Evaluating Service-Learning Impacts on University Students’ Developmental Outcomes through Control Group Study

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)


A control group study with a mixed method approach was conducted at Lingnan University in 2017-18 for investigating differences in developmental gains between students who engaged in Service-Learning (S-L) and those who did not, and for identifying factors affecting students’ learning. The quantitative study involved 250 S-L and 169 Non- S-L students, who were matched for both course and instructor, and who completed pretest and posttest questionnaires in 2017-18. In the qualitative study, 61 students from 16 courses with S-L elements participated in the focus groups in the same period. S-L students reported greater improvements than non-S-L students in 6 out of 7 developmental domains (subject-related knowledge, communication skills, social competence, organization skills, problem-solving skills, and civic orientation). Students also mentioned that S-L projects provided more opportunities for their development through interaction with stakeholders and real-life knowledge application. In addition, some critical factors were indicated for improving the design and implementation of S-L projects. This study contributes further evidence to support S-L as an effective pedagogy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning : Proceedings
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Polytechnic University
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019
EventThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 10 Jan 201912 Jan 2019


ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning
Abbreviated titleICSL2019
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address


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