This study examined issues regarding the educational development of students in service-learning programs using sets of performance-based assessment rubrics and other assessment techniques. In particular, this study employed the Service-Learning Assessment Toolkit (SLAT). a compilation of instruments, measures, and guidelines developed by the researcher. The SLAT captured students' educational development through a variety of data sources and measured development across six target constructs: career exploration, civic participation, and academic, ethical, personal and social growth.
The researcher used a naturalistic inquiry and data was collected and analyzed based on a two-group scenario, instructor and student. The research data identified whether the students who used the SLAT had a significant level of developmental growth in a service-learning target construct compared to students who did not use the SLAT.
The study concluded that all students who participated had examples of positive educational outcomes in at least three of the six educational targets. There was no evidence that one type of target dominated the learning process. Each assessment tool contains some features to enhance student development across the six educational targets. Although this study did not reveal firm causal relationships between the SLAT performance-based assessment rubrics and service-learning student development, it did capture some effective strategies for assessing service-learning educational outcomes.
The researcher hopes that this study will continue to help instructors measure service-learning outcomes through an effective set of tools that is specifically relevant to service-learning programs. The outcomes of this study have real-life implications that empower students to analyze, evaluate and synthesize practical problem-solving situations.
Vaughn, Paula M., "Enhancing student development in service-learning with performance-based assessment rubrics" (2002). Dissertation and Thesis. 68.
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