
Event53rd Annual ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Mar 3 2022Mar 5 2022

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2022 - Proceedings of the 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Volume1

Conference

Conference53rd Annual ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period3/3/223/5/22

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 ACM.

Keywords

  • community engaged learning
  • service learning
  • social good

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education

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