The Service Learning (SL) in biology course deals with a learning method that assumes students will apply their academic biology curriculum knowledge in the community. Through contacts with a non-government organization (NGO), students define a social problem for which they can try to find solutions throug a project they develop including activities like lectures, workshops, work with people in the community in general. For this work in the course they receive a grade and ECTS credits after critically reflecting on the entire process. This is why relatively few lectures are planned, but lectures will be included during which we will introduce students to the basics of SL, methods to work in the community and to critical self-reflection/thinking. The work related to project development and realization will be conducted as seminars. Volunteering is a good starting point, but SL is more than that, because it involves reflection and reporting within the course about the activities performed, new skills and knowledge acquired in the course of an SL project. A significant personal involvement of the student is therefore expected, but the benefits for both the student and society are greater than in the classical accademic teaching methods.
Access is also open to students of other majors at the Department of Biology and University components.
During the implementation of the course, the participation of social partners / NGOs is necessary such as:
- Bioteka - association for the promotion of biology and related sciences - Jelena Likić, prof. of biology and Kristina Duvnjak, prof. of biology
- National parks and nature parks
- Other interested NGOs.
Students, according to their own interest in choosing a project, will help a partner (non-profit organization or institution) in finding solutions to previously identified problems related to the biological profession through work on the project. It is possible to cooperate with other interested teachers of the Department of Biology and other higher education institutions, to support the introduction of SL in their courses in order to promote the societal part of the University's mission.
1. Service learning (SL) as a teaching method by which students apply the knowledge and skills acquired through studies (academic curriculum) to the development of a project that solves a specific social problem (Mikelić Preradović, 2009).
2. SL cycle.
3. Setting up the logical framework of the SL project.
4. Cooperation with representatives of NGOs in identifying problems and determining the need to solve them.
5. Types of cooperation with end users (national park, nature park, teachers and schools, museums, etc.).
6. Rules for dividing work into tasks and the importance of knowing their interdependence, project duration planning with regard to task duration (PERT).
7. SL project management.
8. Principles of creating a student plan of the SL project.
9. Project teams.
10. Critical reflection within SL. Types of critical thinking activities.
11. Critical writing, reviews and journal work.
12. Writing a project report. Activities, sub-activities, sustainability, knowledge transfer and products of the SL project.
13. Description of measurable and objective indicators used to monitor the success of certain activities and tangible or intangible objects produced as a result of the SL project.
14. E-portfolio in the presentation and evaluation of the SL project.
15. Evaluation of learning, evaluation of concrete results of the DKU project and evaluation of the experience of participation and creation of the SL project.
SL projects relate exclusively to the solution of specific problems set by the course and are part of the course's seminar classes with continuous cooperation with NGOs in the planning and implementation of the SL project. Seminar classes will be combined with lectures on SL activities, project management, teamwork and critical thinking activities.
1.- 3. Preparation of a service learning project.
4. - 13. Implementation of the project and preparation of materials for the sustainability of SL in cooperation with NGOs in nature protection facilities, associations for the promotion of nature protection and the promotion of biology in NGOs or schools.
14. Presentation and evaluation of implemented SL projects.
15. Critical review of the students' skills and expertise building through the work on the SL project.