Service Learning in the Digital Age: Using Technology to Provide Online Opportunities for Students

By Gerra Perkins, Mary Lynn Williamson and Henrietta Pichon.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The benefits of service learning for students, the university, and the community are well-documented, but many times online students are not given the benefit of these opportunities. This study follows the course of one counseling program’s integration of service learning into its online curriculum. The goal of the service learning project was to provide school counselors in the New Orleans Recovery School District with the resources and materials to help parents and students understand the importance of school attendance. Over the course of eight months, approximately 70 online students in the Counseling program designed a two-pronged approach (i.e., prevention and remediation) that targeted students and parents and addressed the issue of truancy at the elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. The goals for the online Master’s students who participated in this project were to: (1) Enhance students’ decision making skills, problem-solving skills, creative/critical thinking skills, and responsibility taking, (2) Improve students’ interpersonal skills with diverse populations, (3) Create products and provide resources that target truancy in the N.O. Recovery School District, (4) Enhance students’ technology skills, and (5) Celebrate student learning and participation.

Keywords: Service Learning, Online Education, Graduate Students

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.585MB).

Dr. Gerra Perkins

Assistant Professor and School Counseling Coordinator, Student Personnel Services and Counseling, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA, USA

Dr. Gerra Perkins is an Assistant Professor and School Counseling Coordinator at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor and National Certified School Counselor. Her scholarly work has focused on the areas of school counseling, counseling children and adolescents, and service learning, especially within Master’s level programs.

Dr. Mary Lynn Williamson

Associate Professor and SPS Program Coordinator, Student Personnel Services and Counseling, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA, USA

Dr. Mary Lynn Williamson is an Associate Professor of Counseling and College Student Personnel Services at NSU. She received her doctorate at the University of Florida in Higher Education Leadership. She has two Master’s degrees from NSU: a M.A. in Student Personnel Services and a M.Ed. in School Counseling. Her Bachelor’s degree, also from Northwestern, is in Speech Education and Journalism. Prior to joining NSU in 2007, Dr. Williamson spent 25 years as a Counselor and Student Personnel Administrator. Her career culminated with serving as the Vice President for Student Affairs at the last three universities where she was employed.

Dr. Henrietta Pichon

Assistant Professor, Student Personnel Services and Counseling, Northwestern State University, Northwestern State, LA, USA

Dr. Henrietta Williams Pichon is an Assistant Professor in Student Personnel Services program at Northwestern State University. She teaches courses related to student personnel administration and educational psychology and research. Her research interests include preparation, socialization, and productivity of faculty, as well as access, development, and persistence of underrepresented students in higher education.