How Students Learn in a Service-Learning Course: A Quasi-Experimental Field Study of Generative Learning

Valerie I. Sessa, Manuel London, Dana K. Natale, Courtney A. Hopkins


Sessa and London’s (2005, 2006) continuous learning model was used to generate hypotheses suggesting that service-learning courses trigger student engagement in generative learning processes moderated by the students’ prior experience and that engagement in generative learning behaviors impact learning outcomes. 127 students in eight courses participated in a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent control group design with a pre-test and two post-tests. Results partially support hypotheses. Implications for theory development, future research, and service learning pedagogy are discussed.

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