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Resources for Community-Based (Service-Learning) Faculty during COVID-19

Virtual Engagement Ideas:


In some cases, students’ community-engaged work may be able to shift in ways that still meet community needs and learning outcomes. Here are a few ideas (from California State University – Northridge):

  • conducting background research or gathering best practices or other information requested the partner(s)
  • taping, recording, or streaming performances or workshops to benefit community partner(s)
  • creating digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information-sharing
  • undertaking assessment, evaluation, or feedback via phone or web-based services;
  • offering (or compiling, researching, or brainstorming) strategies that provide indirect support from volunteers as a result of coronavirus
  • conducting virtual or phone-based educational supports for youth and adults

If work with an existing partner is not possible, you may be able to find suitable opportunities through these channels:

Non-CBL ways to connect your course to the community (from Portland State University)

  • It's possible that the best option for now is to not have students directly connected to the community.  If that is the case, there are many resources for exploring the concepts of community with your students.  Here are just a few:
  • Discuss and reflect on the notion of community and the various forms it takes (recognized 501C3 Organizations, grassroots organizations, neighbor to neighbor connections, family and friends).​
  • Check with the campus library to see what streaming videos they might have available to enhance the course.  For example, here's a collection of Global Environmental Justice videos.
  • Explore the ideas around community engagement and social justice.
  • National Issues Forums has a great collection of resources that explore a variety of issues.  You could have students read the materials and engage in an online discussion.  The website has resources for how to structure the experience.
  • Everyday Democracy has a collection of downloadable resources focused on community change.  This includes stories of change makers, tools, as well as a democracy and equity reading list.
  • Think about what organizations and businesses are impacted by COVID-19.  Perhaps some of them would benefit from positive Google or Yelp reviews if the students have interacted with them?

Things People in Our Communities Might Need in These Times

  • Healthy people who can go to the grocery store for them and doorstep deliver groceries for them
  • Google Hangout/Facetime conversations to counteract the physical social isolation
  • Extra craft/art supplies, books, videos for families with kids at home
  • A kind note/letter to organizations serving communities of color who may be facing xenophobic reactions
  • Interruption of xenophobic reactions on social media or in conversations
  • Calls or emails to elected officials to advocate on behalf of needs in this time
  • Check-ins with folks you know are living alone and/or are isolating or in quarantine
  • Notes of thanks to those in leadership roles or in positions that are not able to stay home. 

Teaching Resource Links:

·         Reflection questions from Loyola University Chicago Center for Experiential Learning

·         Community Engaged Teaching during Suspension of Face-to-Face Classes

·         Advance HE Webinar: “Utilizing Service-Learning Projects in an Online Class”

·         Facing History and Ourselves Corona Virus Teachers Resource Page

·         Vanderbilt's Teaching in a Time of Crisis

·         CSUN's Academic Continuity Page

·         CSUN's Teaching Through Disruption

Digital Webinars:

·         March 18, 2020 7pm EDT School Closures and Online Learning: Creating Community, Centering Students with Justin Reich, director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab

·         March 25, 2020 6pm EDT Coronavirus: Maintaining Healthy Schools and Preparing for Online Learning with  AFT Director of Health Care, Kelly Trautner and AFT Director of Share My Lesson, Kelly Booz.

·         March 26, 2020 4pm EDT Coronavirus: Teaching Complex Current Events and Supporting Student Well-Being with PBS NewsHour Extra and the AFT.

Additional Information:

·         COVID-19 Information


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They are a nationally recognized resource providing quality research and innovative educational services collaborating with communities, professional organizations, and education institutions.