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