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Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Spring 2010, pp.78-89
Developing a Faculty Inventory Measuring Perceived Service-Learning Benefits and Barriers
University of Georgia
The purpose of this study was to develop a Web-based Faculty Service-Learning Beliefs Inventory (wFSLBI) assessing faculty members’ views of the benefits and barriers involved with service-learning (SL) pedagogy. Analyses of the responses of 362 faculty members showed that Inventory items loaded consistently on four sub-scales: Perceived benefits at classroom (PROS_CLS) and community levels (PROS_COM), and perceived barriers at classroom (CONS_CLS) and institutional levels (CONS_INST). The wFSLBI showed satisfactory reliability and validity among faculty groups with and without SL expe- rience. The wFSLBI will be useful in assessing and understanding salient beliefs motivating or discour- aging faculty involvement in SL.
Despite the extensive research regarding student involvement with service-learning (SL), there is lim- ited research in the area of faculty participation with this pedagogical approach. Studies have shown stu- dent benefits through reciprocal community-campus partnerships that offer an innovative pedagogical approach to engage student learning, strengthen openness to diversity, and encourage civic responsi- bility (Bringle, Hatcher, & Games, 1997; Butin, 2006). To encourage faculty service-learning involvement, it is necessary to have a better under- standing and assessment of the benefits and barriers perceived by faculty.
Currently, there is limited information about facul- ty involvement and use of the service-learning approach. One of the principal sources of informa- tion is the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE, 2007). This survey is a project coordinated by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) at Indiana University and is designed to assess facul- ty member’s expectations of student engagement in those educational practices empirically associated with high degrees of student learning and advance- ment (NSSE, 2009). Although the FSSE includes questions about service activities, internships, and community involvement, it does not explicitly exam- ine faculty perceptions toward the integration of ser- vice-learning into their teaching.
While limited research exists about faculty percep- tions of SL, existing studies have pointed to some general motivating factors. Abes, Jackson, and Jones (2002) examined factors motivating and deterring faculty use of service-learning among 500 faculty members from 29 higher education institutions affil- iated with Ohio Campus Compact. They identified five factors most strongly motivating the use of ser-
vice-learning, including increased student under- standing of course material, increased student per- sonal development, increased student understanding of social problems as systemic, provision of useful service in the community, and creation of university- community partnerships. Another study surveyed project directors of 66 institutions of higher educa- tion participating in the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education / Generations Together grants, and discovered similar perceived benefits (Bulot & Johnson, 2006). Salient motivating factors were the greater relevance of course material with the service- learning approach as well as the enhanced connec- tions among faculty, community, and students. In addition, increased awareness of community issues, opportunities to develop closer working relationships with communities, improved student learning out- comes, and more meaningful engagement and com- mitment to teaching have been identified as faculty- perceived benefits of such pedagogy (Bulot & Johnson; Hammond, 1994; Pribbenow, 2005).
Research has been limited regarding barriers facul- ty encounter when integrating service-learning into instruction. Some common challenges reported include time constraints leading to difficulty balanc- ing professional responsibilities and coordination of the service component, challenges of adjusting for different levels of student readiness, and challenges in assessing student work (Abes et al., 2002; Hammond, 1994). Other barriers include logistical challenges, insufficient relationships with communi- ty partners, or inadequate knowledge of ways to use the SL approach effectively (Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Driscoll, 2000; Hammond). Finally, the lack of insti- tutional recognition of service-learning as scholar- ship has been recognized as an important issue that
Page 79 Developing a Faculty Inventory
needs to be further examined (Hammond; Morton & Troppe, 1996).
Although existing studies have pointed to some gen- eral factors encouraging or discouraging faculty SL participation, currently there is no systematically developed measurement tool available to examine fac- tors influencing faculty SL participation. While some belief or perception scales are being used (Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), 2001; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Faculty Fellows Survey, 2007; Loyola University Office of Service Learning Faculty Post-Survey, 2004; Shinnamon, Gelmon, & Holland, 1999), the psychometrics of these scales are often not available. In addition, no systematically developed instrument is currently available to assess service-learning perceptions among faculty who vary in service-learning experience. To better develop resources and to encourage faculty participation in ser- vice-learning pedagogy, it is essential to understand benefits and barriers that faculty members across dif- ferent service-learning involvement statuses perceive. Through such efforts, we can identify key beliefs that can encourage, motivate, and sustain faculty involve- ment in service-learning.
The purpose of this study was to develop and vali- date a Web-based Faculty Service-Learning Belief Inventory to assess faculty perceived benefits and barriers toward service-learning adoption. The over- all guiding theoretical framework for survey devel- opment was the Transtheoretical Model (TTM; Prochaska, Redding, & Evers, 2002). TTM is a model of intentional change which focuses on the individual decision-making process. Individuals weigh pros and cons before adopting a new behavior. According to the TTM, behavior change is gradual and viewed as a process rather than an all-or-none event. Items for the wFSLBI were developed and organized utilizing key constructs on perceived ben- efits and barriers from the TTM’s decision balance scale, which are important factors influencing stages of behavioral adoption. The innovation and key con- tribution of this study was the development in the wFSLBI of corresponding measurement items to be used with faculty who have taught service-learning courses and those who have not had experience with service-learning. The wFSLBI could then be used to assess and compare faculty groups varying in SL involvement.
A representative sample of 1200 faculty members from each college/school at a major research univer- sity in the Southeastern U.S. was invited to partici-
pate in the study. Faculty members who have instruc- tional responsibility or who had taught a course in the previous academic year were eligible to participate. An administrative memo was first sent out in spring 2008 to deans, directors, and chairs informing them of the upcoming survey, followed by an invitation email sent directly to faculty members. Participants were informed that they were selected to provide the university with a better understanding of current SL practice among faculty and identify perceived chal- lenges and barriers for future faculty development and support. Participation was voluntary and confi- dential. The invitation also noted that even if they might have no experience with service-learning, their responses would still be valuable for planning facul- ty development opportunities. As our appreciation for their time, participants were given the option of entering a drawing of SL publications or teaching resources. Participants had a three-and-a-half-week window to respond to the online survey. The first email reminder was sent out a week after the invita- tion email, and the second email reminder was sent out a week before the survey was due. Participants needed to click through the consent page before tak- ing the survey. The survey took about 12-15 minutes to complete. All phases of the research were con- ducted with the approval of the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects at the principal investigator’s university.
A total of 449 faculty members participated in the study, a response rate of 37.4%. Excluding 87 facul- ty members who indicated that they didn’t know what service-learning is, the current analysis includ- ed 362 participants (102 with service-learning expe- rience and 260 without). Faculty with SL experience referred to those who had taught at least one course with an SL component or were teaching SL for the first time at the time of the survey (n = 102). Faculty without SL experience referred to those who were aware of SL pedagogy but had not yet taught a course with an SL component at the time of the survey. This group included faculty who were either interested or not interested in using SL, as well as those exploring ways to incorporate SL into their teaching but had not yet taught such courses (n = 260). The propor- tions of faculty from each college/school participat- ing in the survey were representative of the overall institutional sample and of faculty with instruction responsibilities at the institution. Table 1 describes demographic and background information of those who completed the survey including the SL faculty, non-SL faculty, and unaware faculty groups. As shown there, members of the service-learning facul- ty group were more likely to be females; less likely to be younger than 40 years; more likely to be at associate professor rank; less likely to come from art
Page 80 Hou
Demographic and Background Information for Participants
Current Analyses Sample Excluded All Experienced Non-Experienced Unaware All Overall N=102 N=260 N=87 449 Gender Women 56 (54.9%) 92 (35.4%) 28 (32.2%) 176 (39.2%) Age <40 years 40~50 yr 50~60 yrs >60 years 17 (16.3%) 37 (36.3%) 37 (36.3%) 11 (10.8%) 73 (28.1%) 58 (22.3%) 98 (37.7%) 31 (11.9%) 24 (27.5%) 22 (25.3) 30 (34.5%) 11 (12.6%) 114 (25.4%) 117 (26.1%) 165 (36.7%) 53 (11.8%) Tenure Status Tenured/Tenure track Non tenure track 77 (75.5%) 25 (24.5%) 217 (83.5%) 43 (16.5%) 62 (71.3%) 25 (28.7%) 356 (79.3%) 93 (20.7%) Rank Assistant Associate Full Other 18 (17.6%) 42 (41.2%) 29 (28.4%) 13 (12.7%) 64 (24.6%) 81 (31.2%) 90 (34.6%) 25 (9.6%) 23 (26.4%) 20 (23.0%) 31 (35.6%) 13 (14.9%) 105 (23.4%) 143 (31.8%) 150 (33.4%) 51 (11.4%) College Art / Science Ag / Environ (Forest / Eco) Pharmacy / Vet Education Law / Business Social Science related 15 (14.7%) 14 (13.7%) 7 (6.9%) 28 (27.5%) 7 (6.9%) 31 (30.4%) 95 (36.5%) 32 (12.3%) 31 (11.9%) 35 (13.5%) 19 (7.3%) 48 (18.5%) 43 (49.4%) 8 (9.2%) 22 (25.3%) 8 (9.2%) 4 (4.6%) 2 (2.3%) 153 (34.1%) 54 (12.0%) 60 (13.3%) 71 (15.8%) 30 (6.7%) 81 (18.4%)
and science college, pharmacy, or veterinary schools; and more likely to be faculty from education or social science related colleges. Faculty of the arts and sci- ences, as well as pharmacy/veterinary schools, were more likely to be unaware of service-learning peda- gogy. Overall, respondents from the current study were similar to those participated in the FSSE stud- ies conducted among faculty at higher education institutions: both the current and FSSE samples con- sisted of higher proportions of males, full-time facul- ty members, and faculty in the arts and humanities (FSSE, 2007).
The research instrument was an online survey devel- oped through a review of existing assessment tools on service-learning (CCPH, 2001; CNCS Faculty Survey, 2007; Loyola University OSL Faculty Post-Survey, 2004; Shinnamon et al., 1999), adapting and modify- ing items relevant to perceptions related to benefits or barriers toward SL pedagogy, and developing new items including creating corresponding items to assess perceptions among faculty with or without prior ser- vice-learning experience. Based upon lessons learned from existing literature, we grouped common motivat-
ing and barrier factors into four areas that could be rel- evant for assessment regardless of prior SL experience among faculty. Two corresponding levels of perceived benefits were developed: Perceived benefits of SL at classroom (PROS_CLS: 7 items) and community (PROS_COM: 6 items) levels. Similarly, two levels of perceived barriers to SL were developed: Perceived barriers at classroom (CONS_CLS: 5 items) and insti- tutional (CONS_INST: 3 items) levels. The sub-scales included institutional barriers rather than benefits, reflecting existing evidence that participants tend to view institutional level factors as barriers (Hammond, 1994; Morton & Troppe, 1996). The wFSLBI did not query barriers at the community level, as the majority of faculty without prior service-learning experience likely would have had a hard time responding to state- ments concerning such barriers.
The definition of service-learning that the universi- ty adopted was provided for all faculty for reporting their service-learning involvement statuses. The sur- vey stated: “For the purpose of this survey, service- learning (SL) is defined as ‘an experiential education method which integrates academic instruction, meaningful community service, and reflection to enhance the learning experience.’” Analyses of
Page 81 Developing a Faculty Inventory
wFSLBI items excluded faculty who indicated they were not aware of what service-learning was, as ser- vice-learning perception statements would not be applicable to this group.
All of the scale items used 5-point Likert scales to assign meaningful values to an underlying continu- um of ratings (Meyers, Gamst, & Guarino, 2006). Response options ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Values were later recoded to maintain consistency with the hypotheses, with high- er scores indicating more positive views for the PROS items, and higher scores representing more negative responses for the CONS items. Detailed item descriptions can be found in Table 2.
The wording of each item was chosen accordingly for the experienced vs. no experienced group to mea- sure the same concept or perception among faculty in various stages of SL involvement. For example, the statement, “The service my students completed was beneficial to the community” written for experienced service-learning faculty, was reworded as “I believe the service my students will complete will be benefi- cial to the community,” to measure comparable per- ceptions of faculty without prior SL experience.
Feedback for an initial version of the measure was sought from three key stakeholder groups: (1) the Office of Service Leadership (OSL) leadership team, including higher administrators for instruction and public service outreach and the Office for Institutional Research; (2) the SL Curriculum Committee – a cam- pus-wide committee consisting of 18 faculty mem- bers across disciplines interested in SL; and (3) SL Interest Group – a campus-wide network consisting of faculty, staff, and community partners who meet monthly discussing issues related to SL. Suggestions were incorporated into a revision, and the resulting survey instrument was pilot tested with a small sam- ple of faculty members before it was finalized and converted into the online format. The final survey consisted of 5 main sections: Demographics, current SL practice, perceived benefits of SL, perceived bar- riers of SL, and directions for planning future SL training opportunities. Data from the last section were open-ended responses concerning faculty interests and needs for future SL training opportunities and are not included in the analyses presented here.
Before data were analyzed, some items were reverse-coded to reflect positive expressions in their corresponding scales (see Table 2). Descriptive sta- tistics, item-total correlation, and Cronbach's alpha coefficients were calculated for each scale to evaluate internal consistencies among faculty with and with- out prior SL experience.
Confirmatory factor analysis was then applied to
examine the proposed four-factor model among each group (faculty with or without SL experience). The purpose of this process was to determine whether or not there was sufficient empirical evidence that the model, as specified, was a viable representation of the true relationships between observed and latent vari- ables (Mueller, 1996). Judgments about model fit were made jointly by assessing the ratio of chi-square to degrees of freedom (X2/df), root mean square error of approximate (RMSEA), incremental fit index (IFI), and comparative fit index (CFI). The criteria used to determine if the model fits the data were the X2/df less than three (Bollen, 1989), RMSEA no more than .08 (Raykov, 2001), and values of IFI, and CFI at least .90 (Byrne, 1998). Factor loadings were considered statis- tically significant if the ratio of the factor loading to its standard error was greater than 1.96 or less than -1.96 (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1996). The structure of factor loadings is provided in Figure 1.
Finally, item-discrimination analysis was conduct- ed to examine whether the scores of the inventory dis- criminated faculty with favorable beliefs toward SL from faculty with less favorable beliefs (Hou, 2009). This analysis was also done separately for faculty with or without SL experience. Each sample was divided into two groups based on the scores on each scale. Faculty members scoring in the top one-third of each scale were compared with those scoring in the bottom one-third of that scale. Independent t test was used to compare item means between these two groups for each scale.
Table 2 provides psychometric information for the wFSLBI items. The analysis of the reliability coeffi- cients from the online survey showed that Cronbach alphas ranged from .65 to .85 among faculty with prior SL experience (n = 102), and ranged from .74 to .91 among faculty without SL experience (n = 260). The corrected item-total correlations (CITC) of the wFSLBI items in the respective four sub-scales were all greater than .20, ranging from .34 to .73 for the SL experienced faculty and from .29 to .81 for the no SL experience faculty, indicating sufficient item corrections among both faculty groups. The correlation matrix among items is available upon request. Statistics for both fac- ulty groups are provided, with statistics for the group without SL experience highlighted in italic. Item descriptions in Table 2 represented statements used for faculty with prior SL experience.
Validity Evidence: Confirmatory Factor Analysis
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) then was done to test the wFSLBI four-factor model: perceived ben-
Page 82 Hou
Psychometric Information for the wFSLBI
Scalec Item description Mean (SD) CITC Alpha With prior SL experiencea if item No prior SL experience (Italic) b deleted
PROS-Classroom level (with experience) (Cronbach Alpha [7-item] = .85; n=102) PROS-Classroom level (no experience) (Cronbach Alpha [7-item] = .90; n=260)
Service-learning enriches classroom discussions and lectures in my course. I enjoy teaching more when the class involves service-learning. Service-learning helped me to understand my professional strengths and weakness. Participating in service-learning helped me clarify areas of focus for my scholarship. Teaching service-learning courses has resulted in a change in my teaching style(s) . Participation in service-learning is an important component of my professional portfolio. I was able to develop a good relationship with the students in my service-learning course(s)
because of the community work.
(.70)4.50 (1.06)3.45 (.87)4.12 (.92)3.29 (.97)3.66 (.99)3.01 (1.02)3.41 (1.06)2.79 (.99)3.65 (.94)3.50 (1.07)3.79 (1.06)2.08 (.83)4.06 (.90)3.50 .48
PROS-Community level (with experience) (Cronbach Alpha [6-item] =.79; n=102) PROS-Community level (no experience) (Cronbach Alpha [6-item] =.91; n=260)
The service my students completed was beneficial to the community.
I value working with community partners to structure and deliver the service-learning experience for students. I learned something new about the community from my community partners.
The community members with whom I partner play an active role in the planning or development of my service-learning course(s) . The work my students and I performed enhanced my ability to communicate my ideas in the community. I can make a difference in the community
(.61)4.47 (.83)3.85 (.71)4.45 (.95)3.62 (.69)4.33 (.78)3.92 (.97)3.65 (.94)3.42 (.82)3.87 (.88)3.58 (.60)4.41 (.82)3.61 .46
Page 83 CONS-CLS
CONS-Classroom level (with experience) (Cronbach Alpha [4-item] = .65; n=102) CONS-Classroom level (no experience) (Cronbach Alpha [4-item] = .74; n=260)
Time constraints interfere with my ability to teach a service-learning course.
I feel that I am giving up control of the learning experience when teaching a service-learning course. I have a harder time assessing student learning and work in a service-learning course than in a traditional course. I experience challenges with the reduced time for classroom instruction in my service-learning course. Using service-learning required more of my time as a teacher. e
(1.14)3.60 (.90)3.90 (.96)2.00 (.89)2.69 (1.15)2.72 (1.03)3.22 (1.02)2.70 (.97)3.57 (1.01)4.01 (.89)3.87 .50
CONS-Institution level (with experience) (Cronbach Alpha [3-item] = .66; n=102) CONS-Institution level (no experience) (Cronbach Alpha [3-item] = .72; n=260)
Faculty promotion and tenure policies do not support or encourage my service-
Administrative leaders actively work to make service-learning a visible and important part ofinstitutional work.dMy colleagues understand and value service-learning in promotion, tenure, and annual evaluationdecisions. d
(1.13)3.74 .44.62 (1.07)3.55 .52.66 (1.00)3.23 .39.67 (.94)3.11 .46.72 (1.08)3.57 .61.37 (1.04)3.43 .65 .48 Notes:
Faculty with SL experience referred to those who have taught at least one course with SL component or were teaching it for the first time at the time of the survey. The sample size of this group was 102.
b Faculty without SL experience referred to those who were aware of the SL pedagogy but had not yet taught a course with SL at the time of the survey. The sample size of this group was 260. “PROS” refers to “perceived benefits of service-learning, ” “CONS” refers to “perceived barriers of service-learning. ” The wording of each item in these scales was chosen accordingly for the experienced vs. no SL experiencedgroup. For easier reading, item descriptions in the table were statements used for participant who had prior SL experience. Statistics for the no SL experience group were indicated in italics.
d Items were reverse coded in the analysis.
Item was excluded from the final scale due to non-significant factor loading to the underlying construct.
Developing a Faculty Inventory
Page 84 Hou
The structure and item loadings of the wFSLBI (Faculty without SL Experience)
Note: Model fit Index: Chi /df=2.64; RMSEA=.079; CFI=.91; IFI=.91
Page 85 Developing a Faculty Inventory
efits at classroom (PROS_CLS; 7-item) and commu- nity levels (PROS_COM; 6-item), and perceived bar- riers at classroom (CONS_CLS; 5-item) and institu- tional levels (CONS_INST; 3-item). CFA showed that all of the wFSLBI items were loaded signifi- cantly and in a way consistent with the four specified constructs for each faculty group, except that one item (CONS_CLS_5) did not load significantly to any of the four factors. After removing this item, CFA then was done again to confirm the 20-item wFSLBI with four-factor model.
Model fit index obtained from Amos output showed that, among faculty with prior SL experience group (n = 102), the values of the Incremental Fit Index (IFI) and the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) were .86 and .85, respectively, with X2/df of 1.60, indicating satisfactory fit (Bollen, 1989). Furthermore, the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA=.077) and Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR=.069) were both small, which also indicated a good fit (Raykov, 2001). Among faculty without SL experience (n = 260), model fit index also showed satisfactory fit index, with X2/df of 2.64, and IFI, CFI, RMEA as .91, .91, and .079 respectively. Figure 1 summarized the interrelations among the four constructs (latent vari- ables, identified using circles) and the relations between each latent variable and observed indicators (i.e., individual belief items identified using rectan- gles) among faculty without prior SL experience. (The same figural summary for the SL experienced faculty group is available upon request.) Examination of the factor loadings for both the SL experienced and no experienced groups revealed that all of the 20 items in wFSLBI loaded significantly to their corresponding factor or construct (p <.001).
Validity Evidence: Item Discriminate Validity
Analyses showed significant discriminate validi- ties for all of the items in the PROS_CLS, PROS_COM, CONS_CLS, and CONS_INST scales (all p < .001), indicating that the wFSLBI success- fully discriminated faculty with favorable beliefs
toward SL pedagogy (i.e., those scored in the top one-third of the scale) from those with less favorable SL beliefs (i.e., those scored in the bottom one-third of the scale).
Validity Evidence: Group Comparison
Preliminary analyses showed that, except for the perceived barriers at the institutional level, service- learning faculty scored higher on perceived SL bene- fits and lower on SL barriers compared with non-SL faculty. The perceived institutional barriers were sim- ilar in both faculty groups. Table 3 provides summa- ry statistics of the group comparison.
The final validated wFSLBI, consisting of 20 items in 4 sub-scales, with separate forms for SL and non-SL faculty, is given in Table 4.
The study showed satisfactory evidence for the reliability of each scale in the wFLSBI as well as pre- liminary evidence for the validity of the instrument among faculty with and without service-learning experience. The wFSLBI assesses beliefs about per- ceived benefits and barriers toward service-learning that are salient among faculty (Abes et al., 2002; Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Driscoll, 2000; Hammond, 1994; Pribbenow, 2005). The new contribution of this instrument lies in its ability to systematically exam- ine perceived service-learning benefits and barriers at different levels, as opposed to general encouraging or discouraging variables. In addition, this validated instrument provides corresponding measurement items to assess and compare these service-learning perceptions across faculty at different service-learn- ing involvement statuses.
The perceived SL benefits measured by the wFSLBI include those at the classroom levels such as enriching classroom discussions, enhancing teaching and learning experience, relationship building with students, etc. Benefits were also measured at the community level, such as the purpose and meaning found in interaction with and service to the commu- nity. Key barriers to SL included those at the class-
Perceived Benefits and Barriers among Faculty with and without Service-Learning Experience.
PROS_CLSM** PROS_COMM** CONS_CLS** CONS_INST
SL Experience N Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Faculty with SL
experience 102 27.19 (4.75) 25.19 (3.12) 15.02 (3.48) 10.53 (2.48) Faculty without SL
experience 260 22.23 (5.46) 22.00 (4.35) 17.26 (3.21) 10.09 (2.45) T-Test T (360)=8.05; p<.001 T (256)=7.78; p<.001 T (360)=-5.82; p<.001 T (360)=1.54; p=.126
Note: ** p<.001
Page 86 Hou
The Final Validated wFSLBI 20-item Forms for Faculty with and without Prior SL Experience
Scale Item description -With prior SL experience Item description -No prior SL experience
Service-learning enriches classroom discussions and lectures in my course.
I enjoy teaching more when the class involves service-learning.
Service-learning helped me to understand my professional strengths andweakness.
Participating in service-learning helped me clarify areas of focus for myscholarship.
Teaching service-learning courses has resulted in a change in my teachingstyle(s).
Participation in service-learning is an important component of myprofessional portfolio.
I was able to develop a good relationship with the students in my service- learning course(s) because of the community work.
I believe service-learning will enrich classroom discussions and lecturesin my course.
I anticipate enjoying teaching more when the class involves service- learning.
I expect that service-learning will help me to better understand myprofessional strengths and weaknesses.
I anticipate that participating in service-learning will help me to clarifyareas of focus for my scholarship.
I believe teaching service-learning will result in changes in my teachingstyle(s).
I foresee participation in service-learning will become an importantcomponent of my professional portfolio.
I believe that I will be able to develop good relationships with the studentsin my service-learning course(s) because of the community work.
PROS-COM_ 1 PROS-COM_2å PROS-COM_ 3 PROS-COM_ 4
The service my students completed was beneficial to the community.
I value working with community partners to structure and deliver theservice-learning experience for students.
I learned something new about the community from my communitypartners.
The community members with whom I partner play an active role in theplanning or development of my service-learning course(s) .
I believe the service my students will complete will be beneficial to thecommunity.
I believe I will value working with community partners to structure anddeliver the service-learning experience for students.
I anticipate that I will learn something new about the community frommy community partners.
I expect that the community members with whom partner will play anactive role in the planning or development of my service-learningcourses.
Page 87 PROS-COM_5The work my students and I performed enhanced my ability toI expect that the work my students and perform will enhance my abilitycommunicate my ideas in the community.to communicate my ideas in the community.
PROS-COM_6I can make a difference in the community. I believe I will be able to make difference in the community.
Time constraints interfere with my ability to teach a service-learningcourse.
I feel that I am giving up control of the learning experience when teaching aservice-learning course.
I have a harder time assessing student learning and work in a service- learning course than in a traditional course.
I experience challenges with the reduced time for classroom instruction inmy service-learning course.
I expect time constraints will interfere with my ability to teach service- learning course.
I feel that I will be giving up control of the learning experience whenteaching a service-learning course.
I anticipate having a harder time assessing student learning and work in aservice-learning course than in traditional course.
I foresee challenges with the reduced time for classroom instruction inmy service-learning course.
Faculty promotion and tenure policies do not support or encourage myservice-
Administrative leaders actively work to make service-learning a visible andimportant part of institutional work.
My colleagues understand and value service-learning in promotion, tenure, and annual evaluation decisions.
Faculty promotion and tenure policies do not support or encourage myservice-learning endeavors.
Administrative leaders actively work to make service-learning visibleand important part of institutional work.
My colleagues understand and value service-learning in promotion, tenure, and annual evaluation decisions.
Developing a Faculty Inventory
Page 88 Hou
room levels, such as time constraints in coordination of the service-learning experiences, balancing class- room instruction, and challenges in student assess- ment. In addition, institutional barriers to SL were measured, including recognition of service-learning during the promotion and tenure process as well as support from colleagues and administrative leaders.
One limitation of the study is the relatively small size of the service-learning faculty sample (n = 102), so that CFA model fits, although considered to be good, were a little below ideal. Researchers are encouraged to test the instrument with larger samples to confirm the scale structure. It should also be noted that results from the current study came from a major- ity tenured or tenure track faculty sample. Additional studies are encouraged to apply the wFSLBI among faculty with different characteristics to further confirm the generalized utility and psychometrics of the instru- ment. Nevertheless, the current study reports substan- tial evidence for reliability and validity of each sub- scale, among both service-learning faculty and those without prior service-learning experience.
Preliminary comparison of scale means between SL faculty and non-SL faculty groups showed that SL faculty perceived higher benefits both at the class- room and community levels, where non-SL faculty tended to perceive higher barriers at the classroom level. It was interesting to note that both SL and non- SL faculty groups showed similar high levels of per- ceived institutional barriers. Future studies should further investigate motivations of SL faculty who still engage in the service-learning approach even though they perceive similar high level of institutional barri- ers compared with non-SL faculty. Reasons and motivations encouraging these SL faculty members warrant further examination.
Future study also could expand the use of the wFSLBI to other types of institutions to examine similarities and differences of service-learning per- ceptions among faculty across institutions. In addi- tion, studies could utilize the wFSLBI to examine motivations for and barriers to service-learning adop- tion among faculty at different SL involvement stages, in different disciplines, or in varied career tracks. Studies are also needed to examine whether negative beliefs or attitudes are a consequence of unfamiliarity, lack of direct contact, misinformation, preconceptions, or the results of failed experimenta- tion with SL. This research tool has implications for evaluating the effectiveness of tailored faculty devel- opment programs via assessing changes in SL-relat- ed beliefs, attitudes, and adoption behaviors.
In sum, the current study is the first to develop and validate a research instrument of this kind on service- learning-related beliefs and perceptions. Data were obtained via online survey responses, so the instru-
ment can be easily adopted for other service-learning research projects. Reliable and validated measure- ment tools are urgently needed, not only to help researchers and administrative leaders better assess and understand faculty motivators and barriers, but also to provide information for developing tailored resources and infrastructure to support faculty SL involvement. The importance of understanding facul- ty beliefs related to the SL approach is evident for developing needed support and training programs. The two forms of the wFSLBI will allow researchers to assess, compare, and evaluate service-learning program effects for faculty members at various stages of SL involvement.
This study was supported by the Office of Service- Learning at UGA. The PI is grateful to all faculty partic- ipants for their time and support of this institutional-wide benchmark study. Special thanks to Dr. Shannon Wilder for her strong support of the overall project, Dr. Denise Gardner for participant sampling, and research assistants Erin Adams for literature and assessment tool review and Joel Scott for technology support. In addition, sincere thanks go to the offices of VPs for Public Service Outreach and Instruction for the endorsement and sup- port of this project.
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Su-I Hou (email@example.com) is an associate profes- sor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior at the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia (UGa). She currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education and for Health Promotion Practice, the Society of Public Health Education’s official journal devoted to the practical application of health promotion and education. She is a recognized scholar of service-learning by the Community-Campus Partnership for Health, and an inaugural service-learning senior scholar for UGA’s Office of Service-Learning. Most of her research involves working with community partners in developing and validating the study instrument, assessing psycho-social factors that influence health behaviors, developing and implementing theory- based health programs, and evaluating the effective- ness of program interventions. Hou has extensive experience integrating service-learning components into her teaching of core or required MPH and DrPH courses. She repeatedly receives grants to work with the communities in Georgia and successfully devel- oped a service-learning model to build and sustain engaged community-campus partnerships while pro- viding valuable real-world experiential learning opportunities for her graduate students.