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Integrating Service-Learning into the University Classroom

Author(s): J. Alison Bryant, PhD, President, PlayScience
Nicole Schonemann, PhD, Director, Office of Service-Learning, Indiana University Bloomington
Doug Karpa, PhD
  • ISBN-13: 9780763780753
  • Paperback    192 pages      © 2011
Price: $70.95 US List
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Service-learning is on the rise across campuses, as more and more students and professors are engaging with the communities around them. While this is a rewarding experience for students and the communities served, a tremendous amount of effort is needed to incorporate service-learning into the curriculum. It takes trial-and-error to find the right pedagogical tools and the perfect balance of in-field and in-class learning, as well as considerable time spent fostering relationships with community partners.  For many, this can be too daunting.

Integrating Service-Learning into the University Classroom helps simplify the process by providing educators with a series of course portfolios to follow. Written by instructors who have taught service-learning courses across a variety of disciplines, these portfolios model how to effectively design, teach, and evaluate a course. As service-learning courses range in topic, format, learning goals and community commitment, the book highlights both the variety and best practices of service-learning courses in higher education.

Each chapter provides a detailed course description, including the goals of the course and the materials and assignments; a narrative of what has worked and what has not worked in the course; a section citing student feedback; and finally, an instructor reflection on the overall value of the course to the students, department, community partner, and themselves.

  Chapter 1  An Introduction to Service-Learning & Course Portfolios
  Section 1  Service-Oriented Service-Learning Courses
  Chapter 2  Beyond the Sample Gates: Exploring Issues of Service, Advocacy and Social Change
  Chapter 3  Constructing a Culture of Nonviolence: Costa Rica in Service
  Section 2  Discipline-rooted Service-Learning Courses
  Chapter 4  Children & the Media: A Service-Learning Approach
  Chapter 5  Turning Students into Language Teachers: Bridging the K-16 Gap through Service Learning
  Chapter 6  Service-Learning Perspectives on Animals, Folklore, and Community
  Chapter 7  Learning and Teaching Statistics through Service
  Section 3  Project-Oriented Client Service-Learning Courses
  Chapter 8  Introduction to Computers and Computing: A Client-Centered, Project-Oriented Service-Learning Implementation in a Large Classroom
  Chapter 9  Combining Service-Learning with Public Relations Instruction
  Chapter 10  Graphic Design for Social Change: Incorporating Service-Learning in Design Curricula
  Chapter 11  Service-Learning in a Safety Education and Training Course

J. Alison Bryant, PhD-President, PlayScience

Dr. J. Alison Bryant ( is Founder and President of PlayScience, a research, consulting, and innovation firm on a mission to break down the walls between industry innovators, academics, and consumers.  Alison has spent her adult life moving seamlessly between the academic and industry worlds (and usually sitting in both concurrently). She spent several years as Senior Research Director of Digital Research and Brand & Consumer Insights for the Nickelodeon/MTV Networks Kids & Family Group; and was Chief Strategy Officer for Smarty Pants, a research and consulting firm focused on kids and families. She was also an assistant professor of communication at Indiana University. She has published and presented extensively on media, kids and families, including two edited books – The Children's Television Community and Television and the American Family (2nd Ed) – and is associate editor for the Journal of Children & Media. She is currently working on her fourth book, The Generation C Handbook: 101 Challenges for Change, a guide book for how young people can help create change.

Nicole Schonemann, PhD-Director, Office of Service-Learning, Indiana University Bloomington

Nicole Schonemann is Director of Indiana University Bloomington’s Office of Service-Learning. She graduated from Indiana University with a PhD in Education Policy Studies and a Masters in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She has taught service-learning courses at Indiana University and Albion College, and has been involved in community work through appointments to advisory boards, direct service, and advocacy work.

Doug Karpa, PhD

Doug Karpa earned his Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology from Harvard University and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University.  He left research to focus on promoting better undergraduate teaching as an instructional consultant at Campus Instructional Consulting at Indiana University.  As part of that work, he helped spearhead the Course Portfolio Initiative that grew out of a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust.  Inspired by the examples of instructors working to promote civic engagement and environmental literacy, Dr. Karpa earned his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) in 2009.  He now practices environmental, land use and energy law for public interest organizations and private clients in San Francisco.


  • "The book is an inspiring resource for anyone considering ways to incorporate service learning pedagogy into individual courses, whatever their disciplinary approach."

    Kathryn Campbell, “In Print,” Diversity & Democracy 14 (2011): 22.

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