Service-Learning

Address a community need in a reciprocal partnership through the integration of course content, academic theory and assessed critical reflection to produce meaningful outcomes in personal, academic and civic learning.

Service-Learning at Brock

Consider these examples of service-learning experiences and projects designed by faculty and instructors at Brock.

Instructor: Dr. Madelyn Law, Associate Professor

Courses:

  • HLSC 3P31 – Applied Projects in Health Quality Improvement
  • HLSC 4F91 – Health Quality Improvement Special Projects

Program: Health Sciences, Medical Sciences, Community Health, Public Health, Child Health

CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN HEALTH CARE

Spanning two years and 1.5 credits, student in Dr. Law’s courses are designed to provide students – future health professionals – with the opportunity to learn about quality improvement, change, and leadership in an interprofessional education model that helps to bridge interprofessional relationships and understanding within the context of health care systems and quality improvement. As part of the Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement Program (I-EQUIP), the service-learning
projects in HLSC 3P31 and 4F91 bring together students and health professionals to implement and sustain improvements in the health system.

Learn more about some of the IEQUIP projects:

Instructor: Dr. Teresa Russo

Course: MARS 3P12

Program: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Faculty of Humanities

Students in Dr. Teresa Russo’s MARS2P95 Reading the Middle Ages created novel study guides (following the Ontario Curriculum) for fourth grade and High School students, providing educational materials for teachers in 70 school boards to teach the Middle Ages through cross-curricular activities (art, history, geography, music, social studies, French). Lessons also included Canada Games Connection, highlighting horse racing in Beowulf, tournaments in The Knight’s Tale, and hammer throwing in the Poetic Edda’s tale of Thor. Students, additionally, showcased research at a conference on the topic of sports in the Middle Ages, which are shared with teachers to link the stories to Daily Life in the Ancient Civilization component of the curriculum. Students were placed in groups with Education Concurrent majors as co-leaders to work on five Medieval texts. The project provided professional skills development (focusing on project management, teamwork, time management, and curriculum design), while supporting teachers across Ontario. Students are building their resumes as authors of the materials, while education majors are also using the project as an Open Education Record for their dossier. Materials will be available for teachers through MARS2P95’s Omeka project site, Reading the Middle Ages (RMA). The 2021 projects were supported by teachers in York Catholic District School Board. Teachers from Niagara District School Board will partner with students in 2022.

Attachment is an example of one (of 5) packets. Dr. Russo created the template of the packet which was branded as Teaching the Middle Ages (TMA). Kiara LeBlanc was the research assistance and Julia Schultz the artist in residence, both funded by the Government of Canada’s Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning (CEWIL) grant and with a Brock University Experiential Education Teaching & Learning Innovation Grant. Students are grateful to our elementary and high school industry partners, Angela Villella and Caroline Portelli with YCDSB and for the support from Felipe Ruan, Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies (MARS), Elaine Albridge-Lowe of MARS, and Sandy Howe, Associate Director of Experiential Education at Brock University. The attached photo is an image of the first page of “Thor’s Visit to Utgard,” a chapter in Roger L. Green’s Myths of the Norsemen: Retold from the Old Norse Poems and Tales. Vol. 1.1 of Teaching the Middle Ages (TMA), for fourth graders. Materials in this packet were created by Elizabeth Colantoni, Anastasia Donahue-White, Austin Evans, Lex Fournier, Kiara LeBlanc, Julia Schultz and Teresa Russo.

Instructor: Matthew Thompson

Course: RECL 4Q96

Program: Recreation & Leisure, Applied Health Sciences

Last Winter, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I taught “Experiential Education” online for fourth-year Recreation and Leisure Studies students. This was challenging because, while all learning is experiential in some way, it is more difficult to create meaningful experiential education programs online. I sought to overcome this difficulty by having the students complete a final service-learning project. For the final assignment I created six groups of roughly five students each, and paired them each with a different community organization. Each of these organizations had expressed a need for some online, experiential learning content. In collaboration with their partner organization, each group of students created an online lesson utilizing the theories of experiential learning we had explored during the course. The students got to put theory into practice by creating online content that would directly benefit members of the community. During the final class, each group of students shared their project with the rest of the class and we discussed each in turn. The project helped students to connect with each other and the community during a time of increased isolation.

Instructor: Pei-Chun Hsieh

Course: RECL 3P12

Program: Recreation & Leisure Studies, Applied Health Sciences

This service-learning project was implemented during the height of the pandemic, when family visits and social activities were restricted for older residents at Tabor Manor. To continue producing meaningful outcomes for both residents and students, the assignment was redesigned to support the needs of residents while still meeting COVID regulations. Students met with residents using MS Teams and developed a sensory box based on information collected during their virtual interview. The sensory box solved the problem of engaging both students and residents in a practice that offered connection and interaction, but in a safe and sustainable way. This project was a collaboration both within and external to the university for the students’ benefit. This learning activity engaged the expertise and skills of the instructor, the staff and residents of the LTC facility, an educational technologist, and an experiential education coordinator. The project of delivering a sensory box to residents to enhance their well-being was well-received by students, working as motivation and an antidote for the lack of connection that has been emblematic of the pandemic. The feeling of giving back to the community and serving in times of crisis gave the students a sense of social responsibility and of answering the call to be a health care practitioner.

The reflective components of service learning were complemented with a “why and how” video created by students to instruct the practitioner in the use of the sensory box, representing a practice that, prior to the pandemic, likely would have been theoretical or done in-person. Here is a video created by the students demonstrating their sensory box items and explaining the use of their sensory box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHxFiFRPmvs&t=4s

Instructor: Dr. Mary-Beth Raddon, Associate Professor

Courses: SOCI/CANA 2F60 – Foundations for Community Engagement

Program: Sociology, Canadian Studies

INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNITIES OF NIAGARA THROUGH SERVICE-LEARNING