Service-learning (SL) is among the pedagogies that can be used to teach students the engineering design process. The similarities and differences of SL as implemented via engineering design are compared to community and civic engagement typical in disciplines such as social sciences. Although engineering design can be conceptualized via a number of paradigms, a human-centered design approach is particularly well-suited to SL projects. SL projects typically engage engineering students and instructors with stakeholders who do not have technical backgrounds. This approach is different than many industrially-sponsored projects that are more typical in capstone design projects and poses unique challenges and opportunities for engineering design education. Best practice recommendations for SL design projects have been distilled, with a particular emphasis on developing reciprocal partnerships and meaningful student reflection. SL design projects can lead to a rich array of knowledge, skills, and attitude outcomes among students, including ethical development, humility and empathy, and creativity and innovation. Enhanced recruiting and retention using this pedagogy has also been reported. Assessment of community partner satisfaction, learning, and outcomes are generally less well documented. SL design projects can be integrated into courses ranging from first-year to senior capstone, providing benefits to communities while enhancing students’ skills.
Part of the book: New Innovations in Engineering Education and Naval Engineering