Frequently Asked Questions
" Community-Based Research (CBR) is collaborative, change-oriented research that engages faculty members, students, and community members in projects that address a community-identified need. [...] [T]he distinctive combination of collaborative inquiry,critical analysis, and social action that CBR entails makes it a particularly engaging and transformative approach to teaching and engaged scholarship."
Strand, K, et al. Principles of best practice for community-based research. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. OCSL Press: Ann Arbor, Michigan. vol. 9, no. 3, Summer 2003.
The performance of formal service to benefit others or one's community without receiving any external rewards; such programs may or may not involve structured training and reflection.
Experiential learning combines direct experience that is meaningful to the student with guided reflection and analysis. It is a challenging, active, student-centered process that impels students toward opportunities for taking initiative, responsibility, and decision making.
This form of community engaged learning is research based. Students will help a community (host) organization to answer a specific research question about an aspect of the community or organization. Students’ placement will be course-based and they will work to gather information to assist organization’s and create material reports.
Known by a variety of terms (service-learning, community-based education) community service-learning (CSL) continues to evolve and is often adapted to local contexts. However, most published definitions clearly demonstrate common concepts and a generally accepted approach. Here are examples of some definitions from the field:
* Community service-learning (CSL) integrates service experiences within academic courses or extra-curricular programs. With a strong emphasis on inclusive partnerships between universities and non-profit community organizations, clear objectives are set for both the student learning that occurs and the resulting benefits to the community. Effective CSL programs help students connect real-life experience to more theoretical classroom study and develop their individual values, sense of social responsibility and leadership skills. These innovative programs are designed to connect the resources of universities, the energy and intellect of university students and the front line experience of community agencies, in order to better understand and address critical social issues.
~Canadian Association for Community Service-Learning
* Service-learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.
~National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (U.S.)
* Service-learning is a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students work with others through a process of applying what they are learning to community problems and, at the same time, reflecting upon their experience as they seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves.
~Eyler & Giles, 1999. Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning?