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  The Journal of Effective Teaching
an online journal devoted to teaching excellence


Journal of Effective Teaching, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2011  

Simons, L., Williams, E., & Russell, B. (2011). An Exploration of the Value of Service-Learning: Characteristics of Traditional and Honor Service-Learners. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 11(1), 6-18. [Full Text]


This study explored the value of service for undergraduate students enrolled in an Honors and a non-Honors section of a service-learning course. A quasi-experimental study was conducted to identify if students who participated in an Honors (n = 18) section of a service-learning course show greater gains in attitudes and skills associated with community engagement over the semester than students who participated in a non-Honors (n = 28) course section. The results indicate that students improve their diversity and social justice attitudes, acquire competence and leadership skills, and increase their desire to make a difference through participation in short-term service projects by the end of the term, regardless of whether they were in the Honors or non-Honors course. Community partners also appraised both student groups as self-starters who exercise good judgment in their work with service recipients. The consistency of data from teacher and student reports suggests that service-learning is a useful pedagogical strategy for teaching students in both Honors and non-Honors courses.


Keywords: Service-learning, honors and non-honors courses, student perceptions of service.