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Teaching & Learning Resources: Service Learning

Resources for faculty & staff development


What is service learning?  Definitions vary, but a widely-accepted one is from Bringle & Hatcher (1995):

"course-based, credit-bearing educational experience that allows students to (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) 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."

Robert G. Bringle and Julie A. Hatcher, "A Service-Leaming Curriculum for Faculty," Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, no. 1 (Fall 1995): 112-122.

Other definitions may be found through various sources, including Center for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (Iowa State University), Service Learning Network (Grand Valley State University), and other high education institutions and associations.

Selected books


Selected articles

 (Note: UD network username & password required off-campus. For articles not full-text in database, use Find It button.)

Academic Success

Promoting Student Learning and Institutional Improvement: Lessons from NSSE at 13. Annual Results 2012National Survey of Student Engagement.

Yeh, T. (2010). Service-learning and persistence of low-income, first-generation college students: An exploratory studyMichigan Journal of Community Service Learning16(2), 50-65.


Chadwick, S. A. & Pawlowski, D. R. (2007). Assessing institutional support for service-learning: A case study of organizational sensemakingMichigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 13(2), 31-39.

Character Development

Annette, J. (2005). Character, civic renewal and service learning for democratic citizenship in higher education. British Journal of Educational Studies, 53(3), 326-340.

Boss, J. A. (1994). The effect of community service work on the moral development of college ethics students.Journal of Moral Education, 23(2), 183.

Carson, R. L., & Domangue, E. A. (2013). The emotional component of service-learningJournal of Experiential Education36(2), 139-154.

Davidson, T. C. (2009). Attributions for poverty among college students: The impact of service-learning and religiousity. College Student Journal43(1), 136-144.

Ilea, R., & Hawthorne, S. (2011). Beyond service learning: Civic engagement in ethics classes. Teaching Philosophy, 34(3), 219-240.

Kirby, K. E. (2009). Encountering and understanding suffering: The need for service learning in ethical education. Teaching Philosophy, 32(2), 153-176.

Knapp, T., Fisher, B., & Levesque-Bristol, C. (2010). Service-learning's impact on college students' commitment to future civic engagement, self-efficacy, and social empowerment. Journal of Community Practice18(2/3), 233-251.

Nesteruk, J. (2007). Contributing to our students' moral lives. Change, 39(5), 52-53.

Rockenbach, A., Hudson, T. D., & Tuchmayer, J. B. (2014). Fostering meaning, purpose, and enduring commitments to community service in college: A multidimensional conceptual modelJournal of Higher Education85(3), 312-338.

Seider, S., Rabinowicz, S., & Gillmor, S. (2011). Changing American college students' conceptions of poverty through community service learning. Analyses Of Social Issues & Public Policy11(1), 105-126.

Strain, C. R. (2005). Pedagogy and practice: Service-learning and students' moral development. New Directions For Teaching & Learning, (103), 61-72.

Urraca, B., Ledoux, M., & Harris, J. T. (2009). Beyond the comfort zone: Lessons of intercultural service. Clearing House, 82(6), 281-289.

Wurr, A. J., & Hamilton, C. H. (2012). Leadership development in service-learning: An exploratory investigation. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement16(2), 213-239.


Holsapple, M. A. (2012). Service-learning and student diversity outcomes: Existing evidence and directions for future researchMichigan Journal of Community Service Learning18(2), 5-18. [literature review]

Hurtado, S., & DeAngelo, L. (2012). Linking diversity and civic-minded practices with student outcomes. Liberal Education, 98(2), 14-23.

Jay, G. (2008). Service learning, multiculturalism, and the pedagogies of difference. Pedagogy, 8(2), 255-281.

Sperling, R. (2007). Service-learning as a method of teaching multiculturalism to white college students. Journal of Latinos & Education, 6(4), 309-322.

Long-term effects

Garcia, N., & Longo, N. V. (2013). Going global: Re-framing service-learning in an interconnected worldJournal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement17(2), 111-135.

Seider, S., Rabinowicz, S., & Gillmor, S. (2012). Differential outcomes for American college students engaged in community service-learning involving youth and adults. Journal Of Experiential Education35(3), 447-463.

Straus, E. E., & Eckenrode, D. M. (2014). Engaging past and present: Service-learning in the college history classroomHistory Teacher47(2), 253-266.


Becket, D., Refaei, B., & Skutar, C. (2012). A faculty learning community's reflection on implementing service-learning goals. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching And Learning, 12(1), 74-86.

Eyler, J. (2001). Creating your reflection map. New Directions for Higher Education, (114), 35-43.

Eyler, J. (2002). Reflecting on service: Helping students get the most from service-learning. Journal of Nursing Education, 41(10), 453-56. (Note: request via Interlibrary Loan)

Murray, G., Petra, H., Brad S., L., & Gina, S. (2011). Reflective practice in service learning: Possibilities and limitations. Education + Training53(4), 284-296.

Sifers, S. K. (2012). Reflecting on teaching through reflective service-learning: A pedagogical journey. Reflective Practice13(5), 651-661.

Service Learning Models

Donaldson, L., & Daughtery, L. (2011). Introducing asset-based models of social justice into service learning: A social work approach. Journal of Community Practice, 19(1), 80-99.

University Considerations

Lambright, K. T., & Alden, A. F. (2012). Voices from the trenches: Faculty perspectives on support for sustaining service-learningJournal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement16(2), 9-45.

McMillan, J. (2011). What happens when the university meets the community? Service learning, boundary work and boundary workers. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(5), 553-564.

Want More?

Try searching in Academic Search Premier (interdisciplinary) and ERIC (education) databases.