Department of Communication
Social Science Research Center
1. Please provide a brief description of the community-engaged learning (CEL) project/class.
Health Communication, an upper-division elective in the Department of Communication, is designated as a community-engaged learning course. The final project involves working with a community partner to develop health communication messages to address a health topic of importance to the community partner. This process includes every stage of development, from formative research to message testing with members of the chosen priority population.
2. Why do you use CEL as a teaching pedagogy?
My hope in using a CEL approach is that students will find it meaningful to work on a community issue of importance and contribute to a solution. This project provides hands-on experience that equips students with skills they can use in their careers.
3. What advice do you have for faculty and students when considering CEL?
Start small. For the first iteration of my CEL course, I designed a project that required only a few meetings with the community partner. My hope was that this would reduce the burden on the partner and allow me flexibility in case the details of the project needed to be adjusted along the way.
4. What do you believe is the greatest benefit of CEL?
I was most drawn to community-engaged learning because of the potential for combining student learning with real-world impact.
5. Describe a moment from your CEL project/class that stands out to you.
One of the most memorable and triumphant moments from my CEL course was the final presentation to our community partner. My class got to share their wonderful ideas and receive feedback, and our partner got to benefit from my students' knowledge and creativity.
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