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Title: Mandatory service learning at university : do less-inclined students learn from it?
Authors: Chan, SCF 
Ngai, G 
Kwan, KP 
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Source: Active learning in higher education, 1 Nov. 2019, v. 20, no. 3, p. 189-202
Abstract: At many universities, there is a growing realization that the university owes a social responsibility to the community. Society invests in its citizens through the university, and the university empowers its students to realize their potential, both as competent professionals and as responsible citizens. This requires the cultivation of attributes such as social awareness, ethical leadership, and social responsibility, which are generally recognized as being difficult to teach in a classroom setting. Service learning is a form of active learning that integrates meaningful service to the community with academic study and reflective learning. In service learning, the learning goals of the students are as important as the benefits of the service that is rendered to the community; in addition, the two are interlinked and mutually reinforcing. Research has shown that service learning contributes positively to the attainment of many of the aforementioned desired graduate attributes for university students. However, there is much controversy about whether service learning should be mandated. There is a need to examine whether and to what extent students’ learning and development from completing a mandatory service learning subject are influenced by their initial inclination. Data described in this article were collected from 756 students via an online post-experience survey. Results show that students’ total learning experience from service learning had a much stronger impact on their learning and development than their initial inclination or even interest in the subject.
Keywords: Impact
Mandatory requirement
Service learning
Student learning
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Journal: Active learning in higher education 
ISSN: 1469-7874
EISSN: 1741-2625
DOI: 10.1177/1469787417742019
Rights: This is the accepted version of the publication Stephen CF Chan, Grace Ngai & Kam-por Kwan. Mandatory service learning at university: Do less-inclined students learn from it? Active Learning in Higher Education (Journal Volume 20 and Issue 3) pp. 189-202. Copyright © 2017 (The Author(s)). DOI: 10.1177/1469787417742019.
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