An Investigation into the Transparency of Institutional Assessment of Service Learning Objectives and Outcomes in Higher Education Settings


  • Veronica F McGowan Southwestern Oklahoma State University


service learning outcomes, assessment


Service learning is increasingly recognized in higher educational settings as a transformative learning method for increasing student engagement in learning experiences, promoting civic responsibility, and exposing students to field settings and potential professional networks. As more institutions devote more classroom time or credit credentialing to the service learning experience, institutions are beginning to grapple with needing to validate this learning experience in quantifiable and qualitative terms in order to describe the experience to stakeholders, including accrediting bodies. This paper presents an investigation into institution-provided, publically available materials regarding assessment of service learning objectives, outcomes, and activities in order to inform stakeholders of emerging trends, changes, and best practices in transparency of service learning outcomes. Findings indicate an orientation towards demonstrating program effectiveness rather than learning progression.

Author Biography

Veronica F McGowan, Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Assistant Professor, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning


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