Reflecting on Your Service-Learning Experience

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INSTRUCTIONS for this quick-and-helpful exercise of Service-Learning closure:

  1. copy this page to a new page connected to your SLWP Webfolio, answering all questions below.
  2. as ALWAYS, be sure you reformat the pasted material so it reaches from margin-to-margin (but indent your margins), and also be sure you include the usual information in the upper left corner of your page - even above the title, "Reflecting on Your Service-Learning Experience" - LAST, First Name/Title/Date/Word Count (starting with "1. How did this experience...") /John A. Dowell, Instructor/Assignment (a link to this page, <http://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/SLWPReflect.html>).
  3. lastly, simply cut out the <cut>, the </cut>, and all this text in between.

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source:
Watters, Ann and Marjorie Ford, A Guide for Change: Resources for Implementing Community Service Writing. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1995. 74-76.
Reflecting on what you learned is one of the most important goals of a service learning experience. You will develop your critical thinking skills as well as your capacity to be resourceful as you define, analyze, and interpret the new social experiences you have had working at a service agency. Your reflection should discuss the way that your placement helped you to learn and to grow both emotionally and intellectually. As in the other stages of this project, develop an organizational framework that helps you to explore and keep track of your own thoughts and feelings about your project. [Note to Dowell's students: this would be a reference to your SLWP Journals and other "trajectory-tracking" devices you've employed throughout the semester.) The questions ... below should help you to understand and clarify what you have learned from your project.

1. How did this experience contrast with your previous classroom and writing experiences?

2. What did you learn about the importance of communicating with new audiences while completing this project?

3. [Note to Dowell's students: when you read "collaboratively," think of your collaborative engagement with your contact person, me, your group members, as well as youngsters and course peers, whenever applicable. Now please delete this bracketed instruction.] What did you learn about working collaboratively? What insights have you developed about the value of discussing experiences, ideas, and strategies? If you produced a collaboratively written piece, what did you learn from this particular aspect (of the class)?

4. What did you learn about yourself - your personal values, your cultural values, your gender assumptions, and your expectations and responsibilities as a member of your campus and community and as a citizen of our country?

5. Did your understanding of how you learn change through your service experience? Why you value your education? What you expect from an educational experience?

6. What did you learn about the social issues that the agency was working to change and improve?

7. Did the reading and writing you did for your class help you to understand the issues and the people you were working with at your agency? In what ways?

8. Would you choose to be involved in a study-service connection in the future? Explain your decision.


9. You were required to visit the Writing Center at least twice during the semester. How many times did you actually go? What was discussed? (Please describe what was discussed by using the Rubric.)

10. You were required to speak with the instructor at least once during the semester about your writing progress. How many times did you actually go and what was discussed? (Please describe what was discussed by using the Rubric.)


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