This book serves as an introduction to using online teaching technologies and hybrid forms of teaching for experiential learning and civic engagement. Service-learning has kept pace neither with the rapid growth in e-learning in all its forms nor with the reality that an increasing number of students are learning online without exposure to the benefits of this powerful pedagogy.
Eservice-learning (electronic service-learning) combines service-learning and on-line learning and enables the delivery of the instruction and/or the service to occur partially or fully online. Eservice-learning allows students anywhere, regardless of geography, physical constraints, work schedule, or other access limitations, to experience service-learning. It reciprocally also equips online learning with a powerful tool for engaging students.
In eservice-learning, the core components of service, learning, and reflection may take a different form due to the online medium—for example, reflection often occurs through discussion board interactions, journals, wikis, or blogs in an eservice-learning course. Moreover, the service, though still community-based, creates a world of opportunities to connect students with communities across the globe—as well as at their very own doorstep.
This book introduces the reader to the four emerging types of eservice-learning, from Extreme EService-Learning (XE-SL) classes where 100% of the instruction and 100% of the service occur online, to three distinct forms of hybrid where either the service or the instruction are delivered wholly on-line – with students, for instance, providing online products for far-away community partners – or in which both are delivered on-site and online. It considers the instructional potential of common mobile technologies – phones, tablets and mobile reading devices. The authors also address potential limitations, such as technology challenges, difficulties sustaining three-way communication among the instructor, community partner, and students, and added workload.
The book includes research studies on effectiveness as well as examples of practice such drafting grants for a community partner, an informational technology class building online communities for an autism group, and an online education class providing virtual mentoring to at-risk students in New Orleans from across the country.
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