Active learning through community outreach: A case study of service-learning in a natural hazard, vulnerability and risk class

  • Brittany Brand Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho (USA)
  • Margaret Sass Department of Communication, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, ID (USA)
  • Kara Brascia 3Center for Teaching and Learning, Service-Learning Program, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho (USA)
Keywords: Community outreach; reflection; active learning; service-learning


The popularity of service-learning is increasing, especially at a time where college students want to make a greater impact in their communities.  One place we found that students can make a meaningful impact in their communities is promoting community resiliency to natural hazard events through a community outreach project.  This article provides a case study of how incorporating service-learning through a community outreach project can increase student engagement, enhance the depth of understanding of a given topic, build communication and teamwork skills, and contribute meaningfully to the students’ community. This article shares how the instructor of a Natural Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk course implement service-learning through a community outreach project, and provides evidence for how such outreach can enhance student learning and address the common problem of student apathy and disengagement. We also discuss the transferability of our approach to other STEM and social science related courses. 


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How to Cite
Brand, B., Sass, M., & Brascia , K. (2019). Active learning through community outreach: A case study of service-learning in a natural hazard, vulnerability and risk class. Higher Learning Research Communications, 9(2).