June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Community Engagement Division
24.689.1 - 24.689.11
Immersive Community Engagement ExperienceAs the number of community engagement efforts increase, it is important to understand theimpact of these experiences to inform best practices and to ensure that the efforts are positivelybenefitting all of the stakeholders. Although our program is well-established, engagingmultidisciplinary teams of students in community-based design projects, we continue to offernew opportunities and take a research-informed approach to evaluating these opportunities.Our program has intentionally focused on long-term partnerships and local community partnersbecause of the learning benefits afforded through the ability to engage with community partnersmore regularly. Previous studies have indicated that understanding the nature of thoseinteractions is important. For example, research suggests that critical experiences (where designassumptions are confronted) and immersive experiences are needed to develop morecomprehensive ways of understanding design. These kinds of experience include internationaltrips to experience the culture of a partner community.This past summer our service-learning design program had the opportunity to offer a localimmersive design experience to a group of 13 students from a variety of majors in a camp forchildren with disabilities. The students completed one week on campus, then traveled to a campfor a week where they ate meals and interacted with the campers and met with variousstakeholders. The students then returned to campus to continue work on the designs.Throughout this course, the students completed daily reflections on their experiences, describingwhat they learned, how they learned it, and the impact of that learning.This paper describes the immersive experience and examines its impact on student learningthrough analyses of the student reflections and course evaluations. In addition, it describes howthese findings can inform this program specifically, as well as courses and programs that engagein design using a service-learning pedagogy.
Zoltowski, C. B., & Cummings, A. T., & Oakes, W. C. (2014, June), Immersive Community Engagement Experience Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20581
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