Service Learning in Business Education: Expectations and Reality

Abstract

Service learning (SL) is an education approach that embeds community services elements in formal learning curriculum. It aims to develop students’ empathy, sense of global citizenship, soft skills, and disciplinary knowledge at the same time. Success cases of service learning subjects across the globe, including cases from Chile, South Africa, India, Hong Kong and many other places, are reported and cherished by academics. However, these courses are often offered by engineering, social science and health related faculties, while successful and sustainable business service learning courses appear to remain limited. This paper traced the validation process of a service learning course initiated by a business school in Hong Kong which students were proposed to conduct applied business research for non-profit organisations (NPOs). With a thematic analysis of documents arose from 17 rounds of revision in a 29-month period, this paper aimed to explore the expectation gaps between the business faculties who developed the service learning course, and reviewers involved in the internal and external screening, and the university’s validation process. The results suggested that business faculties and reviewers held very different views in students’ ability and choice of service partners. Furthermore, the results revealed that the reviewers held diverse understanding towards the service recipients during the review process. Our findings highlighted the different epistemic beliefs about service learning held by different parties and provided practical insights in setting up service learning courses in business related disciplines.



Author Information
Y. T. Hester Chow, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
Y.C.A. Lam, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
M.M. Lau, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
S.S.M. Yuen, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR
I.O.K. Chin, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2024
Stream: Professional Training

This paper is part of the ACEID2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Chow Y., Lam Y., Lau M., Yuen S., & Chin I. (2024) Service Learning in Business Education: Expectations and Reality ISSN: 2189-101X – The Asian Conference on Education & International Development 2024 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.46
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2189-101X.2024.46


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Posted by James Alexander Gordon