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An Analysis Of The Reflection Component In The Epics Model Of Service Learning

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Service Learning in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.160.1 - 9.160.10



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Paper Authors

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Leah Jamieson

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Carla Zoltowski

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Frank DeRego

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Lynne Slivovsky

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3161

An Analysis of the Reflection Component in the EPICS Model of Service Learning

Lynne A. Slivovsky, Frank R. DeRego Jr., Carla B. Zoltowski, Leah H. Jamieson, and William C. Oakes California Polytechnic State University/Purdue University

Abstract – Service learning is a pedagogy providing a structured environment for students to link service with course learning objectives. Key to the service learning experience is critical reflection. This gives students the opportunity to examine their coursework in the context of the service they provide to their community and, in a broader sense, the impact they can have on the world. Research has shown that students participating in service learning have a higher comprehension of the course material and also develop an awareness of their local community and the issues it faces. In engineering, there are many examples of service-learning programs ranging from freshman introductory courses to senior capstone courses. Despite their successes, an area that the engineering education community has yet to fully develop is the reflection component of service learning. This paper addresses the development of reflection activities and materials in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program at Purdue University. EPICS engages students in long-term design projects that provide technical solutions to problems faced by local community service organizations. It is a multidisciplinary (composed of students from 20 majors), vertically integrated (freshman-senior), engineering-based design course. Students design, build, test, and deploy projects meeting the specific needs of their community partners. Reflection has been integrated in the EPICS program through curricular activities and key milestones of the course. These activities guide students through the reflection process on a variety of topics. Critical reflection on the design process and teaming complement those on more traditional areas of ethics and social context to enhance a student’s service- learning experience. This paper presents an overview of the reflection activities that have been developed, interpretations of student reflections from these activities, and plans to evolve the reflection component in EPICS.

INTRODUCTION Service-learning is a pedagogy in which students engage in activities that address societal needs while simultaneously addressing student learning objectives. Necessary, and to distinguish itself from community service, is a reflection component [1], [2]. Students gain an appreciation for the role they can as an engineer can play in society by reflecting on various socioeconomic and ethical factors.

Traditional modes of reflection include journal writing and group discussions [3]. Journal writing provides a safe environment for students to express their thoughts and feelings. Group discussions present an opportunity to express one’s views and to learn from other points of view. Students can also reflect on the impact they have by answering reflection worksheets. When designing service-learning

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Jamieson, L., & Zoltowski, C., & DeRego, F., & Slivovsky, L., & Oakes, W. (2004, June), An Analysis Of The Reflection Component In The Epics Model Of Service Learning Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13299

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