students to record thoughts, observations, feelings, activities, and
questions in a journal throughout the project.
The most common form of journals is free form journals.
The journal should be started early in the project and students
should make frequent entries. Explain benefits of journals to students such as enhancing
observational skills, exploring feelings, assessing progress, and
enhancing communication skills. Faculty
should provide feedback by responding to journals, class discussions of
issue/questions raised in journals or further assignments based on
structured journals to direct student attention to important
issues/questions and to connect the service experience to class work. A
structured journal provides prompts to guide the reflective process. Some parts of the journal may focus on affective dimensions
while others relate to problem-solving activities.
a team journal to promote interaction between team members on project
related issues and to introduce students to different perspectives on
the project. Students can
take turns recording shared and individual experiences, reactions and
observations, and responses to each other’s entries.
students to record a critical incident for each week of the service
project. The critical
incident refers to events in which a decision was made, a conflict
occurred, a problem resolved. The
critical incident journal provides a systematic way for students to
communicate problems and challenges involved in working with the
community and with their teams and can thus help in dealing with the
affective dimensions of the service experience.
case studies to help students think about what to expect from the
service project and to plan for the service activity.
Use published case studies or instructor-developed case studies
based on past Service-Learning projects.
students to select and organize evidence related to accomplishments and
specific learning outcomes in a portfolio.
Portfolios can include drafts of documents, analysis of
problems/issues, project activities/plans, annotated bibliography. Ask students to organize evidence by learning objectives.
The portfolio could also contain a weekly log, selected journal
entries, a photo essay, or any other products completed during the
students to write an integrative paper on the service project.
Journals and other products can serve as the building blocks for
developing the final paper.
formal/informal discussions with teammates, other volunteers, and staff
to introduce students to different perspectives and to challenge
students to think critically about the project.
student(s) to present their service experiences and the learning that
occurred in these experiences.
write weekly summaries and identify critical incidents that occurred at
the service site. Instructors
can post questions for consideration and topics for writing.