Best Practices for Planning Projects

How to plan a project

  • Choosing a project – There are many opportunities in the surrounding community.  Be mindful of the group’s ability and skills and how they may meet a need of the community. Be sure to involve the community in this part of the process.
  • Creating a plan – This step is critical to having a successful service event.  Consider how many students you would like to participate, where they will be meeting, how they will get to the service site, with whom you will be partnering to provide the service, timing of the service, if the work being asked of the students is appropriate.  Also, don’t forget to consider whether there are considerations that need to be made for purposes of liability.
  • Provide training for all participates.  The type of training will vary based on the projects.  Some projects will require extensive didactic training, while some projects may require a more informal training.
  • After confirming details, carry out the project!
  • At the conclusion of the project, evaluate the group’s accomplishments.  Have the students complete an assessment of how they felt the service project went.  Ask them to reflect on the experience.  This can be done as a private assignment in a journal or as a group exercise.  Do not forget to assess those who received the service. This is one of the most important parts of ensuring that you offer projects the meet the needs of the community.

Considerations for Service-Learning Projects

In addition to the planning that goes into preparing for a service projects, there are other considerations to be made for service-learning projects.

  • How is this service learning project relevant to the students’ curriculum? What are the learning objectives?
  • What makes this issue relevant to students?
  • What resources or trainings do students need prior to the day of the service-learning project to be successful in this capacity?
  • How is this project meeting the needs of the community?
  • Is the community actively involved in the service project?
  • After the service learning project, take time to reflect on the project and provide an opportunity for the students to discuss their experiences, what they learned, how it was relevant for their course of study and impressions of their impact by providing service to the community.

Click here to read the Faculty Toolkit for Service-Learning in Higher Education.

Considerations for Interprofessional Projects

  • Are the students from various schools learning from one another or are they simple providing services in the same room?
  • Are supervisors available to address content-specific questions and serve as educators on site?