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Wednesday, May 13 • 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Evaluating Short-Term International Service Learning Courses

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International Service Learning (ISL) has been increasing in popularity with students as an opportunity to broaden their experiences and expand their resumes (Benson, 2015; Foller-Carroll & Charlebois, 2016; Kuo & Fowler, 2008). Yet, international service travel, particularly short-term travel, is often criticized for being patronizing and promoting negative stereotypes, so this presentation will look at how students and instructors can evaluate short-term ISL courses to better anticipate positive student outcomes. Bringle, Hatcher & Jones define an ISL course as “A structured academic experience in another country in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that addresses identified community needs; (b) learn from the direct interaction and cross-cultural dialogue with others; and (c) reflect on the experience in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a deeper understanding of global and intercultural issues, a broader appreciation of the host country and discipline, and an enhanced sense of their own responsibilities as citizens, locally and globally.” (2009, p. 38). However, despite this detailed definition, there doesn’t seem to be standards or regulations as to how these courses are structured and concern arises that certain types of ISL experiences can promote colonialism and reinforce stereotypes of people in need (McGloin & Georgeou, 2016; Sanguinetti, 2013 ). Three variables can be identified to examine different models of short-term (one to six week) ISL experiences with different courses structured differently across each variable. These variables include: 1. project design, 2. level of community interaction, and; 3. focus on service or learning. It is proposed that ISL experiences designed to provide international aide or charity, involve transactional communication and focus on a service experience are less likely to produce the desired long-term effects on students compared to courses designed to co-create value, stimulate empowerment and emancipation, and foster transformational learning. This presentation looks at case study examples of short-term ISL immersion experiences offered directly from a post-secondary institution or through a contracted agency and uses a model of course development to evaluate how these courses achieve desired outcomes including long-term global citizenship, social engagement, curiosity and open-mindedness. 

Speakers
avatar for Sheilagh Seaton

Sheilagh Seaton

Faculty, Okanagan College


Wednesday May 13, 2020 1:15pm - 1:45pm
Salon D
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