The relationships of civic learning goals in service-learning course design and civic attitude and skill outcomes for college students
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The study investigated the relationship between the importance of civic learning goals in service learning course design and students?civic attitudes and skills. Seven civic learning goals, three course design components, and civic attitudes and skills in six categories were included in the study. Data were collected from 14 faculty members and 320 students involved in 16 service-learning courses at Texas Tech University in the fall semester 2006. The Course Analysis Survey (CAS) was administered for faculty to measure the importance of civic learning goals in course design and course characteristics. The Civic Attitude and Skill Questionnaire (CASQ) was administered for students to measure students' civic attitudes and skills and student characteristics. Faculty perceived the academic learning goal to be the most important goal, while the political learning goal was the least important for both the overall course design and the three course components. Civic learning goals were viewed as less important in the reflection component than in the preparation for service and community service components. No significant relationship between students' CASQ subscales and faculty ratings of the importance of civic learning goals in course design was found in this study. The study revealed significant relationships between students' CASQ scores (leadership skills, and social justice attitudes) and course characteristic (course by college). The study also found significant relationship between students' social justice attitudes and student gender. The findings of the study may assist faculty in designing effective courses based on civic learning goals. Additional study is recommended to further examine the factors that may influence students' civic attitude and skill outcomes in service-learning courses.