Amanda Sturgill, Phillip Motley publish service learning research

Communications professors' research featured in a journal dedicated to teaching and learning.

Phillip Motley (left) and Amanda Sturgill
Elon University School of Communications associate professors Amanda Sturgill and Phillip Motley had their research about service learning published in Teaching and Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal. Their paper is titled “Methods of Reflection about Service Learning: Guided vs. Free, Dialogic vs. Expressive, and Public vs. Private.”

The research centers on the impact of students’ written reflection of service learning experiences. The abstract reads: “Reflection is a key component of service learning, but research shows that in order to maximize learning, the reflection must be of high quality. This paper compares the affordances of three different models of written reflection in engendering students’ higher-order thought processes. Student reflections were compared across axes of guided versus free response, dialogic versus expressive reflection, and public versus private reflection. Results indicate that guided reflection yields more response than free reflection does. Dialogic and guided reflections both yield more integration of knowledge from service learning activities within a larger context. Results for public reflection versus private were mixed. Ethical considerations for public reflection are also discussed.”

Both Sturgill and Motley teach undergraduate students and graduate students in the Interactive Media program. They’ve incorporated service learning requirements into their courses.