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Integrating Service-Learning and ICT to support rural female entrepreneurship: academic results in university students

Service-Learning (SL) is a teaching innovation methodology that combines the improvement of the curricular, professional and social development of students with the provision of a free service to the local community.

This study aims to assess the educational impact of an SL experience that consisted of multidisciplinary groups of university students of different subjects of Graduate and Postgraduate courses in the field of the Business put into practice the knowledge acquired in class to advise a group of rural female entrepreneurs, using ICTs to facilitate University-Society communication. To do this, a qualitative study is first carried out, based on the analysis of the students’ responses to a self-assessment questionnaire and, then, after an experimental design in two paired groups, the possible effect of SL on academic performance is analyzed.

Our findings show that service-students acknowledge having improved their curricular, professional and civic-social training after participating in the project. In addition, they have had a significantly higher academic performance than a control group of non-participating students. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the combination of SL and ITCs has allowed to improve both the quality of the teaching-learning process and the future employability of the student-service, simultaneously benefiting the local environment within the framework of University Social Responsibility.

Country: Spain

Year: 2019-2020

Institution: University of León

Person in charge: Almudena Martínez-Campillo

Email: amarc@unileon.es

# of students: 50

Interaction with beneficiaries: Mixed

Academic Degree: Undergraduate | Master

Discipline(s): Business | Engineering and Technology

Community Service Area & ODS: Sustainable cities and communities | Gender equality | Quality education