As part of an instructional design course, EDCI 572 (Learning Systems Design), we completed a service project developing a face-to-face training for volunteer coordinators for United Way of Greater Lafayette. United Way promotes activities to encourage civic engagement and make a positive change in the community. A network of community members and organizations facilitate a larger community impact in collaboration with United Way. One part of this partnership is the United Way training for volunteer coordinators of different nonprofit organizations. Under the supervision of Dr. Seçil Caskurlu, we applied instructional design models to design and develop face-to-face training modules in consultation with a subject matter expert. This face-to-face training covered four topics: skill-based volunteering, recruitment, retention, and recognition. Students gained several skills from this service project, including experience in developing and creating learning solutions that drive measurable impact to the organization and align to organization’s and learner’s needs; experience in developing face-to-face learning experiences; experience applying instructional design models; communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills; and strong organizational and time management skills. Thus, this authentic learning experience helped us develop instructional design skills by building practical knowledge and hands-on experience. Additionally, we received funding from the Community Service/Service-Learning Student Grant Program, which was used to support a showcase event where we presented this service project and shared our experiences. This event had the objectives of increasing awareness of course-based service projects, potentially creating new partnerships within the community, and allowing students to practice public speaking skills. In this service project, not only were concepts and theories taught, but they were applied to a real-world context and went beyond the conventional hypothetical classroom scenarios. The challenge to work for a real client, that helps communities grow, added an extra motivation to do our best.
Vilarinho-Pereira, Daniela Rezende; Ramoutar, Shivani; and Justus, Emily J.
"Working with the Community: Reflections from an Instructional Design Service-Learning Project,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 7
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol7/iss1/6