Best Practices in Service Learning Workshop Series

This workshop series is for faculty and graduate students interested in exploring the nuts and bolts of designing and implementing service-learning enhanced coursework.  The series is offered each semester; see descriptions below.

Introduction to Designing Service-Learning Courses

Friday, Feb. 1, 9:00-11:30 AM, Office of Service-Learning. RSVP for this workshop

Critical Reflection Strategies for Service-Learning

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 9:30-noon, Office of Service-Learning. RSVP for this workshop

Working Effectively with Community Partners

Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2:00-4:00 PM, Office of Service-Learning. RSVP for this workshop

All are held at the Office of Service-Learning, 1242 1/2 S. Lumpkin St., in the rear PSO annex conference room.

Workshops are free and open to any interested faculty member or graduate student; pre-registration is required.

Register for any Spring 2019 workshop


Community-Engaged Scholarship: How to Create, Define, and Publish

Dr. Diane Doberneck, Michigan State University, National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 8:30 – 11:00 AM,

Tate Student Center, Room 141

This presentation, free and open to all members of the campus community, will focus on how to conceptualize, design, implement, and publish research on service-learning and community-engaged scholarship. Dr. Doberneck will cover how to situate this research in the broader scholarly context, ways in which community-engaged scholarship differs from conventional research, how to develop different types of publishable manuscripts, and how to find appropriate venues for publishing, with examples from within and across disciplines.

Follow-up Consultations available: Have a question, want feedback, or need support in designing or writing your community-engaged scholarship? Diane will also provide individual consultation for conceptualizing research and scholarship (at any stage) for half-hour time slots on Wednesday afternoon. Consultations will take place at the Office of Service-Learning rear annex, 1242 ½ S. Lumpkin St.

RSVP for the workshop, and/or sign up for consultation slots at

Diane M. Doberneck, Ph.D., is the Associate Director at Michigan State University’s National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement, where she conducts research about community-engaged scholarship, coordinates the MSU Graduate Certification in Community Engagement, and leads University Outreach and Engagement’s Educational Programs Team. She consults with colleges and universities on revising reappointment, promotion, and tenure guidelines to support community engagement and on peer-reviewed publishing for community-engaged research and service-learning. Dr. Doberneck also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the department of community sustainability, as a peer reviewer for numerous community-engaged research journals and conferences, and as a featured speaker at the national Pen to Paper Academic Writing Retreat and the annual Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop.


Spring 2019 Community Engagement Forum            No RSVP required- but mark your calendars and join us!

The Community Engagement Forums provide an opportunity for faculty, staff, community partners, and students to meet to share ideas, build relationships, and explore topics related to effective campus-community collaborations, including service-learning courses. The Community Engagement Forum will have the following framing topics this semester:

  • In February, we will share what we are learning and implications from our recent survey of community partners. Tuesday, Feb. 19, 3:30-5:00, at Tate Student Center Room 137
  • In March, we will celebrate reaching mid-term with a "happy hour," in conjunction with the Athens Area Nonprofit Alliance. Wednesday, Mar. 20, 4:30-6:00, location TBD.
  • We'll wrap up the semester with an update from Envision Athens, including thinking about opportunities for next year. Tuesday, Apr. 9, 3:30-5:00, at Tate Student Center Room 137

Service-learning can be a powerful teaching and learning tool, providing opportunities for students to apply academic concepts to authentic community needs, issues, and problems. This workshop delivers an overview of service-learning pedagogy, benefits, and best practices for those interested in enhancing existing courses or creating a new service-learning course. Participants will be introduced to a service-learning course design model with hands-on activities and tools to go from initial concept to completed course design, and will learn of the university resources available to support community engagement.

Critical Reflection is an essential component of service-learning course design and the link between service activities students engage in and their academic learning. In this workshop, participants will learn about the fundamentals and best practices of reflection theory and put this into practice through hands-on activities that explore written, verbal, group, and visual reflection activities.

Developing sustainable and mutually beneficial community partnerships for service-learning is critical for creating positive experiences for both students and partners. This workshop will explore principles and best practices for creating and assessing healthy partnerships, provide tips for preparing students to work in the community, and outline important risk management issues.