You can’t throw snowballs over Zoom: The challenges of service-learning reflection via online platforms


  • Sandra Smeltzer
  • Calvi Leon
  • Vanessa Sperduti


Paraules clau:

Service-learning, critical reflection, remote learning


COVID-19 has pervaded all aspects of higher education. Instructors are scrambling to ensure students meet predetermined learning outcomes through online communication and teaching. Students are trying to learn, collaborate, and communicate in new ways with fellow classmates and instructors. As `traditional´ service-learning activities shift to accommodate physical distancing measures and remote learning, and students wrestle with the seismic shifts in their socio-political, economic, and cultural lives, critical reflection is now more important than ever. In this article, we draw on their collective experiences to discuss the importance of establishing an open, honest, and trustworthy environment for students to thoughtfully and productively engage in domestic curricular service-learning endeavours. Specifically, we examine the challenges of facilitating service-learning reflection activities for a fourth-year undergraduate media studies course at Western University (Western), a large, research-intensive publicly funded institution in Canada. The article concludes by offering some key recommendations for how instructors can effectively engage students in critical reflection via online platforms.






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