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Case Study A

Case Study A

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Published by Sally Blechschmidt

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Published by: Sally Blechschmidt on Apr 27, 2012
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Running head: CASE STUDY A 1Case Study ASally BlechschmidtLoyola University Chicago
 
CASE STUDY A 2Service-learning is a form of experiential learning which focuses equally on both serviceand learning (Eyler & Giles, 1999). In order to more deeply understand this concept, this casestudy provides an opportunity for two discussions: (1) to analyze the service-learning of a jointproject between Minnesota State University Mankato (MSU) and South Central College (SCC)and (2) to develop a service-learning course. Through analysis and construction, this paper willexplore the ingredients of service-learning.
Service-Learning as a Combined Effort
Faculty and students from MSU and SCC had the opportunity to promote economicgrowth and development by identifying and accentuating positive aspects of five respectivecommunities (Cherrington, 2011). Other than the initial occasion, Cherrington (2011) wrote thatcommunities approached the partnership of MSU and SCC to assist in rebuilding or revitalizingthe image of their small town. The MSU students, grounded in an urban studies program,focused on branding, marketing, writing, media relations, and information technology. The SCCstudents, who studied graphic design, managed the logistics of making the marketing productsthrough design, publishing, printing, and cost accounting (Cherrington, 2011).Eyler and Giles (1999) referred to Lauren Resnick (1987) when describing that applied
learning is “more cooperative or communal than individualistic, involv
es using tools rather thanpure thought, is accomplished by addressing genuine problems in complex settings rather thanproblems in isolation, and involves specific contextualized rather than abstract or generalized
knowledge” (p. 9).
Within these service-learning programs, students worked with classmates,community members, professionals, and students from the other university to ensure they wereconveying a consistent message. They applied theories and skills gained from their coursework in real world situations. Additionally, students had multiple opportunities to partake in
 
CASE STUDY A 3challenging, applicable, and meaningful work to influence community development (Eyler &Giles, 1999). Cherrington (2011) reported that these projects promoted
“authentic learning
situations in communities that required strong problem solving, communication, teamwork and
critical thinking” (p. 9).
Consequently, in addition to gaining content knowledge, students mayhave developed personally, cognitively, and interpersonally (Eyler & Giles, 1999).Through the integration of coursework, applicable situations, interactions with diverseothers, and potential development, students may have a better understanding of their content areaand may be more likely to apply this learning in future situations. Similar to Eyler and Giles(1999), quality service-learning projects promote better understanding and application.
However, without more information about the specific aspects of Cherrington’s (2011) service
-learning programs, one cannot identify whether her program is of high quality.
One aspect lacking in Cherrington’s (2011) description of the servi
ce-learning programswas how students made meaning of the experience. She reported that studios bridge the gapbetween in class work and the community, but she failed to mention whether any reflectionoccurred in the studios. She also reported that students completed a summative PowerPointpresentation to detail the process of participating in the experience, but she gave very little detailof the studen
ts’ reported outcomes. Additionally, as mention
ed above, she suggested thatstudents developed personally, cognitively, and interpersonally, but she omitted how she came tothe conclusion.Furthermore, Cherrington (2011) discussed her course expectation andfeedback/evaluation surveys which were completed by the students. Yet, these surveys were for
the “author’s research” (p. 8), rather than a tool for reflection
. The surveys also focused moreclosely on what students would receive, instead of what they would develop. Consequently, had

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