27/09/2021 Opinion

Avril Lombardi Bolaño, Service Learning Programme Officer at the URV

“Aurora fosters the development of skills, values and competences through Service Learning”

The Service Learning Toolbox is now in the public domain. It provides relevant information, tools and resources in order to improve and extend the use of the Service Learning method

Archive image of the Social Projects Market, which is held annually.

It has been now almost a year since I started my collaboration with the Aurora Service Learning Programme Work Package with the aim of improving and extending the use of Service Learning (SL) as a method for fostering the development of skills, values and competences.

Among our objectives are:

  • The creation of an AURORA Service Learning Community and an AURORA Service Learning Programme.
  • The creation of a Service Learning Toolbox.
  • Identifying Service Learning courses offered at five University partners, covering four pilot domains.
  • Identifying lecturers who are interested in learning SL practices.
  • Assessing the implementation of the AURORA framework and its impact on skills and mind-set through analysis based on programme level reports.
  • Link the WP activities with other work packages such as the Aurora Competence Framework & International Internship Programme.

As a result, the Aurora Service Learning Toolbox was launched at the International Learning Lab on the 17 June 2021. The SL Toolbox provides relevant information, tools, resources and support to promote the use of service learning and co-creation at Aurora Universities. It is now in the public domain and it will be added to the Aurora website shortly.

The Aurora service learning and co-creation team has compiled these tools. We worked with a participating methodology to decide which materials and resources we thought were interesting, useful and inspirational for Aurora Universities. We also involved students, lecturers and administrative staff from our Universities to create videos with service learning testimonies and experiences. We decided that the tools could also be provided in different languages depending on the different contexts of each university, country or region where they are applied. This also meets the plurilingual competence objective of Aurora.

These collections of tools and resources will help those interested understand the concept of service learning, to find out how to transform an existing course to a service learning one, to explore the different components required for a service learning course, and to see examples from different Aurora Universities.

Participating in the Aurora Service Learning work package is a challenging, multicultural, and enriching experience. As a person that have been involved in service learning at our university for the last 10 years, it is very satisfying for me to work on the internationalization of this methodology and to have the opportunity to engage and share our university service learning path and knowledge with other SL experts, lecturers and students.

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