Folgueiras Bertomeu, Pilar; Gonzalez, Esther; Latorre, Gemma
REVISTA DE EDUCACION
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Service learning projects promote student learning through active participation in community service. Thus, the service learning method enables students to engage directly with the people to whom they offer their services and requires them to adapt to other peoples’ needs and to a reality that is often very different from the classroom. This is one of the major ways in which service learning has an impact. In addition, service learning helps to awaken students’ interest in collective action, citizenship, etc. A comprehensive diagnostic study of 39 students was conducted to analyse four key dimensions (attributed knowledge and intentionality, evaluation of usefulness, evaluation of the process and social impact) on the basis of the chosen satisfaction model. The four dimensions led to reflection on key elements of learning and community service (learning about citizenship, learning about oneself, learning of a curriculum, processes of reflection, etc.). The main data analysis technique was content analysis, involving the triangulation of various techniques (questionnaires, interviews and discussion groups) and informants (students, teachers, coordinators and members of other organisations). Data analysis showed a high degree of satisfaction among the participating students. The dimension that most influenced the results was assessment of the attributed value, more specifically the students’ perception of their acquisition of conceptual, personal and citizenship knowledge. It should be cautioned that the results were swayed by the relationship generated among teachers, students and institutions and the possibility of linking theory with practice.
service learning; satisfaction; qualitative research; higher education; student participation