Online Learning Update

December 31, 2010

Extreme E-Service Learning (XE-SL): E-Service Learning in the 100% Online Course

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:10 am

by Leora Waldner, Sue McGorry, Murray Widener; JOLT

Service learning—where students perform work for a community partner in a manner that enhances course content—is a well-established tradition in academia, with many reported benefits. But is service learning technically feasible in a 100% online course format, where students will never have the opportunity to meet the community partner face-to-face? Evaluating two experimental courses taught by the authors, it is demonstrated that extreme e-service learning (XE-SL)—i.e., service learning where both the instruction and the service occur 100% online—can work, although the benefits and challenges are notably different from a traditional service learning (T-SL) format. Based on these experiences, best practices and lessons learned are provided to assist others endeavoring to incorporate the value of service learning online.

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