Central to effective service-learning is a process called reflection, also called processing, critical analysis, and reflective critical analysis. There are many tools you can use to help students process and learn from their experiences. Critical analysis helps students to link their service experiences in the community with the academic and civic learning objectives of the course.

Good critical analysis:

  • is intentionally designed by the faculty member
  • works with a variety of student learning styles
  • happens throughout the course — not just at the end

Critical analysis can take a number of forms. Some of the most common are:

  • guided journaling
  • related research and writing projects
  • role playing, plays, presentations
  • art, creative writing, and multimedia projects
  • group discussions

1Eyler, J., " Giles, D. E. (1999). Where's the learning in service-learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Available for viewing, please contact the CCE resource library.