ASQ - Education Division

Service Learning in Non-Majors Biology

Abstract: This paper is authored by Dr. Amanda M. Little, UW-Stout and is included in the ASQ 2012 Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference Proceedings.

I investigated how student performance differed in five differently-structured service learning projects in a non-majors plant biology course. I addressed how cognitive and affective gains from these projects differed with different levels of student ownership, preparation, community involvement, and instructor-provided scaffolding. Projects met with varying levels of success in accomplishing both context-specific educational goals and the broader aims of service learning. Students felt more positively toward STEM disciplines when provided academic-level-appropriate structure. The largest determinants of meeting student engagement aims of service learning were: 1) involved community partner, 2) appropriate match between student level and instructor-provided structure, and 3) student ownership.

Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - Hands-on Learning

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