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      Student Perceptions of Academic Service Learning in the Online Public Health Classroom: A Pilot Study

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          Introduction: Online learning is increasingly common in university programmatic offerings, particularly in fields that often require human or social services such as public health. Academic Service Learning (ASL) is a strategy frequently implemented in traditional, face-to-face courses to promote community and civic engagement and to improve learning outcomes for students by connecting coursework to the related professional field. Given the ubiquity of online courses, however, more needs to be known about the role ASL can play in the web-based classroom. Methods: In 2016-2017, a pilot study was conducted to determine student perceptions toward ASL including civic engagement, course satisfaction, and satisfaction with ASL experiences using a mixed-methods design. Participants (n=32) were students enrolled in two health related undergraduate courses that required a service learning project. Results: The findings suggest that students’ ASL experience is generally positive and is expressed in a variety of ways. There are several challenges, to implementing ASL in the online course setting that should be considered. Conclusions: This paper presents student feedback and explores challenges and opportunities presented by offering ASL experiences in the online classroom, particularly in health and human services academic disciplines. Keywords: Academic Service Learning, Online Learning, Online Andragogy, Public Health Education

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          Author and article information

          Spotlight on Exploratory Research in Health
          Exploratory Research in Health
          Spotlight on Research
          August 29 2019
          [1 ]Central Washington University, Department of Health Sciences
          [2 ]Central Washington University, Department of Health Science
          © 2019

          The license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ lets others remix, adapt, and build upon the work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge the source and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.


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