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2009 TeleLearning Seminars

Learning for a Change - Thursday, 29 October, 2009

Research for What?: Making Inquiry Matter - Friday, 9 October, 2009

creating and sustaining a Community Service-Learning program - Friday, 25 September, 2009

International Engaged Learning: Intercordia Canada - A Unique Model - Wednesday, 16 September, 2009

University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations: Is there a role for CSL? - Tuesday, 18 August, 2009

Service-Learning & Education for Sustainable Development - Friday, 14 August, 2009

Teaching for social change: CSL course design - Tuesday, 9 June

Engaging faculty in community service-learning - Thursday, 21 May

What are we learning about community service-learning in Canada? - Tuesday, 28 April



Learning for a Change: Approaches, Ideas and Discussion about CSL, Citizenship Development, and Social Change

This Seminar took place on Thursday, 29 October, 2009


Anne Docherty, Storytellers’ Foundation

Kerri Klein, Canadian Community Economic Development Network


The Community Development Service Learning (CDSL) project was created to explore how intentional learning opportunities could further the goals of social change within Community Economic Development (CED)arenas across Canada.   CED is an alternative to conventional approaches to economic development. It is founded on the belief that problems facing communities - unemployment, poverty, job loss, environmental degradation and loss of community control - need to be addressed in a holistic and participatory way.


Specifically, we looked at the different ways that CED organizations use learning in order to build the skills, knowledge and confidence of local people to act for social, economic, environmental and political change. In this project we describe learning as something we do in order to understand the world around us. We recognize a spectrum of learning environments available to community organizations. We consider these environments education structures in that they offer activities for learning to be fostered. We see CSL as one example of an education structure that bridges the learning spectrum.


FORMAL                              NON-FORMAL                         INFORMAL




The project organized activities over two years around a set of four goals. Two of the goals led us to explore relationships with CSL practitioners:


Project Findings


Over the past two years we've learned how CED  organizations have used learning as a bridge to integrate the principles of CED (i.e. participation, sustainability, community-based, asset-based, self-reliance) with outcomes of community change (e.g. decreased poverty, strong local economies, environmental well being, etc.)


We've learned how the act of learning, especially informal learning, shines a light on all aspects of our development (i.e. Values development, skills development, emotional development and interpersonal development)  rather than only our cognitive development. This in turn heightens people's intent and motivation to belong to a movement of change rather than only deliver a service or perform a job. We recognize this as citizen development.


We believe that informal learning (the learning of daily life) is rarely tapped in to as a resource for citizen development. We also believe that reflective practice increases an individual's awareness of informal learning and that reflective practice moves the act of learning from transactional to transformational.


 In January 2009 we hosted a one day meeting in Toronto with members of two national associations (CACSL and CCEDNet) Following this meeting  we hosted a series of tele-learning calls with 3 CSL partnerships. These calls included CSL faculty and/or staff and a CED organization that hosts CSL students.  Learning from these calls included:


A conversation has started between community organizations and university/college staff on the possibilities of creating a reflective process to include all people involved in the CSL transaction. The belief is this would bring CSL closer to citizenship development. It would also increase opportunity for the community organization to name the change it is part of which in turn allows students to see themselves as engaged citizens working towards greater social change rather than only a student performing a task  for a grade.


However, one of our discoveries in this project was that while many community organizations are operating from their own theories of change, their informal learning approaches are often implicit and not necessarily embedded in the structure of the organization.  Thus, it is difficult for organizations to engage in transformational learning partnerships unless they also have the capacity to be intentional about their own learning.


From our conversations with people involved in CSL we've learned that the goal of CSL is to:


On this upcoming call we want hear more about the goals of CSL and we want to learn more about:


They have produced a variety of resources from project activities that will be housed on an on-line learning site.

Click here for Program Information in Adobe Acrobat pdf format

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 1)

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 2)

Click here to view the new on-line resources for community learning currently being developed


Research for What?: Making Inquiry Matter

This Seminar took place on Friday, 9 October, 2009


John Saltmarsh - Chair, IARSLCE - Director, New England Resource Center for Higher Education

Andrew Furco - Associate Vice President for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota

Jeffrey P. Howard - Editor, Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning & Assistant Director for Academic and Faculty Development at DePaul University

Sarena D. Seifer - Founding Executive Director, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health

Barbara Holland - Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Engagement), University of Western Sydney, Australia

Tony Chambers - Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Higher Education, Theory and Policy Studies & Director, Centre for the Study of Students in Postsecondary Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto

Cobie Rudd - Associate Dean-Health, Faculty of Computing, Health and Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia

Patti H. Clayton - Consultant, PHC Ventures & Senior Scholar, Center for Service and Learning, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

The panel discussion will take place as a luncheon event during our one day Pan-Canadian CSL Symposium, being held on Friday, 9 October, 2009 in conjunction with the Ninth Annual International Research Conference on Service-Learning and Community Engagement at the Westin Ottawa Hotel.  Panel participants will be invited to present their thoughts on the purpose and potential of research on service-learning and community engagement.  Our guests will have approximately 5 minutes each to describe their own service-learning and community-engagement research interests, their perspective on how this has evolved over the past few years, and their vision for the future, addressing the theme of “Making Inquiry Matter”.  We expect that this panel will provide a unique and exciting preview to the Ninth Annual IRCSLCE Conference starting the next day and enrich our own Pan-Canadian CSL Symposium from a research perspective.  Sponsored by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar

Click here to view images from the event in Adobe Acrobat pdf format

Creating and sustaining a Community Service-Learning Program

This Seminar took place on Friday, 25 September, 2009

Sara Dorow, Director, Community Service-Learning, University of Alberta

Karsten Mündel, Director, Learning and Beyond, Augustana Campus - University of Alberta

Joanne Muzak, Special Projects Manager Community Service Learning and Instructor in Women's Studies, University of Alberta

Lorraine Woollard, Administrative Director, Community Service-Learning, University of Alberta

The goal of this seminar is to explore institutional structures for CSL that can facilitate the sustainability and institutionalization of CSL and university-community engagement. This may include creating CSL centres or offices, dedicating staff or faculty positions, and establishing advisory councils. Presenters from the University of Alberta will describe how their CSL programs have evolved in two different campuses, what has worked and not worked, and guide participants through some key questions to consider when thinking through implementing CSL in a post-secondary institution. 

Click here for Additional Resources and References

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 1)

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 2)


International Engaged Learning: Intercordia Canada - A Unique Model

This Seminar took place on Wednesday, 16 September, 2009

Joe Vorstermans – Director of Intercordia Canada

David Peacock – Coordinator, Engaged Learning at St Thomas More College - University of Saskatchewan

Carolyn Wright – Intercordia program alumni from St Thomas More College, who went to Ecuador in 2008

University students across Canada graduate with well educated minds. Intercordia Canada’s concern is that this achievement be matched by the equally important education of the heart. In the course of their university education, students must let the gritty reality of this world enter their lives, so they can feel it, think about it critically and engage it constructively. When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.

Intercordia Canada is an engaged learning program that partners with Canadian universities and numerous grassroots international organizations around the globe to offer students an accredited learning experience designed to educate the heart and the mind. The program’s goal is to encourage students to work for positive change in Canadian/global affairs from a perspective that is rooted in compassion and appreciation of diversity.

Intercordia Canada offers universities a “turn key” program, assuming all the complexity, cost and risk of creating international placements and providing the students with the pedagogical and practical preparation needed to engage an international, cross cultural experience. This allows the universities to concentrate on the academic element of service learning. The program is flexible enough to dovetail with a variety of university programs and subjects.

The program is composed of five key learning components:

Intercordia’s international placement partners are small, grassroots organizations directed and staffed by local people who are responding to the needs and challenges of their community. They currently have more than 15 opportunities available in 9 countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Each international partner is responsible to select the host families, integrate the students into their work project and provide support to ensure that the students have a safe and challenging experience during their three month sojourn. 

Intercordia provides a complete service to support international service-learning opportunities for universities and colleges in Canada.  Participants in this seminar will learn about the effectiveness of these programs and ways in which your institution can partner with Intercordia to provide unique engaged learning opportunities for students.    

Click here to view the Intercordia website at www.intercordiacanada.org

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 1)

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 2)


University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations: Is there a role for CSL?

This seminar took place on Tuesday, 18 August, 2009

Maureen Connolly, past Director - Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Educational Technologies, Brock University

Joy Mighty, Director - Centre for Teaching and Learning, Queen's University

Ros Woodhouse, Academic Director - Centre for Support of Teaching, York University

In response to a national initiative to state degree expectations, the Executive Heads of Ontario’s publicly assisted universities asked the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (OCAV) to prepare a framework to reflect expectations of performance by the graduates of the Baccalaureate/Bachelors programs of Ontario’s universities.  The degree level expectations in OCAV’s “Guidelines” elaborate the intellectual and creative development of students and the acquisition of relevant skills that have been widely, yet implicitly, understood.  These guidelines were originally approved by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) in December, 2005, updated in September, 2007, and are currently being implemented by Ontario Universities through the periodic review and updating of degree programs. 

A review of the guidelines suggests numerous examples of University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations and Competencies that might be effectively addressed by CSL:

The goal of this seminar is to provide information about emerging degree level expectations and to discuss the potential role that Community Service-Learning might play in meeting these guidelines in a variety of disciplines.  Participants will be invited to share their own experience and perspective.   

Click here to view the OCAV UUDLE Guidelines in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 1)

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 2)

*NEW* - York University has created this generic resource for Curriculum Development to support UUDLE's


Service-Learning & Education for Sustainable Development

This Seminar took place on Friday, 14 August, 2009

Dr. Tania Smith, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary

Breanna Fitzpatrick, senior undergraduate student in Communications Studies, University of Calgary

Dr. Smith and Ms. Fitzpatrick will share their research findings from a directed study course taking place this summer. The course explores how partnerships forged through Community Service-Learning (CSL) projects may contribute to community and organizational change and learning in the area of "sustainable development.” Their research this summer primarily involved literature review and reflections on experiential learning, and may also involve a few pilot interviews. The directed study course General Studies 501.53 is intended to help support the development of future Canada-wide research and communication on the community and organizational impacts of CSL.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is defined and led by a Canadian national organization for ESD, Learning for a Sustainable Future http://www.lsf-lst.ca/en/what-is-esd. "Sustainable development" is defined by the United Nations as a multi-stakeholder process aiming for environmental, economic, and social sustainability in a region.

A preliminary review of the literature shows significant links between the Community Service Learning (CSL) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) movements. They include 1) a broad view of life-long learning which occurs not only in educational institutions but in "informal and nonformal" settings such as organizations and communities, 2) a shared interest in developing equitable and effective university-community partnerships for learning and research in sustainable development, 3) a goal to transform higher education to include community-based and experiential learning for sustainable development, and 4) a respect for the financial and time costs of establishing and maintaining ESD/CSL initiatives and a need for contributions from all stakeholders, including governments and businesses.

Despite their shared values, processes and aims, at present the CSL movement and the ESD movement rarely make mention of each other. Some CSL partnerships explicitly address challenges through the lens of Sustainable Development -- this usually occurs when it is a strong interest of the discipline or community organization. A larger percentage of CSL partnerships are likely to have "sustainable development"-related impacts without naming and conceptualizing them as such.

The presenters wish to place their research findings in a wider Canadian context and would like to invite your comments, questions, concerns and experiences to guide future research across regions.

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 1)

Click here to listen to an Audio Recording (mp3 format) of the Seminar (Part 2)

Click here to view the Course Website and Research Proposal

Click here to read Breanna Fitzpatrick's Literature Review


Teaching for social change: CSL course design

This seminar took place on Tuesday, 9 June

Connie Nelson, Director, Food Security Research Network

Margaret Stadey and Diane King from the Ogden-Simpson Veggie Garden Project

Donna Renaud, CSL Student participant

Lakehead University           

The goal of this seminar is to explore the principles of CSL course design to ensure student-centered and community-based approaches.  We will discuss CSL course design principles and some of the steps to take in developing your CSL courses.  Connie Nelson of Lakehead University will discuss how she designed her CSL courses, created community partnerships, integrated relevant service into her courses, developed learning objectives and appropriate assessment strategies.  The Ogden-Simpson Veggie Garden Project is a community agency that has partnered with the Lakehead CSL program.  Margaret Stadey and Diane Cats will discuss their involvement in the course design process as well as practical strategies for incorporating learning through the service experience.  Donna Renaud is a student at Lakehead and will also join the conversation to reflect on how CSL courses have impacted on her conception of community and social change, and which elements of CSL courses most resonated with her and her peers.

Click here to listen to an audio file Part 1 in mp3 format

Click here to listen to an audio file Part 2 in mp3 format

Click here for additional resources and references for CSL Course Design

Click here for background information on CSL Course Design from Dr. Connie Nelson

Click here for information on the Food Security Research Network at Lakehead University


Engaging faculty in community service-learning

This seminar was held on Thursday, 21 May

Ben Liu, Coordinator, Faculty Development

Prof. Ann Armstrong – Rotman School of Management

Prof. Shauna Brail – Urban Studies

University of Toronto       

The goal of this seminar is to learn about strategies for engaging faculty in community service-learning initiatives.  We will discuss techniques for recruiting and retaining faculty, and how to best support and recognize faculty teaching CSL courses.  Ben Liu will draw on their recent experience in hosting a Faculty Summer Institute on service-learning. 

Click here to listen to Part 1

Click here to listen to Part 2

Click here to view additional Resources and References


What are we learning about community service-learning in Canada?

This seminar was held on Tuesday, 28 April

Jeff Keshen, University of Ottawa (Chair of IARSLCE 2009 Conference) 

Sherril Gelmon, Portland State University (Past Chair of IARSLCE)

Kate Connolly, Wilfrid Laurier University (Chair of CACSL Research Working Group)

Barbara Harrison, Brock University (Member of IARSLCE Graduate Student Network)            

The goal of this seminar is to discuss the nature of CSL research in Canada and from an international perspective.  We will provide an overview on the state of research into service-learning and community engagement from an international perspective, and highlight the upcoming International Service Learning Conference taking place on 9-12th October in Ottawa.   This is the first time the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) has held a conference outside of the U.S. and it will provide an excellent opportunity to bring together our members and highlight CSL in Canada.    We will finish the seminar with a discussion of current CSL research in Canada and whether there are uniquely Canadian research issues and questions that should be pursued. 

Click here to listen to Part 1

Click here to listen to Part 2

Click here to view additional Resources and References