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Integrating Service Learning into the Research Methods Course

Sharyn J. Potter, Elizabeth M. Caffrey and Elizabethe G. Plante
Teaching Sociology
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp. 38-48
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3211423
Page Count: 11
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Integrating Service Learning into the Research Methods Course
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Abstract

In the fag 2000 semester, an assistant professor and her graduate teaching assistant incorporated a service-learning project into their research methods course in an effort to engage more students in the course. The project allowed the students to apply their newly acquired research methods skills to a "real world" organization serving their immediate community, the university. This paper, which proceeds in four sections, discusses how we incorporated service learning into a research methods course. The first section reviews service learning and research that has examined the effects of service learning on students and their communities. Second, a detailed description of the service-learning project is provided which we implemented in the research methods course during the Fall 2000 semester. The third section of the paper discusses the contribution that the students' work made to the organization they served. Finally, the paper concludes by examining different methods of evaluating students' learning in a course that uses service learning to meet course objectives.

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