Best Practices

For Faculty:

Course Goals and Objectives 


• Integrate experiential-learning into your goals and/or objectives, to establish the significance of experiential-learning in the course explain reasoning for incorporating experiential-learning in the grading process. 


•  Articulate how experiential-learning will advance learning in the class. Benefits of experiential-learning may be specific to your discipline but are frequently based on the following common ideas: ability to apply course concepts to real-world experience; experience working with clients in a professional setting; ability to work across diverse backgrounds, cultures, and personalities; understanding of careers that relate to course content. 



Policies and Expectations 


• _Participation and attendance: This includes participation in experiential-learning for the entire semester, as well as participation in class discussions that draw upon students’ experiences.  Students will commit to 4-6 hours of experiential-learning per week for the duration of the semester. These hours may include serving directly at a community organization, preparing for experiential-learning projects or working on an experiential-learning project while on campus.  Transportation is included in these hours. 


o Emphasize a weekly commitment to experiential-learning hours, rather than a total number of required hours. It is critical for students to attend experiential-learning continually, rather than trying to “earn all the hours” at the beginning of the semester and then stop their experiential-learning or “fit all the hours” into the last weeks of the semester. 

o This commitment is crucial for a mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnership. 


Academic honesty: Do not assume that students understand how academic honesty policies apply to experiential-learning. Lying about participation in experiential-learning should be addressed as a form of academic dishonesty. Remind students that partner organizations will provide end-of-semester evaluations that include notes on student attendance and that you will be in regular communication with partners throughout the semester. 

Course Assignments and Grading Rubric 


Clarify what is expected of students and how they will be evaluated. Provide a grading rubric that sets clear guidelines and demonstrates the crucial role that service will play in course learning and evaluation. 


Course Grading: 



                      Final Project: 


Class Participation 15% 

Your class participation is based upon your performance in the following areas: 

· participation in class discussion, role playing and other in-class activities; 

· bringing examples of your experiential learning experiences to class; 


Forms of Reflection 

Critical reflective thinking can and should be integrated into every aspect of your course, including existing assignments as much as possible. 


Forms of reflection include (but are not limited to): 

• _Writing: Formal analysis or research papers that ask students to draw upon service experiences along with readings and lectures; case studies; journals/blogs/Blackboard forums; creative writing; self-evaluations. 

• _Telling: Oral presentations; formal or informal class or small group discussions; debates; teaching a class. 

• _Responding: Reading/observing/listening to materials that are directly or indirectly related to and drawing upon experiences in response. Materials may include: course lectures, case studies, journal or news articles, documents, or various art forms. 

• _Doing: Completing culminating projects, publicizing/advocating for relevant causes, designing and implementing a final project.


Kolb Learning Cycle:






Peer Assistantship:


Peer Assistantships yields many benefits to undergraduate teachers and learners. The university has established uniform standards for the utilization of undergraduate peer assistants and for the awarding of academic credit for such activities. Opportunities to serve as peer assistants are by invitation and generally limited to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. Undergraduates serving in this capacity may be compensated for their services or receive one, and only one, semester course credit for their assistance during their Brandeis career.

Credit-bearing peer assistantships are enrolled under the course number PEER 94a and are subject to the normal enrollment procedures and deadlines. Peer assistant courses are offered exclusively on a credit/no-credit grading basis and are not factored into the student's GPA.



Community Engaged Learning Fund    

The Community Engaged Learning Committee is offering mini grants of up to $500- to support projects associated with credit- baring courses where students, faculty, or staff collaborate with partners in the greater Waltham community. Grants made possible through the Park Lodge Hotel Group.


Brandeis Pluralism Alliance 

A grants program providing up to $500 for student or faculty initiated projects that address issues of identity, pluralism and unity in the Brandeis community. Contact: Elaine Wong



Eunice M. Lebowitz Cohen Fellowship in Classics 

Four fellows will work toward completion of a Classics research or creative project, in conjunction with a Classicist Faculty Mentor. Classics majors or in some cases minors are eligible. The fellowship stipend is $500 for research expenses. Contact: Heidi McAllister


Schiff Fellowship 

Brandeis University sophomores, juniors or seniors, together with a faculty sponsor, apply to perform an innovative research or pedagogical project. Approximately $2,000 reimbursement for teaching/research expenses; faculty mentor receives a $500 stipend towards their own research. Contact: Meredith Monaghan