Meeting Students Where They Are: Introducing Service-Learning with Digital Media to Increase Self-Efficacy for Future Community Engagement

Jamie J Peterson, Joshua Haringa, Martha J Malinski, Janet Bishop, Hilary Stein


This study evaluated the efficacy of using digital media to introduce service-learning to undergraduate and graduate students.  Students, faculty, and community engagement staff created two videos that introduced students to either a one-time or a semester-long service-learning assignment. Service-learning courses were matched for degree level, and then half of the classes viewed a video when the service-learning project was assigned. The authors hypothesized that students who viewed digital media would have higher self-efficacy for community engagement and a more positive service-learning experience than students who did not view the digital media.  Results from the Community Service Self-Efficacy Scale and responses to questions about the service-learning experiences confirmed our hypotheses. Students who viewed the digital media had higher self-efficacy for engaging in their service-learning experiences initially, and these students also described a more engaged service-learning experience compared to students who did not view the digital media.


service-learning, digital media, self-efficacy, civic engagement

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