Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Ernest Goeres.


Service learning is a pedagogical method that is currently on the rise in health professions schools as a method of meeting Healthy People 2010 objectives (Narsavage, Lindell, Chen, Savin & Duffy, 2002). The intended result for participating students is an increased awareness of health care issues, civic responsibility, and course content in this learning experience. However, there is no clear assessment documentation that shows health professions students are meeting the intended learning outcomes. Eyler (2000) indicates that outcomes in service learning have not been "well studied and relatively little attention has been given to defining learning outcomes that would be expected to be enhanced by service participation" (What we know, para. 1). The purpose of this study was to examine how health professions program faculty assess students in their service-learning courses and if students achieved intended learning outcomes. In this qualitative study, the researcher conducted interviews with health professions faculty and analyzed documents including their course syllabi. This study revealed that faculty were the main individuals responsible for the assessment of the learning outcomes in service-learning courses, and that the outcomes identified on course syllabi were mainly cognitive. Faculty implemented multiple measures to assess student learning and adjusted learning activities as necessary based on feedback from students. Recommendations for practice emerged from this study such as reaching consensus among faculty about what to consider as high quality service-learning courses. In addition, faculty should clearly articulate all of the learning outcomes they intended students to achieve on course syllabi. Another recommendation for practice is the implementation of faculty workshops or seminars to guide faculty in the identification of learning outcomes associated with high quality service-learning courses. This study also outlines areas for further research such as investigating formal types of faculty workshops or seminars offered through various units including service-learning centers as well as teaching and learning centers.