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Are we being reciprocal?! A systematic review of reciprocity in Community-Based Learning

September 13, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Abstract: Scholars agree that reciprocity—mutuality in a partnership between an educational institution and a community—is a cornerstone of Community-Based learning (CBL); however, operationalization of this concept varies widely in engineering practice and across disciplines. To enhance the potential of CBL practice to fulfill its promise for societal impact, engineering educators and scholars must understand how reciprocity is achieved, recognize the barriers that inhibit its progress, and identify strategies for how it can be strengthened. Therefore, I will present results from a systematic review conducted to evaluate how and to what extent reciprocity is pursued and enacted in the engineering SLCE literature. Through our analysis and discussion of the coded data, we observed that our codes—informed by the reciprocity literature—could function as an emergent analytical framework. In our discussion, I will present findings that provide insight into the form and extent to which reciprocity is currently present in engineering service-learning. Our results suggest that to enact more equitable SLCE, researchers and practitioners must intentionally conceptualize reciprocity, translate it into practice, and make visible the ways in which reciprocity is enacted within their SLCE outcomes.

Bio: Dr. David A. Delaine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. He leads the Inclusive Community-based Learning (iCBL) Lab that advances knowledge on the ways in which community-based learning (service-learning, outreach, volunteerism) in engineering can impact local communities, students, and other participating stakeholders through reciprocal partnership. The iCBL develops evidence-based approaches within CBL contexts that can support the formation of reflexive engineering professionals while promoting social justice and broadening participation outcomes in engineering. Dr. Delaine is an NSF CAREER awardee who has obtained a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Drexel University, and served as a Postdoctoral Fulbright Scholar at the Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo.


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