Service Course Planning Worksheet

Ready to dive into building a service course?

To assist your preparation, we offer a planning worksheet with 17 questions spanning from precursors to closing. The worksheet presented below is also available as a Microsoft Word document for those who prefer to type and a PDF with space for hand-written notes

Service Course Planning Worksheet

While you are not required to submit this form to the OSLCE (portions do appear on the Service Designation Application), we would be happy to review your responses in a real-time meeting or via email. Please email us at   


  1. What are your reasons for incorporating service learning in your teaching?
  2. Will you be creating a new course to a service focus or converting an existing one? 
    All new courses (service or not) must be approved through traditional unit and Senate channels
  3. What element(s) of your course (content, skill, etc.) might be enhanced by a service experience? 
    See “Curricular Need” on the Developing a Service Course page

Community Partners

  1. What authentic community need aligns with the pedagogical goals you’ve identified? 
    See “Community Need” on the Developing a Service Course page to review three basic origins for community partnerships
    See also these types of service: direct, indirect, advocacy, research
  2. Have you identified a community partner whose effectiveness could be enhanced through partnership?
    See our Community Partners page for thoughts on choosing a partner and building a healthy relationship.
  3. How will you and your community partner evaluate the success of the project? 
  4. What service model will you use? 
    ____ Placement Model
    ____ Project Model
    ____ Product Model
    ____ Presentation Model
    ____ Presentation Plus Model
    ____ Combined Approach (Describe)

Course Logistics

  1. And what type of service will you provide?
    ____ Direct
    ____ Indirect
    ____ Advocacy
    ____ Research for a cause

  2. What instructional mode will you employ in structuring your course? 
    You can choose traditional face-to-face, hybrid, or online delivery as well as uniform or bi-modal division where you simultaneously offer traditional and service sections of the same course at the same time as a single course. This bi-modal division has both advantages and disadvantages. If you choose this approach, please email us to discuss how this should work.
    See “Instructional Modes” on the Developing a Service Course page

    ____ Traditional (F2F)
    ____ Hybrid (F2F + online)
    ____ Fully online

    Sectional Division
    ____ Uniform (all students do service)
    ____ Bi-Modal (2 sections/1 course)
             (Student choose service or traditional)

  3. How intensive will your service component be? 
    Service Engagement: 4-14 hours of service (service roughly equates to homework)
    Service Learning: 15-25 hours of service (service equates to instructional time)
    See “Students’ Work Load” and “Service Learning vs. Service Engagement” on the Developing a Service Course page. Also check out the Service Designation Application Overview

  4. What reflection model will guide your students’ service-content-life connections? Use of multiple methods is best!
    ____ What? So What? Now What? Model
    ____ DEAL Model
    ____ Kolb's Model
    ____ Gibb’s Model
    ____ Other (describe)

  5. What service related Student Learning Outcomes will you target?  
    We have adopted our SLOs from the National Association of Colleges and Educators’ career competencies. Review our SLOs pages to select the most relevant SLOs and two assessment options

  6. How will you design assignments to make sure there is a perceived balance in time and effort between service-learning and traditional learning? (consider both travel and service time in the calculations)

  7. What techniques/tools will you use to integrate service-learning into the classroom?
    ____ Discussions
    ____ Journals/Blogs
    ____ Wikis
    ____ Portfolios
    ____ Analytical Papers
    ____ Presentations
    ____ Reading Responses
    ____ Microcosm

    On Blackboard, consider using: Assignments, Collaborate, Discussion Board, OneNote, VoiceThread, &/or Wikis  

  8. How will you evaluate your students’ performance relative to service in your course? What demonstrations of learning will you have service learners produce? (journals, paper, oral reports, etc.), and what percentage of total grade will be based on Service
    See “Sample Service Contract” on the Developing a Service Course page

  9. Will you have students sign a Service Contract with you and/or your community partner?
    See “Sample Service Contract” on the Developing a Service Course page


  1. Are you ready to get started?
    See our Suggested Course Development Timeline, then complete the relevant Application
    The timeline suggests 12 months from concept to implementation. If you would like to speed up the process, let’s talk!

  2. The OSLCE is here to support you in any or all of the following ways: