Posted by mjb

Why Service Learning and Reflection are Important

You started your service activity by identifying a community issue that you are passionate about. Even though you planned service activities around the issue, volunteers may not understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.

You may want volunteers to gain awareness of the community issue, or you could have learning objectives that relate to one or more college courses. Link your service to the issue throughout the service process. You can use the issue as a reference point during recruitment and publicity. You can discuss it during volunteer orientation. You can also have conversations with volunteers during and after the service.

Helping volunteers to see the connection between their service and a community issue (or another learning goal of the activity) is called reflection. Through reflection volunteers can think about their service, what they did (or will do or are doing), how it affected them, the impact it made on the community, and future action they can take.

Reflection is probably the most important part of a service activity, but it’s hard to fit into the schedule unless you plan for it. Take time during the project planning phase to think about the reflection activities you will use.

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