Community Engaged Learning As a Strategy for Increasing Student Knowledge, Skills & Positive Community Impact

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Jeji VARGHESE, University of Guelph, Canada
Mavis MORTON, University of Guelph, Canada
Lindsey THOMSON, University of Guelph, Canada
Our research on teaching and learning demonstrates that community engaged learning (CEL) is both an active learning pedagogy and an example of a high impact educational practice (HIEP) that can advance course learning outcomes (LOs) and positively impact community organizations with whom students and faculty engage. Using a mixed method approach (i.e. online surveys, telephone interviews, student reflections and community engaged learning products), we heard from community partners and students from sociology courses (4th year and graduate at the University of Guelph) about their CEL experiences. Students reported increased knowledge and skills related to civic engagement and collaboration. Community partners reported positive impacts from their engagement with the students and for receiving quality knowledge mobilization products that they immediately used in their work toward positive social change. We will provide specific examples of how CEL was embedded into the undergraduate and graduate courses via the constructive alignment of course LOs across knowledge, skills and values; teaching and learning tools and strategies that occurred in and outside of the classroom and assessment strategies that included formative and summative opportunities related to both course content and practical skills. We are currently conducting additional research with new community partners and students from multiple disciplines and years of study. Preliminary results from this fall and winter study will be included in our presentation.