Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ARNOVA: What’s in a name? Involving the community in research.

Tonight during the teaching section workshop we learned about Research Service Learning that was defined as “a collaborative teaching and learning strategy designed to promote academic enhancement, personal growth, civic learning, and the development of research capacities. Students render meaningful service—which include research activities—in community settings that present them with experiences related to academic material” (Clayton & Metelsky, 2009 Arnova Handout).

Many people may know this type of research by a different name “Participatory Action Research.” This type of research is different than traditional research and involves community members as co-researchers. I’ve been a fan of this type of research for sometime.

In order to create this pedagogy, a nonprofit-focused degree program would need “intentional design” for this type of research. This design would help address the challenges associated with community-based research. Clayton & Metelsky recommend the following components.

1) Students’ educational level (Undergraduate, Masters, etc.)
2) Scope of project
3) Partner involvement (Student, Faculty, Community partner)
4) Impact on issue(s)
5) Impact on partners (Students, Faculty, Community Partner)
6) Level of research capacity required

Deb Beck also covered this workshop over twitter

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