What is happening with service learning for the fall?

This article is part of a larger series on Remote Teaching Resources. Please email Michelle LaPorte at if you have additional resources that could be added to this page.

Virtual & Hybrid Service Learning Project Planning for Faculty

In addition to the resources available on the CASL website, the following resources have been compiled to equip faculty in project design and adjustment, critical reflection and assessment, and research related to virtual, hybrid, or indirect academic service-learning projects during this season. Download/print this handout.


Provide virtual resources: lessons, videos, enrichment handouts, technology instruction, etc.

Example: Interactive children’s book resources - fall 2020, Children’s Literature students will create units for local elementary school teachers to use with students using Hyperdocs (sample unit). 

Host a live or pre-recorded virtual event

Example: Virtual Art Event - spring 2020, Small Group Communication student groups created an art event for residents of a senior living facility as the in-person event was cancelled. Materials were provided for the residents. 

Conduct research and provide a summary or proposal: marketing campaign, grant opportunities, program development or evaluation, etc.

Example: Publications campaign report - Public Relations student groups work with an organization to compile a report of evaluation and recommendations for a public relations campaign for a local non-profit. 

Transition in-person visits to a virtual platform

Example: Google Hangout visits with elementary students - summer 2020, Liberal Studies students will be working with local elementary teachers to provide activities and will join weekly virtual class sessions. 

Note to consider: inviting a community partner to join the APU class time through a virtual platform or sending a pre-recorded introduction before the project begins can provide an important connection for the students as they engage with the project and apply their academic learning. CASL staff can help with these arrangements. 


Fall 2020 Remote Service-Learning Course Planning: tracking system for all fall 2020 course plans. 

Community Engagement Student Placement Checklist: the checklist and process, which has been approved by the Interim Provost and Return to Campus Taskforce, to be followed for all academic service-learning course projects.

Service-Learning Orientation: faculty may choose a real-time virtual or pre-recorded orientation that can be shown during class and/or posted on the Canvas site for students. 

Student Agreement Forms: updated for remote projects and must be completed by all students before participating in service-learning to ensure informed consent and assumption of risk. Agreement forms will be submitted virtually through Formstack. It is imperative that faculty assist with ensuring the link is distributed to all students. 

Alternate Assignments: faculty should have alternate assignments of equivalent rigor and time investment to the service-learning project and allow students the opportunity to demonstrate learning that can be assessed by the instructor. Assignments might include: research paper or presentation, critical reflection response after watching a video or reading an article, summary of learning following an informational interview with someone in a specified role or field, lesson plan or activity to teach specific material designed for target audience, etc. 

  • University Service Credits can be earned through indirect and remote service. Faculty will verify successful completion of project requirements. Students should not be penalized for circumstances beyond their control that may impact their access or ability to complete project requirements. A proposal regarding the required number of university service credits for students during fall 2020 is currently under review, more info will be shared as decisions are made. 
  • Faculty Guide to Working with SLAs: COVID suggestions for working with the undergraduate SLA liaison assigned to each course. SLAs are eager to partner with faculty and are available as needed. 
  • Internships, Clinicals, Practicum Student Placements courses that require in-person placement to demonstrate competencies required by the program/accreditor, academic departments will use the checklist and protocol outlined on this site.
  • APU COVID-19 Site information, updates, resources from the institution.



  • Hervani, A., Marilyn, H., Rutti, R., LaBonte, J., & Sarkarat, S. (2015). Service learning projects in online courses: Delivery strategies. Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 11(1), 35–41. doi:
  • Sandy, M. G., & Franco, Z. E. (2014). Grounding service-learning in the digital age: Exploring a virtual sense of geographic place through online collaborative mapping and mixed media. Journal of Higher Education 
  • Outreach and Engagement, 18(4), 201–232. doi: 
  • Strait, J., & Sauer, T. (2004). Constructing experiential learning for online courses: The birth of e-service. 
  • Educause Quarterly, 62–65. doi: 
  • Waldner, L. S., McGorry, S. Y., & Widener, M. C. (2012). E-service-learning: The evolution of service-learning to engage a growing online student population. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(2), 23–50. doi:
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