Research is a vital component to building a richer understanding and appreciation for CSL within the university. In 2013, a CSL Research Group was established for instructor-researchers to informally share their thoughts about experiential learning, present work-in-progress, and collaborate on research. To join the CSL Research Group and participate in its meetings, contact Dr David Peacock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Service-Learning in Canadian Higher Education
For a recent (2015) publication surveying the scope, purposes and challenges for CSL in Canada, see this Report authored by past-Director of our CSL program, Alison Taylor and colleagues.
CSL Student Follow Up Study
The CSL Student Follow Up Study is a survey of students who participated in one or more CSL courses that was conducted in the fall of 2013 that was engaged in “evaluating the long-term student outcomes of CSL participation" (2013-2015). The study was supported by the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) at the University of Alberta and helped to learn about former CSL students’ education outcomes, involvement in community activities, and labour market experiences. The survey covered the following topics: CSL experience, involvement in community activities, basic information related to education and employment experiences, and social background characteristics. Survey data from 525 students who took a CSL course between 2005 and 2012 at North campus, Augustana and Campus Saint-Jean at the University of Alberta were analyzed. Respondents included 438 community-based students and 87 classroom-based students.
Preliminary analysis suggests that more than two-thirds of respondents believed that their CSL experience was beneficial for making further education decisions and almost two-thirds considered their CSL experience to be beneficial for making career decisions.
More than half of community-based respondents saw their CSL participation as important for their development of leadership skills and approximately two-thirds believed that their engagement had a significant impact on the development of their ability to respond to complex real-life social issues and ability to work effectively with others.
The Long-term Outcomes of Community Service-Learning Report can be found here.
The next phase of this study involves focus groups with former CSL students to help expand our understanding of the quantitative data.
Principal Investigator, Dr. Alison Taylor, and Co-investigators Drs. Milosh Raykov, Zane Hamm, John Simpson, Mary Richards. Any questions or concerns about this study should be directed to the members of the CSL research team.
Canadian CSL Studies Resource Base
The purpose of the Canadian Community Service-Learning Studies Resource Base (CCSLrb) is to provide a wide range of bibliographic references and links to full-text sources of research on community service-learning, with a primary focus on Canadian research, for use by CSL instructors, researchers, community partners, and students.
Community Service-Learning Resource Base: CANADIAN CSL STUDIES (pdf)