Assessing the Impact of Community-Based Learning on Students: The Community Based Learning Impact Scale (CBLIS)


  • Shauna K. Carlisle University of Washington Bothell
  • Karen Gourd University of Washington Bothell
  • Safaa Rajkhan University of Washington Bothell
  • Keith Nitta University of Washington Bothell


Community-based learning integrates problem-based service-learning, volunteerism, and experiential learning across a variety of disciplines in academic and community-based settings.  The Community-Based Learning Impact Scale is an instrument developed to measure the impact of community-based learning on a liberal arts university campus. Scale items were generated from focus groups, literature, and existing scales. The goal of this pilot test was to refine wording and scale format while providing preliminary results for the utility of the scale.  The instrument is a 43-item measure with 33 items representing proposed constructs civic engagement, institutional/community relations, academic learning, psychological wellbeing, and professional development. An end-of-quarter email was sent to students enrolled in CBL courses asking them to participate in an online survey assessing their CBL experiences.  One hundred and ninety-seven students responded to this survey: 77% undergraduate and 23% graduate students.  Results revealed that, overall; students reported that their CBL experience increased their capacities across multiple personal and professional indicators. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis suggested that a 3-factor model fit the data better than the proposed 5-factor model.

Author Biographies

Shauna K. Carlisle, University of Washington Bothell

Assistant Professor

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences


Karen Gourd, University of Washington Bothell

School of Educational Studies

Senior Lecturer


Safaa Rajkhan, University of Washington Bothell

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences


Keith Nitta, University of Washington Bothell

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Associate Professor