Assessing student learning outcomes in international service learning programs
Tamara Baldwin, Associate Director, International Learning Programs, University of British Columbia [tamara.baldwin@ubc.ca]
Dawn Currie, Professor of Sociology, University of British Columbia [dawn.currie@ubc.ca]
Kristin Patten, Manager of International Service Learning, University of British Columbia [kristin.patten@ubc.ca]
Kari Marken, International Service Learning Advisor, University of British Columbia [kari.marken@ubc.ca]
Sara Radoff, Manager of Safety & Learning Abroad, University of British Columbia [sara.radoff@ubc.ca]

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Keywords: Assessment, international service learning, student learning

Track: Program evaluation and assessment

Format: Poster presentation

Date & time: Friday 3:20-4:30
Location: Salon 4 / Salon 9

Summary:
Institutions of higher education worldwide are analyzing their international engagement strategies and rewriting mission statements articulating an aim to graduate global citizens. Simultaneously, international service learning (ISL) pedagogy is being recognized for its transformative power for students, institutions and communities. Go Global International Learning Programs at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is undertaking a project to develop a three year strategy to assess student learning outcomes in ISL. This assessment strategy will work across faculties and include both curricular and co-curricular activity to more clearly define what the student learning outcomes of ISL are and how they are achieved.

UBC’s assessment process is outlined through the following methods:
  1. Design a 3-year assessment strategy focusing on student learning outcomes.
  2. Identify existing tools to measure learning outcomes through ISL and work with faculty partners to adapt tools where appropriate for their field of study or specific course.
  3. Implement the assessment tools according to the strategy using both the curricular and co-curricular student groups for comparison.
  4. Analyze and report on data to stakeholders, including community partners, at multiple points throughout the process.

The knowledge garnered from this assessment initiative will be widely distributed to enhance teaching and learning initiatives related to international education opportunities. The development of a robust and well developed learning assessment strategy has the potential to have a significant impact on students; similarly, it can impact and strengthen a faculty member’s own engagement with the pedagogy of ISL and provide rationale and support for the expansion of these types of opportunities. Overall, the outcomes of this project will be to develop a more rigorous, intentional, and replicable assessment of student learning within the context of ISL.

References:
Bringle, R. G., Hatcher, J.A., & Jones, S.G. (Eds.). (2011). International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research. Sterling, VA: Stylus.


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