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Evaluation & Research

Evaluation and Assessment Tools

Title: Assessing Internal and External Outcomes of Service-Learning Collaborations.


Abstract: A resource that provides critical insights from community college and university faculty for enhancing and improving service-learning programs. From institutional self-assessments to assessing the community impact, this sourcebook provides the tools necessary to improve your service-learning program. ($20) Availability: Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges, 145 N. Centennial Way, Suite 108, Mesa Arizona 85201. 


Title: Assessment Packet for the Florida Campus Compact


Abstract: This packet contains information on assessing service-learning programs and includes forms and questionnaires for faculty, students, and agencies. Contains examples from other institutions as well as their own forms. Available for purchase at the Center for Service-Learning at Brevard Community College (407-632-1111, ext. 62410). Order forms can be accessed through the website. 

Title: Campus Compact: Building the Service-Learning Pyramid


Abstract: This website acts as a guide to service-learning and engaging citizens by providing service-learning and civic education resources and toolkits. There are toolkits for introductory, intermediate and advanced levels which also include articles and instruments for assessment.

Title: Compendium of Assessment and Research Tools (CART)


Abstract: RMC research, a partner in W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Learning in Deed Initiative, administers this website which provides assessments and research tools designed to assist those who have an interest in studying the effectiveness of youth development programs (such as service-learning) and related educational activities. CART users can find a tool that is appropriate for their interests or they can locate an existing tool to guide their development of an instrument better suited to their research questions.

Title: Doing Self-Directed Study for Service-Learning

Authors: Shumer, Robert & Berkas, Thomas
ERIC NO: ED417997

Abstract: This workbook is designed to introduce service-learning practitioners to the evaluation process and to help practitioners generate a local support network. The design portion guides the practitioner through a self-directed study for their own program and is formatted for use with or without a formal training session. The workbook portion guides production of a needs analysis, writing a formal study, and reporting results. Available from the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, University of Minnesota, R460 Vocational Technology Education Building, 1954 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108.

Title: Evaluation and Assessment in Service-Learning


Abstract: A resource for those involved in service-learning who want to improve both their programs and their awareness of the far-reaching as well as the immediate impacts their programs have. This compilation includes both the why and the how of assessing service-learning programs and impacts, including student pre and post-tests, surveys and resources. Availability: Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges, 145 N. Centennial Way, Suite 108, Mesa Arizona 85201. 

Glendale Community College: Service-Learning Web


Abstract: This website contains information on service-learning including benefits, how to get started, creating timelines, and developing learning plans. Faculty, students and agencies can access examples of forms, including evaluation.

Methods and Strategies for Assessing Service-Learning in the Health Professions.

Authors: A.F. Shinnamon, S.B. Gelmon, and B.A. Holland.

URL: , or by calling 415-476-7081.

Abstract: A workbook of assessment methods used in the HPSISN evaluation.

Title: Service-Learning: Prescriptions for Success from Birth to Maturity

Authors: Kearns, Lynette & Haley, Alanna
Availability: Center for Service-Learning at Brevard Community College

Abstract: This resource provides examples of service-learning components such as mission and goals, examples of job descriptions, syllabi, and forms.

Evaluation of programs and courses

(organized in chronological order)

Title: The Art and Science of Classroom Assessment: The Missing Part of Pedagogy

Authors: Brookhart, Susan M.

Year: 1999
Availability: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, v.27, n. 1.
Abstract: This volume contains a description of effective assessment of students' achievement in college and university classes. Definitions of terms found in assessment are provided and examples of use are shown. The volume provides insights into three areas challenging the academy: professional standards of assessment, outcomes assessment and grade inflation. The book also summarizes the literature on classroom assessment in higher education, explains methods of assessment, delineates the development of good assessment instruments and scoring procedures, reviews grading strategies and provides several models for achieving the goal of quality classroom assessment and resources for faculty to improve assessment skills.

Title: Assessment in Higher Education: Issues of access, quality, student development and public policy: a festschrift in honor of Warren W. Willingham.
Authors: Messick, Samuel J., ed.

Year: 1999

Availability: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 10 Industrial Ave., Mahwah, NJ 07430
Abstract: This volume commemorates the career contributions to research on higher education of Warren W. Willingham. The volume contains the proceedings of a conference held in his honor at Educational Testing Service in March 1995. Willingham's work addresses most of the major issues that occupied higher education over the past half century. The volume contains chapters that address the following issues: enhancing student access, development and success in higher education; transforming admissions testing to meet expanding educational needs; resolving the politics of accountability by assessing quality outcomes of higher education; accommodating human diversity with equity and fairness; and, capitalizing on computer and audiovisual technology to prepare students for a technology-dominated future.

Title: Doing Well by Doing Good: A Study of the Effects of a Service-Learning Experience on Student Success. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper. 
Authors: Berson, Judith S; Younkin, William F.

Year: 1998
Availability: ERIC No. ED427568
Abstract: This study explores the effects of service-learning on student success in college. The study consisted of 286 students enrolled in six paired community college courses in various disciplines. One section of each pair was taught using traditional subject matter and course material, while the other section of each pair was required to participate in a 20 hour service-learning activity in addition to the regular course curriculum. The results indicated that students who participated in the sections with a service-learning requirement achieved higher final course grades and reported greater satisfaction with the course.

Title: Community-University Partnerships for Mutual Learning.
Authors: S.B. Gelmon, B.A. Holland, S.D. Seifer, A. Shinnamon and K. Connors.

Availability: Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning 5 (Fall 1998): 97-107. Abstract: An article from HPSISN evaluation specifically on evaluation of community-university partnerships and findings.

Health Professions Schools in Service to the Nation: 1996-1998 Evaluation Report. 
Authors: S.B. Gelmon, B.A. Holland and A.F. Shinnamon. San Francisco: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, 1998.

URL:  , or by calling 415-476-7081. 
Abstract: Report of the evaluation of a three year, 20 site national demonstration program (HPSISN) on integrating service-learning into health professions education (single disciplines and interdisciplinary).

Title: Service-Learning: Perceptions of Pre-service Teachers
Authors: McMahon, Rebecca. 

Availability: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, November 4-6, 1998).
ERIC No. ED 431678
Abstract: A study used qualitative data for gaining insight into preservice teachers' experiences and perceptions related to service-learning. Subjects were undergraduate students enrolled in two sections of an early childhood course. Data analysis revealed a favorable perspective toward service-learning. Academic benefits cited ranged from clarifying an individual's choice of major to observing or applying information present in university courses. Additionally, participants communicated learning outcomes in regard to each individual, the community, and children.

Title: What are Students Learning? Assessing Service-Learning and the Curriculum
Authors: Blash Cumbo, Kathryn; Jennifer A. Vadeboncouer.

Year: 1998
Availability: American Educational Research Association; 1230 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-3078; Telephone: 202-223-9485. 
Abstract: This paper explores the meaning of learning in service by explicating how service-learning links to current standards based reform agendas and how the academic learning associated with service-learning can be assessed by teachers, professors, and community agency personnel. Cumbo and Vadeboncoeur seek to show how service-learning can help produce a system of learning, teaching, and assessment that embraces democratic ideals, addresses real world issues, evaluates learning and teaching in authentic ways, and is based on high academic standards.

Title: Evaluating Outcomes of Service-Learning Courses at a Parochial College
Authors: Fenzel, L. Mickey; Leary, Timothy P.

Year: 1997
Availability: ERIC: ED410281
Abstract: Many colleges and universities are using a service-learning paradigm to structure service-learning experiences for their students to reinforce and enhance the understanding of course material. Two studies were undertaken at a parochial college to address the benefits to students who perform service as part of their curriculum studies. Results demonstrate the difficulties of demonstrating benefits of service-learning, but show the using comparison groups is a useful approach. 

Title: Assessment Model for Service-Learning: Comprehensive Case Studies of Impact on Faculty, Students, Community, and Institution
Authors: Driscoll, Amy; Barbara Holland, Barbara.

Year: 1996
Availability: Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning. Fall 1996. Article 7, p.66-71; 
Abstract: A comprehensive case study model of assessment developed at Portland State University responds to the need to measure the impact of service-learning on four constituencies (student, faculty, community, and institution). The case studies blend quantitative and qualitative measures in order to determine the most effective and practical tools to measure the impact of service-learning impact and to provide feedback for continuous improvement of practice. Insights from the design process and preliminary results have potential value for institutions with similar agendas for service-learning and community partnerships. 

Title: Faculty Assessment of Student Learning: Outcomes Attributed to Service-Learning and Evidence of Changes in Faculty Attitudes About Experiential Education
Author: Hesser, Garry.

Year: 1995
Availability: Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning, v2 p33-42 Fall 1995
Abstract: Results of a survey of 48 college faculty from diverse disciplines and institutions support the hypothesis that faculty feel that both liberal arts and disciplinary learning derive from field study and service-learning, suggesting a shift in faculty attitudes about service-learning from skeptical to affirming. It is proposed that experiential learning and reflective practice have become established in higher education.

Title: The Effectiveness of the Assessment of Learning Outcomes of Students in Experiential Learning Programs
Authors: Davis, Donald Raymond.

Year: 1988
Availability: Dissertation, Southern Illinois University
Abstract: This study traced the development of the assessment of experiential learning from 1974 to 1986 and identified the most effective tools and techniques used to measure the learning outcomes of students in experiential learning programs. The study asked 206 instructors and administrators of experiential learning about their program implementation data, purpose of assessment activities, types of assessment tools and the effectiveness of those assessment tools. Results indicate that written assessment was deemed the most effective tool for experiential education. Program improvement remains as a prime purpose of assessment and evaluation in experiential education.

Title: Instruments and Scoring Guide of the Experiential Education Evaluation Project.
Authors: Conrad, Dan and Hedin, Diane.

Year: 1981
Availablility: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, University of Minnesota, 1954 Buford Ave., Room 460, VoTech Building, St. Paul, MN 55108, 1-800-808-7378.
Abstract: As a result of the Experiential Education Evaluation project, this publication identified instruments used to measure and assesses experiential learning programs. The following information is given for each instrument: rationale for its inclusion in the study; precise issues or outcomes designed to measure validity and reliability data; and directions on how to score. Descriptions of assessment tools are organized according to four categories: instruments on social development; instruments on psychological development; instruments on intellectual development and instruments on differential program impact.

Title: Principles of Good Practice in Assessing Experiential Learning.
Authors: Willingham, Warren H.

Year: 1977
Availability: ERIC ED. 148840
Abstract: The Cooperative Assessment of Experiential Learning project (CAEL) has developed general principles for assessment of prior experiential learning which can be adapted for local circumstances and individual learning. An overview of the basic principles of good assessment practice, as represented in current CAEL publications is provided. Procedural guidelines are presented, with references to fuller discussion in other CAEL reports.

Title: Strategies for Institutionalizing Evaluation: Revisited. 
Authors: Stufflebeam, Daniel. 

Abstract: Every service organization needs to conduct sound evaluations to identify and address constituents needs, improve services, make defensible personnel decisions, effectively serve clients, and earn client confidence. This article posits that an organization can best meet its evaluation needs by institutionalizing a sound unified evaluation system. While the article focuses on educational organizations, its message applies to the full range of organizations dedicated to serving clients. To assist organizations to define one general approach to program, client, and personnel evaluation, the article presents two checklists. The first defines 18 goals of a sound, unified evaluation system. The second checklist defines 10 components of a fully functional evaluation system. Available: The paper may be purchased by sending a check or money order for US$5 to The Evaluation Center, 401B Ellsworth Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5178. 



The Learn & Serve America National Service-Learning Clearinghouse at ETR Associates ( houses a searchable database, with thousands of abstracted articles on service-learning. Here are a few of the more well-known works. 

Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) Research 

How Service-Learning Affects Students 

The two major goals of this study were to explore the comparative effects of service- learning and community service on the cognitive and effective development of college undergraduates, and to enhance our understanding of how learning is enhanced by service. 


HERI Studies Related to Service-Learning

Antonio, A. L., Astin, H. S., and Cress, C. M. (2000). "Community service
in higher education: A look at the nation's faculty." Review of Higher Education, 23, (4) 373-398.

Astin, A. W. (1975).  Preventing students from dropping out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Astin, A. W. (1977). Four critical years. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Astin, A. W. (1984). "Student involvement: A development theory for higher education". Journal College Student Personnel 25, 297-308.

Astin, A. W. (1991). Assessment for excellence: The philosophy and practice of assessment and evaluation in higher education. New York: Macmillan/Onyx.

Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Astin, A. W. (1996). "The role of service in higher education". About Campus, 1 (1), 14-19.

Astin, A. W. and Ikeda, E. K. (2000). "Institutional commitment to service: An analysis of Campus Compact membership." Unpublished manuscript, Higher Education Research Institute.

Astin, A. W. and Sax, L. J. (1998). "How undergraduates are affected by service participation". Journal of College Student Development 39 (3), 251-263.

Astin, A. W., Sax, L. J., and Avalos, J. (1999). "Long-term effects of volunteerism during the undergraduate years."  The Review of Higher Education 22 (2), 187-202.

Astin, H. S., Antonio, A. L., Cress, C. M., and Astin, A. W. (1996). 
Faculty involvement in community service. Los Angeles: Higher Education
Research Institute, UCLA. Report for RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.

Ikeda, E.K. (1999). How does service enhance learning? Towards an understanding of the process. Unpublished Dissertation.

Sax, L. J. and Astin, A. W. (1997). "The benefits of service: Evidence from undergraduates". Educational Record 78: 25-32.

Sax, L. J., Astin, A. W., and Astin, H. S. (1996). What were LSAHE impacts on student volunteers? Chapter in Evaluation of Learn and Serve America, Higher Education: First Year Report. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Higher Education Service-Learning Research Publications

The Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning 

The MJCSL is refereed journal that publishes articles related to service-learning theory, pedagogy and practice.

Title: Institutional Support for Service-Learning. 
Authors: Serow, Robert C. and others 

Availability Journal of Research and Development in Education; v29 n4 p220-25 Sum 1996
ERIC NO: EJ535020 
Abstract: This study identified factors associated with support for service-learning (SL) among institutions of higher education. Surveys of SL programs in North Carolina indicated that institutionalization of SL was closely associated with such institutional characteristics as degree of faculty involvement and emphasis on academic goals in SL courses.

Title: Service-Learning and Student Volunteerism: Reflections on Institutional Commitment
Author: Ward, Kelly 

Availability Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning; v3 p55-65, Fall 1996 
ERIC NO: EJ552444 
Abstract: A study examined how five colleges and universities with stated commitments to public service incorporate volunteerism and service-learning into organizational structures. Results suggest that institutions that make centralized decisions and share governance are more apt to institutionalize service-learning than are more loosely coupled systems. Faculty participation, integration of service-learning into curriculum, presidential support, and adequate funding are key elements.

Title: Problems, Politics, And Possibilities of a Progressive Approach to Service-Learning in a Community College: A Case Study
Author: Kevin Burr

Available: Journal of Industrial Teacher Education v36 n3, Spr 1999. 
Abstract: This study revealed that progressive service-learning concepts can be ideally utilized in a community college environment. These learning methods lend themselves most specifically to technical career options in community colleges and are in line with the emphasis in the community college mission statement that focuses on career preparation and community involvement.

Bringle, R.G., & Hatcher, J.A. (1996). "Implementing service-learning in higher education". Journal of Higher Education, 67: 221-239.

Bringle, R. G., & Hatcher, J. A. (2000). "Institutionalization of service-learning in higher education". Journal of Higher Education, 71(3): 273-290.