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Service-Learning Support

Service-learning is a course-based experiential learning strategy that engages students in meaningful and relevant service with a community partner while employing ongoing reflection to draw connections between the service and course content. When done well, service-learning has the potential to enhance academic learning, promote civic responsiveness, and strengthen communities.

Our goal in Teaching & Learning Innovation is to assist faculty wishing to implement this type of pedagogy within a course through workshops and resources. Our department is also home to the service-learning (S) course designation. You can find resources for service-learning below, or if you’re interested in learning more about the S-designation, visit our designation webpage or a list of all S-designated courses at UT Knoxville.

Service-Learning Resources

Service-Learning Course Design Guide: This guide provides an extensive overview of what service-learning is, preliminary considerations of implementing service-learning in a course, best practices when engaging with community partners, developing student learning outcomes, and much more.

Service-Learning Course Workbook: To be used along with the Service-Learning Course Design Guide above, this workbook can assist faculty in a step-by-step process of redesigning a course to involve service-learning.

Online Service-Learning: Exercises for Students: We have created three exercises that are designed to help students in online service-learning courses develop a sense of place and prepare them for responsible service.

Service-Learning Risk Management: This webpage outlines important considerations regarding working with minors, measuring compliance, background checks and more.

Inclusivity in Experiential and Service-Learning Courses: This document seeks to raise considerations to help foster inclusivity and cultural competency through your experiential or service-learning course. It also identifies online resources provided by Teaching & Learning Innovation and other campus offices who can work with you to create an inclusive experience for all involved.

Introduction to Orientations & Trainings in Experiential Learning: When facilitating an experiential learning opportunity, it can sometimes be tempting to dive in to the project or activity and immediately get started. However, it is a good practice to first provide students with an orientation to the activity, community, or partner with whom they will be working. This resources provides tips to providing such opportunities. 

Faculty Assessment Guides: These guides give a breakdown of what assessments are expected from the instructor and students in experiential learning contexts, when the assessments will be disseminated to the instructor/student, and the purpose of each assessment.

Assessment Toolbox: This webpage provides multiple resources to meet various assessment needs, including a direct vs. indirect assessment guide, guided reflections for service-learning, collaboration rubric, ways to choose the right assessment tools, and rubrics for experiential learning.

Service-Learning in a Nutshell: This document provides a brief, general overview of what service-learning is.

A Practical Guide for Faculty on Managing Partnership Logistics, Student Intake, & Orientation Processes with Knoxville Nonprofits: This document provides an overview of partnership logistics when working with local nonprofits.

Online Service-Learning in a Nutshell: This document provides an overview of how service-learning and online learning can coincide and be successfully implemented within a course.

Service-Learning Consultations

We welcome consultations to help faculty with course planning. Topics can include:

  • How to work effectively with community partners
  • How to prepare students for service
  • How to structure ongoing reflection throughout your course
  • How to assess student learning from service, and many more.

Depending on your course development needs, we also offer joint consultations with Office of Information Technology. Fill out our consultation request form and a member of our team will reach out to you soon.

Partnership Portal

UT’s Office of Community Engagement & Outreach collaborated with the Center for Leadership and Service, Center for Career Development, and Teaching and Learning Innovation to develop a platform designed to assist community organizations in connecting with campus offices to establish partnerships involving faculty and students. The tool is designed to gather and help direct information to offices on campus that are best suited to meeting their needs. It is intended to share the types of resources and opportunities available to prospective partners through selected offices, including opportunities for faculty research, student volunteers, service-learning, interns, student employees, and other partnerships.

Partnership Portal