School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
academic outcomes, engagement theory, experiential learning theory, service-learning, student engagement
Education | Educational Methods | Higher Education and Teaching
Rife, Jamie, "The Effects of Service-Learning Courses and Traditional Lecture Courses on Students' Academic Achievement and Level of Course Engagement" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 999.
The purpose of this ex-post facto research was to examine the theory of Experiential Learning in the context of service-learning and its relationship at a university to the academic achievement and student level of course engagement in service-learning courses as compared to traditional lecture courses. An ex post facto research design was utilized to examine the relationship between participation in a service-learning or traditional lecture course on the course grade of the students and level of course engagement as measured by the Student Course Engagement Questionnaire (SCEQ). The study determined that participation in either a service-learning course or traditional lecture course had little effect on the students' academic outcome as measured by course grade. These findings support earlier research in the field, which finds little effect on course average or GPA when students participate in service-learning. Furthermore, the results showed a statistically significant difference in student course engagement when students were participating in service-learning courses versus traditional lecture courses. Students in service-learning courses reported higher levels of engagement than those in traditional lecture courses. Further research, preferably in the form of true experimental research, is needed to determine if students do achieve at higher levels in service-learning classes over traditional lecture classes in light of the results of this study, as higher levels of course engagement should result in higher course grades.