Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 5-2013


Steimel, S. J. (2013). Community Partners' Assessment of Service Learning in an Interpersonal and Small Group Communication Course. Communication Teacher, 1-15. doi: 10.1080/17404622.2013.798017


Copyright © 2013 National Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


This assessment explored community partners’ perceptions of service learning in a required communication course. Semi-structured interviews revealed that community partners believed that students were providing needed and valuable service, students were learning about the community and students were learning through their application of course skills in an applied context. However, community partners also felt that students were unaware of or did not care what they should be learning, that faculty contact was rare or nonexistent and that community feedback opportunities were rare and undervalued by faculty. Results suggest specific improvements necessary in service learning assignment design.