Transforming Experience into Knowledge

“As a community, we have a responsibility to try and make this big problem a smaller one.”

— Student

What are the Benefits of Reflection?

  • Reflection allows students to synthesize the observed data gleaned from service activities and connect the new knowledge with the formal knowledge obtained from classroom activities and materials.
  • Reflection allows for thinking critically about and analyze emotional responses to service activities in the context of course content and the learning objectives.
  • Reflection allows students develop a deeper understanding of course subject matter outside of the traditional classroom environment.
  • Reflection can promote interpersonal communication, problem solving skills, self-awareness, a sense of civic responsibility, and a sense of belonging.
  • Reflection provides faculty the means to assess the experiential learning that occurs when students participate in service activities outside the classroom.
student talking about nutrition
student reading
student delivering water

Reflection Questions

Reflection Questions Before Service Learning

  • What is the identified problem/community need?
  • How is your community partner site addressing that need?
  • What are some of your perceptions or beliefs about the population you will be serving?
  • What fear, if any, do you have about working in the community?
  • What do you hope to gain from this experience?

Reflection Questions During Service Learning

  • How does your service learning experience relate to the learning objectives of the course?
  • What did you do at your site since the last reflection discussion?
  • What have you observed so far?
  • What are you learning?
  • What has worked? What hasn't?
  • What do you think will be the most valuable service you can offer at your site?
  • What has been easy or difficult about the services you provide?
  • Is there something more you could do to contribute to the solution?
  • What specific skills are you using at your community site?

Reflection Questions After Service Learning

  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • What have you learned about your community?
  • What have you contributed to the community site?
  • What values, opinions, beliefs have changed?
  • What was the most important lesson learned?
  • How have you been challenged?
  • What should others do about this issue?
  • What impact did you have on the community?
  • How can you continue your involvement with this group or social issue?