Lessons outside of the classroom: Examining the effectiveness of service learning projects at achieving learning objectives.

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This paper investigates how the delivery of course material affects student learning. It explores whether service learningprojects are more effective than traditional classroom assignments at achieving different learning objectives. Student evaluations of their group projects and final exam scores from three sections of a MPA research methods course were compared as part of this study. One of the sections participated in a service learning project for their group project; the other two sections wrote mock research proposals for their group project. Based on the results from student evaluations of their group projects, there is some evidence suggesting that service learning projects may be more effective than traditional classroom assignments at helping students master course material and link theory to practice. However, participating in a service learning project did not have a significant impact on student performance on the final exam.

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Lambright, K. (2008). Lessons outside of the Classroom: Examining the Effectiveness of Service Learning Projects at Achieving Learning Objectives. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 14(2), 205-217.

To access the full issue follow the link: http://media.netpub.net/clientnet/pdf_files/JPAE-Vol.14-No.2-Summer2008.pdf