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Annotated Bibliography on Service Learning in Biology
 
Abrahamsen, L. (2004). Learning Partnerships Between Undergraduate Biology Students
and Younger Learners. Microbiology Education, 5, 21-29.
 
The author’s goals were to encourage undergraduate college students to consider teaching science as a career and to enhance learning of the younger students.   The research design involved learning partnerships between middle school or high school students with the college students. College students visited the classrooms and provided mini-lectures, investigational labs, group discussions, and multi-media presentations. The younger students also visited the college laboratories. The results were measured in the form of evaluations answered by the college students, the young students and their teachers. The results indicate that all groups benefited from the learning partnership. The college students reported that they learned a significant amount of biology and stated that they would remember the content better than from traditional studying. The younger students liked participating and found it an effective way to learn biology. A group of high school students were given a pre-test and after participation in the partnership significantly improved their scores. The teacher evaluations indicated that 100% would participate in the partnership in the future. Before participating only 18% of the college students would consider teaching science as a career, after the learning partnership was completed that increased to 36%.  
 
Butin, D.W. (2006) The Limits of Service-Learning in Higher Education. The Review of
Higher Education, 29(4), 473-498.
 
            This author discusses the limits of service-learning as ‘scholarship engagement’ in institutions of higher education. Specifically reviews the pedagogical, political and institutional limits to service-learning. Some limits include: majority of service-learning directors are part-time, low budgets, faculty with least power participate (non-tenure, women, people of color, etc), participating disciplines tend to be ‘vocational’ fields (education, social work, etc), and there is minimal value (tenure, promotion, etc). Many service-learning success stories involved privileged white students attending liberal arts colleges. The demographics of higher education is changing and a limit of service-learning maybe that it is only beneficial to this group of liberal art privileged white students. 
 
Gutstein, J., Smith, M., & Manahan, D. (2006). A Service-Learning Model for Science
Education Outreach. Journal of College Science Teaching, September, 22-26.
 
The program SEOP (Science Education Outreach Program) purpose is to engage undergraduate students in service-learning. The program has 2 goals: 1) teach the undergraduates the educational methods they will use in the service-learning and 2) have a positive effect on the college student’s goals.   The program is organized into a pre-service set of seminars that cover education methodologies and a science content service. The success of meeting the program goals were measured by post-surveys, reflection papers, retrospective surveys and individual interviews. The result indicated a positive influence for most (90%) of the college students participating in the program. Some even incorporated service into their chosen career (examples given: Vet Student Outreach Club, Med Student after-school health education program for children of immigrate families).   The authors’ conclusion was that the program had a positive impact on the college students.
 
 
Larios-Sanz, M., Simmons, A.D., Bagnall, R.A., & Rosell, R.C. (2011). Implementation of a
Service-Learning Module in Medical Microbiology and Cell Biology Classes at an Undergraduate Liberal Arts University. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 12(1), 29-37.
 
A biology department involved junior and senior students enrolled in either Medical
Microbiology or Cell biology in service learning to underserved health clinics. The goals for the project were for the students to relate coursework to a specific disease, students using their knowledge to benefit the community, students understanding the value of this knowledge, and students understanding they can make a difference. The semester long project involved volunteering at the clinic (minimum 10hrs), preparing an educational display or brochure for the patients, and an oral in-class presentation.   Results were measured by a reflective journal (blog), end of semester survey, the brochure or display, and student oral presentation. The professors involved stated that the blogs and brochures were enjoyable to grade!   The feedback from the students and the community was positive.
 
Rao, S., Shamah, D., & Collay, R. (2007). Meaningful Involvement of Science
Undergraduates in K-12 Outreach. Journal of College Science Teaching, May/June, 54-58.
 
            The author’s involved graduate and undergraduate science majors in K-12 outreach. The goal of the project was to improve the college students ability to communicate science information to non-scientist. A skill that could benefit the college graduate in acquiring a job. The outreach opportunities included a long-term formal program for an advanced undergraduate student to be paired with a graduate student in a paid (NSF funded) position, a short-term formal program as undergraduate students in an outreach course (2hr credit), and an informal program as members of the undergraduate ‘BugZoo’ club.    The outcome for the undergraduates was measured in the form of open-ended surveys and reflection papers. The students indicated that they gained confidence, ability to think on their feet, improved their understanding of the concepts, enhanced communication skills, and rewarding feeling of helping others. 
 
Tessier, J. (2004). Using Peer Teaching to Promote Learning in Biology. Journal of
College Science Teaching, May, 16-19.
 
 
            This author teaches an introductory biology course for education majors. The question answered for this paper was “Does peer teaching help students perform better on exams than attendance of traditional lectures does?”   The instructor gave teams of students the power points for a lecture with the instruction to modify it as they liked and prepare to teach it to the class. The groups added activities to the original presentation.   The instructor placed exam questions in categories: taught by the student, taught by student’s own group, taught by peer group, or taught by instructor. Statistical analysis showed that students performed best on material they taught themselves. Some students did not improve grades – if grades already high they tended to stay in the same range and some students only learned the material they taught and did not perform well on the exams overall. There was some controversy in the class, some students liked peer-teaching and some did not. 
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