Expanding the Boundaries of Service-Learning at Higher Education through e-Learning Scenarios: Lessons from Teaching Innovation Projects

Amalia Creus
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Mirela Fiori
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya,

Ines Cambra
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Nadja Gmelch
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya,


Service-learning can be defined as a pedagogical approach that attempts to integrate community service in the academic curriculum. Through service-learning, students engage in organised activities designed to meet community needs and, at the same time, enhance their intellectual, social, and ethical development (Porter Honnet & Poulsen, 1989). The synergy between learning and civic engagement distinguishes service-learning as an educational approach that, beyond forming students for particular professional skills, has the goal to prepare them for practical community-based problem solving. From a methodological point of view, it places community-improvement and social-engagement in the centre of the learning process, while reinforcing students’ cross-disciplinary skills, as critical thinking, co-creation or community building (Billig, Root, & Jesse, 2005).

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