Service-learning is an experiential pedagogy designed to benefit all stakeholders, comprising students, educational institutions, instructors, and perhaps more importantly, community partner organizations (CPOs) and the community as a whole. Through serving the community via the CPO, students consolidate their knowledge and skills while applying these in real-life situations. Effective service-learning, therefore, should demonstrate community impact as a result.
However, the community impacts arising from service-learning have not been well demonstrated in past research. One reason for this has been the lack of an effective, standardized tool for measuring the impacts. To address this problem, Lingnan University, in collaboration with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University, and The Education University of Hong Kong, consolidated relevant research findings into a conceptual framework about the community impact of service-learning, from which the Community Impact Feedback Questionnaire (CIFQ) has been developed.
The primary objective of the CIFQ is to serve as a standardized and reliable assessment tool for measuring the extent to which a service-learning project is perceived to have various kinds of community impact. The CIFQ is also designed to capture community impacts from the service recipients’ perspective, via the CPO as the service recipients' proxy.
This manual explains the process of how the CIFQ was developed and validated. It also explains how the CIFQ should be administered and scored, and how its results can be interpreted. We envisage that if the CIFQ can be widely adopted, a more complete and reliable data set regarding community impacts arising from service-learning can be obtained. A fuller picture of the community impacts arising from service-learning can help inform how to further advance this experiential learning methodology, and how to derive further benefits for CPOs and the wider community.