Assessing Community Impact After Service-Learning: A Conceptual Framework

Robin Stanley SNELL, Ka Hing LAU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


Academic institutions that adopt service-learning seek to integrate students’ experiential learning with community service, yet the community impacts of service-learning have not been systematically studied. The scarcity of such studies may reflect the lack of a conceptual model for impact assessment and failure to investigate the end-beneficiary’s perspective. This study proposes a conceptual framework, in which the community impact of service-learning is analysed from three perspectives: that of the community partner, the end-beneficiary, and the service-learning intervention itself. We identify three impact domains salient for the community partner: the level of capacity for service provision; goals achieved and values furthered; and new knowledge and insights gained. For impact domains salient for the end-beneficiary, we present a needs fulfilment matrix, integrated with the concept of quality of life. The conceptual framework can accommodate community impacts generated for the community partner, the end-beneficiary, and the interactions between them. Examples of how to measure particular components are also provided. Challenges in applying the framework to assess the impact of service-learning projects are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationService-Learning Capacity Enhancement in Hong Kong Higher Education
EditorsGrace NGAI, Daniel T.L. SHEK
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789811924378
ISBN (Print)9789811924361
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameQuality of Life in Asia
ISSN (Print)2211-0550
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0569

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
 financial support

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.


  • Service-learning
  • Community impacts
  • The community partner
  • The end-beneficiary
  • Needs fulfillment
  • Needs fulfilment


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