Maximizing service and learning in an international engineering service learning program

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Service-learning (SL) is a teaching method that combines classroom instruction with community service. Engineering SL provides students the opportunity to apply their theoretical technical knowledge to a meaningful hands-on field experience designed to solve real-world problems faced by people and communities. We have conducted engineering SL programs since 2005 and have developed certain strategies that maximize, to a great extent, the benefits students derive from the experience. In this paper, we will discuss the importance of communications, constraint definition, social and economic the interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, cultural compliance, replicability, partnering, documentation, local ownership and sustainability. Student feedback was assessed and quantitative and qualitative results are presented. We will describe the class structure in the education model implemented in and outside the classroom environment, and how the experience is enhanced when working with students who may have done manual community service, but most often have not conducted technical or engineering projects. This paper outlines a course model that may help educators develop a course that maximizes the potential of international service-learning. Finally, we will describe the challenges still faced and best practices in order to maximize the SL experience for the students and the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467365611
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2015Oct 11 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015


Other5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Development
  • Education

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