How can teaching and learning make a more tangible social impact? How can we bring social engagement (service) together with training of scientific and social skills (learning)? Our proposed two-part seminar, on “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” is an introduction to the theory, design, and implementation of service-learning. The main goals are to: 1) guide students in developing expertise on designing and implementing socially-engaged projects, and 2) create a platform, course template and teaching tools for integrating service-learning into the university curriculum.
Students often wish for more concrete exchanges between the classroom and the outside world. By embedding social engagement within the course, students gain hands-on knowledge from co-designing projects and working directly with community partners and experts. Students learn theoretical and practical “people skills” (coordination, networking, negotiation) that will enhance their future careers. The project benefits teaching by creating partnerships with emerging service-learning actors across Switzerland (and internationally) and developing resources for future service-learning courses at UZH.