The Real-World Experience: Students Perspectives on Service-Learning Projects

Main Article Content

Erin McLaughlin

Keywords

Service-learning, Student engagement, Student motivation, Qualitative Research, Etnography

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to identify how students gain “real-world” experience via service-learning projects.  This article describes the results of a pilot study conducted with over 75 business graduate students to investigate the effects of service-learning curriculum at the collegiate level.  The following qualitative data was collected:  observations, field notes, interviews, video-taped group meetings, and student reflection journals.  This data was collected to gain insight on the research question, “What are business students’ views of service-learning projects and how they contribute to ‘real-world’ experience?”  In addition, this article briefly discusses literature on the ethnographic qualitative approach and its significance, as well as the service-learning literature that continues to evolve as the instigation of such projects continues to draw the attention of researchers and educators.  

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