Teaching development grants final and financial report: Enhancing core competences of undergraduates through service-learning: Effects of different service-learning models

Research output: Other contributionTDG


Starting from 2014-15, students of HKIEd have been and will be required to complete a 3-credit Co-curricular and Service Learning (CSL) Course, in which students will be involved in service-based activities. Service learning (SL), as a form of experiential learning, is a challenging pedagogy for faculty members because faculties have to restructure the traditional credit-bearing courses, liaise with community agencies and NGOs, arrange service activities that help students connect service with academic content, etc., all of which are out of the “comfortable zone” of traditional university teaching. In order to provide quality CSL courses for students’ selection, it is timely important to provide empirical evidence of how to effectively design and implement CSL courses and encourage faculty members to be engaged in quality CSL course teaching. The proposed project will focus on investigating the impacts of different CSL models upon undergraduates’ core competences and academic achievement. Core competences include positive personality, positive work attitude, collaboration and teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Three models will be investigated: faculty-lead CSL courses, cross-unit or cross-department CSL courses (eg, faculty-SAO collaboration), and CSL courses that are run by non-academic units (eg. pilot SHELL course run by SAO). Three types of interventions, (1) a set of reflection strategies, (2) activities that engage students in generating ideas, in the decision-making process, and in the evaluation of the quality of service experience, and (3) meaningful service (direct contact with service recipients who are in obvious state of need) will be employed to promote student learning. A mixed methods design will be employed to investigate how undergraduates’ personality, work attitude, collaboration and interpersonal competences change within the context of service learning. A pre-post survey will be employed to track students’ development in the four core competences and the Service-Learning Quality Indicators (SLQI) will be administered post-project to assess participants’ evaluation of service program quality respectively. Focus groups for students and individual interviews for course lecturers will be conducted to understand what elements in CSL courses foster undergraduates’ development in the desired areas after the end of the courses. The expected outcomes of the project include the following outputs: (1) a resource book for designing and developing service learning for undergraduates (for faculties’ use); (2) a guide to enhance academic learning and personal growth in service learning (for students’ use); (3) a report on the impacts of CSL courses upon undergraduates’ personal development and academic achievement; (4) two conference papers and two journal articles. It is anticipated that the project will provide teaching and learning materials for faculties and students’ further reference. The findings from the project, for instance, impacts of different service learning models, may contribute to the knowledge base about service learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017



Xu, H. X., & Cheng, K. H. D. (2017). Teaching development grants final and financial report: Enhancing core competences of undergraduates through service-learning: Effects of different service-learning models. Hong Kong: The Education University of Hong Kong.


  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Report
  • TDG project code: T0154
  • Period: TDG 2014-2015
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)
  • Core competences
  • Service learning model
  • Undergraduate
  • Service learning