Table 1

Summary of recommendations for educators regarding the design and delivery of school-focussed service-learning projects

Lesson learntRecommendation
Service-learning projects must offer mutual benefits for all stakeholdersEducators should carefully consider constructive alignment in the planning phase of their service-learning project and explore how they may influence assessment
Opportunities for reflection are criticalIntegrate opportunities for reflection throughout the course of the project to safeguard against changes in project delivery
Tailoring approaches to individualised learning needs and priorities is key to enhance learning and engagementInvolve school pupil perspectives centrally in the design of teaching sessions, alongside review of their curriculum coverage
Evaluating projects from all stakeholder perspectives is critical to developing a mutually beneficial projectEducators should consider impacts on perceived institutional messaging, curriculum alignments and community/student engagement at every stage of project development
Decisions regarding whether projects should be voluntary or mandatory are complexEducators should consider whether, for their own context, a project should be voluntary, balancing providing the opportunity for all to participate with the risk of lower student engagement
Logistical issues are important and can detract from engagementPlease see online supplemental material 3 for an expansive list of logistical recommendations