22 SES 04 B, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
The university has the mission of transmitting the skills that guarantee an adequate personal and professional development of its students. Nowadays, a greater attention has been given by universities to learning methodologies that can improve the achievement of cognitive and social skills by students. This is the way of understanding the methodological approach of service-learning in the university. As we will explain in this paper, its potential is associated not only with the academic development of the students, but also with the acquisition of civic and social competences, as long as it allows them to place their learning in a community environment (Santos Rego, Sotelino, & Lorenzo, 2015).
Currently, service-learning is a methodology that has a path in Europe, although we find its origin in the United States of America, with strong roots in the American pragmatism and the ideas of John Dewey (Santos Rego, 2013). Specifically, service-learning can be defined as “a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility” (Bringle & Hatcher, 1995, p. 112).
It can also be presented as an educational purpose that combines the traditional processes of learning with a community service in a single project in which students learn meanwhile they work on real needs of their community with the objective of solving them (Puig, Batlle, Bosch, & Palos, 2007). In our case, we want to highlight the use of the term "work" in the definition, since the offered service in service-learning courses allows students to improve academic knowledge through work in real contexts, usually linked to professional activities (Naval, García López, Puig, & Santos Rego, 2011; Santos Rego, Lorenzo, & Mella, 2016).
It has been demonstrated that service-learning can help in order to overcome the gap between theory and practice. It also allows students to develop employability skills and job related knowledge. For instance, participants in service-learning courses develop skills related to teamwork, effective communication, assumption of responsibilities, personal initiative and the ability of organization and management (Leimer, Yue, & Rogulkin, 2009; Tapia, 2008); adaptability, flexibility, time management and problem solving (Brozmanová, Heinzová, & Chovancová, 2016; Deeley, 2014); professional skills linked to communication, decision making, and mobility (Coffey y Lavery, 2015); or also social responsibility and interpersonal skills (Hebert y Hauf, 2015; Peterson, Wardwell, Will, & Campana, 2014). Nevertheless, what we consider most important is not only the potential of service-learning in the acquisition of these skills, but its direct relationship with the employability of graduates.
Precisely, in this paper we present the design of an extensive research that involves researchers from seven Spanish and three foreign universities. These are the three main objectives:
- Identify the skills required by the labor market for graduates that apply for their first job.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of service-learning in order to improve the generic skills of university students.
- Design a certification model of generic skills in the university.
Therefore, the main pretension of this research project is to advance through service-learning in the validation and recognition of the learning that young people acquire in higher education.
This paper is derived from the R&D&i project "Service-learning and employability of university graduates in Spain: competences for employment" (EDU2017-82629-R), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
The research will be developed in four phases. The first one consists in a descriptive study with the purpose of identifying the skills that the labor market requires to graduates that apply for their first job. These are the instruments: - A survey addressed to university teachers. We want to know their opinion about the skills that a university student must have in order to access into the labor market. - A survey for employers or managers of human resources in organizations. We will identify the skills they demand for university students applying for their first job. - A discussion group with graduates in order to analyze the link between generic skills and insertion in the labor market. - An in-depth interview with the Labor Guidance Services of the universities. We will study the most valued skills in the labor market, the role of the University in the development of these skills, and the importance that students give to them. In the second phase we will evaluate the service-learning courses that are currently being developed in the universities involved in the study and identify the initiatives that meet the quality criteria of this methodology. We will use the next instruments: - A discussion group with experts in service-learning to identify quality criteria. - A self-assessment rubric for teachers responsible of service-learning projects. - A survey based on quality indicators addressed to the identified teachers. The third phase consists in the analysis of the development of generic skills in the students participating in service-learning courses. A quasi-experimental design of two non-equivalent groups with pretest and posttest will be used. Furthermore, we will opt for participatory action research in a qualitative dimension. For that purpose, the following instruments will be used: - A survey about generic skills for the service-learning students (pretest and posttest). - A semantic differential to measure the satisfaction of students, teachers and partners. - An in-depth interview about service-learning and generic skills with teachers and partners. - Group interviews about the development of generic skills in the university with students of each service-learning course and students of their same degrees that have no participation in service-learning. Finally, a skill certification model will be designed in the fourth phase, which the students can incorporate into their curriculum vitae, as different European organizations recommend. We will also design a Service-learning and Employability Guide.
Taking into account the lack of solid and consistent research in Europe we want to highlight the contribution of this study to the knowledge about the area in which it is focused. This is because we use an experimental methodology, which is complemented by the use of qualitative research techniques and strategies. In addition, the instruments designed and validated will help us to evaluate the quality of the projects in future processes. The research involves universities that have already advanced in a process of service-learning institutionalization, together with others that are taking their first steps in the subject. This will help the research to become a revulsive for the processes of innovation in the college. The main conclusion could be the contribution of the project to the improvement of the learning derived from service-learning experiences in higher education. Moreover, it will allow us to recognize the advantages of this methodology in the university from an employability perspective, which could help in the design of an effective training plan for teachers, students, guidance personnel and other institutional services. Thus, we seek to improve the links between research and educational practice, trying to create more dialogue in favor of innovation. This will contribute to the raising of employability indicators in a country with one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Europe. Finally, the participation of researchers from Spanish and three foreign universities with different backgrounds will contribute to reinforce the necessary networking and the use of synergies. In addition we will expand the cooperation with other national and international teams. Therefore, having researchers from countries where service-learning has a greater tradition (United States and Ireland) will allow to take note of the steps taken in these countries and adapt their experience to the Spanish university context.
Bringle, R. G., & Hatcher, J. A. (1995). A service-learning curriculum for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, 112-122. Brozmanová, A., Heinzová, Z., & Chovancová, K. (2016). The impact of service-learning on students’ key competences. International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 4(1), 367-376. Coffey, A., & Lavery, S. (2015). Service-learning: a valuable means of preparing pre-service teachers for a teaching practicum. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(7), 86-101. doi: 10.14221/ajte.2015v40n7.7 Deeley, S. J. (2014). Summative co-assessment: A deep learning approach to enhancing employability skills and attributes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(1), 39-51. doi: 10.1177/1469787413514649 Hebert, A., & Hauf, O. (2015). Student learning through service learning: Effects on academic development, civic responsibility, interpersonal skills and practical skills. Active Learning in Higher Education, 16(1), 37-49. doi: 10.1177/1469787415573357 Leimer, C., Yue, H., & Rogulkin, D. (2009). Does service learning help students succeed? Assessing the effects of Sevice-Learning at California State University-Fresno. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED521013.pdf Naval, C., García López, R., Puig, J. M., & Santos Rego, M. A. (2011). La formación ético-cívica y el compromiso social de los estudiantes universitarios. Encounters on Education, 12, 77-91. Naval, C., & Arbués, E. (2016). El aprendizaje-servicio y la transición desde la educación superior al mundo del trabajo. In M. A. Santos Rego (Ed.), Sociedad del conocimiento. Aprendizaje e innovación en la universidad (pp. 219-239). Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva. Peterson, J., Wardwell, C., Will, K., & Campana, K. (2014). Pursuing a purpose: The role of career exploration courses and service-learning internship in recognizing and developing knowledge, skills, and abilities. Teaching of Psychology, 41(4), 353-359. Puig, J. M., Batlle, R., Bosch, C., & Palos, J. (2007). Aprendizaje servicio. Educar para la ciudadanía. Madrid: Octaedro. Santos Rego, M. A. (2013). ¿Para cuándo las universidades en la agenda de una democracia fuerte? Educación, aprendizaje y compromiso cívico en Norteamérica. Revista de Educación, 361, 565-590. Santos Rego, M. A., Lorenzo, M., & Mella, I. (2016). Aprendizaje-servicio y desempeño académico de los estudiantes universitarios. In M. A. Santos Rego (Ed.), Sociedad del conocimiento. Aprendizaje e innovación en la universidad (pp. 197-218). Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva. Santos Rego, M. A., Sotelino, A., & Lorenzo, M. (2015). Aprendizaje-servicio y misión cívica de la universidad. Una propuesta de desarrollo. Barcelona: Octaedro.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.