Service learning is promoted as an effective teaching and learning approach that integrates meaningful community service into the college classroom. Reflection is included as a key component in this instructional method. Journaling is the common method of reflection, although other methods are available. There is little published evaluation on comparisons of the relative value of different methods of reflection. To better understand students' response to service learning and to reflection tools, a pre and post questionnaire was administered to 66 undergraduate nutrition majors in three community nutrition classes taking place between spring 2008 and spring 2009.These students reported benefits from all three reflection tools used in the course. However, none of the three tools (journal, panel discussion about the site experience, written questionnaire about experience) were reported as statistically significantly more useful than another. In fact some students preferred one tool to reflect on self and another tool to reflect on the community. Instructors are encouraged to implement and evaluate a variety of reflection tools which are creative and utilize universal design for learning concepts thereby optimizing the students' reflection in service learning.



service learning, community nutrition course, reflection tools

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