Why Would I Involve My Class in a Campus Service Learning (CSL) Activity?
- Experiential learning has greatest impact on retention of knowledge: Research indicates that experiential learning positively influences the amount of information students retain. CSL is an experiential approach where students are actively involved in their own learning.
- Students are able to showcase their work and develop ownership and pride: Through CSL, students are able to engage other members of the campus community and share what they are learning in their courses. CSL also instills a sense of pride in the participating students, knowing that they are positively representing their college program.
- Students connect with other programs/services engaging in a College community-building initiative: CSL gets students engaged with other students outside of their own program. Students are able to actively learn about the other resources available to them on campus, and are able to proudly represent their own program in the process.
- Increased engagement and interest of your students in your subject area: CSL brings your course material to life! CSL provides students with a chance to not just read or hear about what they're learning – it lets them experience it!
- Positive Classroom environment as a result of collaborative effort: CSL gets students working together as an entire class, and encourages them to support each other towards a shared goal.
How Does the Student Life Department Support These Initiatives?
The Student Life Department provides a number of supports to programs who partner with us in CSL initiatives. For example Student Life will...
- Provide a presentation to your class on CSL and how your students' participation impacts the Conestoga College community and supports them in building course-related skills (30 to 60 minute presentation)
- Provide "Check-in" class visits when needed. These check-ins can help in resolving any last minute questions students may have, be an opportunity to engage students in discussions related to professionalism/attitude/behaviour during their event, and update classes about other events/activities happening simultaneously to their contributions to the overall CSL.
- Promote the CSL initiative, as well as your students and your program as part of the broader CSL theme. This may include posters around campus, advertisements in Spoke, and/or ads on the campus LCD screens.
- Oversee the logistics behind the event, such as booking the venue, ordering tables, etc.
- Offer our support and experience in event programming to facilitate a well-rounded event
- Evaluate the impact of the overall event in relation to increasing student engagement on campus, your course learning outcomes, and Student Life's departmental objectives.
- Work with you to integrate the CSL experience into your reflective learning post-event practice.
Campus Service Learning Contract
To establish the roles and responsibilities between both the Faculty member and the Student Life Department, a CSL Contract is issued prior to the CSL initiative. The CSL Contract is designed to assist both the academic course Faculty and the Student Life Department in developing intentional outcomes and in outlining specific roles and responsibilities as they relate to the partnership that results in a College experiential learning initiative.
The CSL Contract identifies the following: the CSL Facilitators and Description of Activity; Academic Learning Outcomes & Student Life Departmental Objectives Met Through Activity; Roles & Responsibilities (of both Faculty and the Student Life Department Programmer), and; Reflection.
Campus Service Learning Contract (pdf)
An essential component of CSL is reflection. In CSL, students are encouraged to reflect on their experience as a way to review their journey through the CSL initiative. Reflection is the lens through which one thinks critically about their experiences, deeply considering how the actions performed intentionally link to specific learning goals. Methods that Faculty may choose for doing this may include reflection journals throughout the experience, or a reflection paper at the end of the initiative.
Even prior to the CSL, students are also encouraged to intentionally contemplate the challenges, needs and expectations they hope to have from a CSL experience. This can be done through informal dialogues or team-builders that Student Life and Faculty engage in with classes.
The reflective component in a CSL is where most Faculty heavily grade students. Other small elements of a student's final grade may involve a peer-grading component to gain a perspective from others as to what amount each student contributed in the group CSL initiative, which may also include any materials/booth displays the students produce.
CSL Theme Areas for 2011/2012
|Diversity: Creating a Respectful & Inclusive Campus Community
||Celebrating Cultural Diversity Week
||November 12-16, 2012
February 25 - March 1, 2013
Doon, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge
|Health & Wellness
||Health & Wellness Week
||November 19-23, 2012
March 18-22, 2013
Doon, Waterloo, Guelph
|Civic Engagement: Building Community Involvement
||October 17 - November 2, 2012
||Doon, Waterloo, Guelph,
||March 4-8, 2013
CSL has received greeted by a warm reception by the majority of students who have participated in past. The Student Life Department remains committed to evaluating each individual CSL initiative in order to ensure the learning outcomes of both the academic course and the Student Life departmental objectives are being met.
Following each CSL, students in the classes will be surveyed based on their experience. Students are asked to provide feedback on a number of outcomes, pre-determined in partnership by the Faculty and the Student Life Department representative. The evaluation also solicits feedback from students on suggestions to improve CSLs for future students.
Once the evaluations are collected, Student Life will provide Faculty with a summary of the evaluation results.
“CSL provided a great opportunity to conduct hands-on experience in the classroom while also contributing to a worthwhile cause--the College community. Students were engaged, focused and involved in what they were learning while allowing faculty to get their "hands-dirty" along with the students. CSL allowed me, as a teacher, to facilitate and support learning beyond simple classroom lectures and group work.”
- Elissa Stevens, Program Coordinator, Fitness & Health Promotion
“I have been involved with CSL initiatives on both the Doon and Waterloo campuses. It has been a pleasure because Ryan and Elissa were so helpful that it made my job easier. They also opened themselves up to questions from my students, which helped everyone achieve their goals and objectives. As programs go, this one’s a gem!”
- Dr. Laura Quirk, Faculty, Liberal Studies
How Would I Get My Class Involved in a CSL?
To engage your class in a CSL activity, please review the above theme areas and initiatives to see if there is a theme that would best suit your class and course(s).
Once you know of a potential CSL exercise you would like to partner on, contact:
- Doon (Kitchener) Campus
- Contact Ryan Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Life Programmer, ext. 2373
- Waterloo Campus
- Contact Ian Kearney (email@example.com), Student Life Programmer, ext. 2372 (Doon) or ext. 258 (Waterloo)
- Guelph Campus
- Contact Ian Kearney (firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Life Programmer, ext. 2372 (Doon) or ext. 6152 (Guelph)
- Cambridge Campus
- Contact Janina Robinson (email@example.com), Student Life Programmer, ext. 2583 (Doon & Cambridge)
We will be happy to meet with you to discuss potential involvement and, if applicable, work through a CSL Contract with you to assist both partners in clarifying roles and responsibilities in the initiative (i.e. the Faculty's role and the Student Life Department's role).