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Service Learning Course Learning Objectives

The Office of Service Learning has laid out the following learning objectives for service learning courses and activities at Loyola:

  1. Students will make connections between course content and service experiences. Must be specified by the professor and listed on the syllabus.
  2. Students will strengthen their understanding of social justice.
  3. Students will explore the root causes of social problems.
  4. Students will understand the distinction between service and social change.
  5. Students will critically examine personal values and beliefs.
  6. Students will learn to appreciate diversity.

Imagine a learning objective as an intended outcome: a specific area of knowledge students should master, a specific skill-set students should hone, or a thematic or topical area students with which students should become familiar. 

Service learning objectives connect intended outcomes to service activities as a means of achieving them. Service learning objectives include the service activity as the "how." 

Learning objectives can be formulated as statements: "Students will [X]."  Service learning objectives can be formulated as: "Students will [X] by doing [Y]."

Learning Objective Service Learning Objective
Intended outcome (knowledge, skill, proficiency, awareness) Intended outcome + service activity as means 
What will students learn? What will students learn and how is the service activity a way to learn this?
"Students will [X]." "Students will [X] by doing [Y]."

Examples of Service Learning Objectives

  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will examine the strengths and weaknesses of educational policy arguments BY (means) tutoring in local public schools.
  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will observe, understand and be able to reproduce various accents prevalent throughout the New Orleans community BY (means) conversing and forming relationships with New Orleanians in authentic community-based contexts.
  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will gain an introductory knowledge of the various forms of forensic evidence BY (means) examining post-conviction criminal files for compelling forensic lacunae.
  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will learn communicate scientific topics to a general audience BY (means) developing and presenting an exciting, hands-on science demonstrations to fifth-graders.
  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will be able to provide examples of the principles of behavioral psychology BY (means) interacting with individuals in authentic community-based contexts throughout New Orleans.
  • OBJECTIVE (intended outcome): Students will understand risk factors for HIV infection in a community BY (means) serving at HIV prevention and education programs and residences for those living with HIV and AIDS.

For examples, visit individual course pages, which contain a service learning objective formulated by the professor.

Sample Syllabi