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Service Learning Module: Guide for Instructors

This article is for professors and other instructors whose courses use the Get Connected Service Learning Module (SLM). It covers the following topics:

For an introduction on how to use the SLM, check out our video, Service Learning Module: Instructor Perspective.

Accessing the Service Learning Module (SLM)

There are a couple of ways to access the SLM on your community's Get Connected site:

  • Click on the link provided on your Get Connected dashboard. This will likely be a "spotlighted" link, available as a banner or colored panel, and as an item in the left-hand menu.
  • Type the following into your web address bar and press Enter:
    [your Get Connected domain]/slm.

Once you have accessed the module, you will see five menu items:

Click on a specific action above to learn more. 

Enrolling Students in Your Course

Even though a student will already be enrolled in your course through your college or university system, it is still necessary to indicate in the SLM that a student is associated with your course. This will allow that student the ability to see and respond to the volunteer opportunities available and to submit their hours for tracking.

Depending on your course settings, students will be able to join your course within the SLM in one of two ways:

  • Go to the Get Connected SLM, locate the course, open it, and click an Enroll button.
  • Access the course via a private, unique link that you provide.

Note: How a student joins your course is something you will need to discuss with your system administrator, who is responsible for putting these settings into place.

Students Click an "Enroll" Button

Once a student has clicked the Enroll button for your course, one of two things will happen:

  • The student will automatically be enrolled in your course.
  • The student will be considered "pending" for the course until you (or another instructor for the same course) approves them.

If approval is required, you will receive an email informing you of this.

To approve (or reject) a student's enrollment in your class in the SLM:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click Student Roster.
  3. In the pending student's row, click either Approve or Decline as applicable.

A user who is approved will be assigned a status of Active. Once you have refreshed your screen, that student will be ordered alphabetically within the student roster.

A student who is declined will receive a status of Deleted. Once you have refreshed the screen, the student will no longer be included in the student roster.

Note: Once you have clicked to approve or decline, the student will receive an email notification letting them know if they are in the course.

Students Must Use a Link

If your course settings require that students click a link in order to join the course, you can access that link by going to the SLM, opening your course, and clicking Student Roster.

You can then copy and paste the link into an email to send to your students. Once they click the link in the email, they will be taken to your course within the SLM. From there, they can view and respond to volunteer opportunities.

Editing Course Details

Your system administrator must set up your course in the SLM, but you can edit the course title, description, volunteer hours required, end date, and reflection questions as needed.

To edit your course details:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Under the Course Details heading, click Edit Course.
  3. Edit the fields as needed.

    Note regarding reflection questions: You can add a new reflection question or delete an existing one, but you cannot edit an existing reflection question.

  4. Click Submit.

Note: To view students' answers to the reflection question(s), clickReview Hours in the SLM menu, scroll to the bottom of the page, and and click Export Reflections.

Viewing and Editing Service Opportunities

Your course's available service opportunities are added set up by your administrator, but you can edit opportunities once they have been added to your course.

Viewing Service Opportunities

To view the service opportunities that have been assigned to your course:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Service Opportunities heading. You will see a list of all of the service opportunities that have been created for the course. Each item displays the agency's logo, the need title, part of the need description, and the number of service spots remaining, as shown in this example:
  3. Click the Details tab to see the full description, the number of hours required, the need's contact people, and other details.

Editing a Service Opportunity

To edit a service opportunity that has been added to your course.

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Service Opportunities heading.
  3. Scroll to the need you want to edit and click the Details tab.
  4. Click the Edit Need button, located on the right-hand side of the screen.
  5. Edit the title, description, notes, requirements, address, and categories as needed.
  6. Click Submit Need.

Reaching Out To Agency Managers

Have a question for an agency manager? It's easy to reach out to the agency managers who are responsible for the needs that have been added to your course. To email an agency manager:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Service Opportunities heading.
  3. Scroll to the need you want to edit and click the Details tab.
  4. Under the Contact heading, click Email for the person you wish to contact. Your email system will open a blank message so that you can write and send your message.

Viewing and Editing Course Participants

You can view you course's students, instructors, and assistants in the SLM. You also have the option of removing a student from a course, approving or declining students who have signed up, and editing the instructor and assistant information. Finally, you can view the specific details of each student's volunteer work for your course.

Viewing Course Participants

"Participants" include students, professors, other instructors, and assistants. To view the participants in your course:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Student Roster heading. The roster, as shown in the example below, includes both students ("students") and professors, instructors, and other assistants ("managers").

The student roster has four columns:

  • Name
  • Type - "manager" refers to a professor, other instructor, or assistant, and "students" refers to students
  • Primary - Course instructors are listed as "primary"; course assistants and students do not have a primary status.
  • Status - If a student is awaiting approval, the status is listed as approve | decline, and an instructor can click one or the other as applicable. If a student is already enrolled in the course, the status is listed as remove, giving the instructor the option to remove the student from the course if necessary.

Note: For information on how to remove course managers, see Updating Staff, below.

Viewing Volunteer Hours

To view the details of an individual student's volunteer work in your course:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Student Roster heading.
  3. Click on a student's name to display a record of the student's volunteer work to date.

As shown in this example, the record shows the date volunteered, the number of hours volunteers, the mode of transportation used, the mileage, the expense (if applicable), and the status (Verified, Declined, or Pending).

Note: While the agency manager is typically responsible for verifying student hours, instructors can verify hours as well. Click here to learn more.

To view the specific volunteer opportunity and the posting agency, click on a row in the list. In this example, the instructor has clicked on the top row (January 19, 2016).

Approving, Declining, and Removing Users

Note: The following instructions refer to the Get Connected Service Learning Module (SLM). If a student drops your course outside of Get Connected, either you or an admin will need to go into the SLM and remove the student from your course in the SLM.

Professors, other instructors, and course assistants can approve or decline students who have clicked a button to join the class in the SLM, and they can remove students who have already enrolled. All of this is done under the Student Roster heading of your course in the SLM.

As mentioned previously, there are two "statuses" that appear in the Status column of the student roster. Click on a status to enact it:

  • approve | decline - This status appears if a student has attempted to join your course by accessing the SLM and clicking a button to join. Click approve to accept the student into the course; click decline to decline.
  • remove - This status appears if a student has already been accepted into your course, either by being approved or by clicking a link to join. Click remove in order to remove the student from the course.

Once you've approved a student, their status will temporarily change to active. When you refresh the screen (or close it and return to it later), the status will have changed to remove.

Updating Staff (Professors, Other Instructors, and Assistants)

Staff can be updated only by a system administrator or a primary instructor. To add or remove course professors, other instructors, and assistants:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Student Roster heading.
  3. Scroll to Course Staff area at the bottom of the page.
  4. To add an instructor or course assistant, begin typing a name and select the correct name from the list that appears. To remove a staff member, click the red next to the user's name.

    Note: To be added as an instructor or course assistant, the individual must have a Get Connected user account. If their name does not appear, it is because Get Connected doesn't associate it with a registered user of the site.

  5. Click Update Staff.

Reviewing Student Hours

There are several ways to access student hours in the SLM. This section of this article explains how a professor, other instructor, or course assistant can review volunteer hours in order to verify or decline them. This section also covers how to access students' answers to reflection questions.

To access information about student volunteer hours:

  1. Access your course in the SLM.
  2. Click the Review Hours heading. The table displayed shows the dates volunteered, hours volunteered, student names, need titles, and status (approved, declined, or pending). It also shows whether or not the student has answered the reflection question (if applicable).
  3. From this table, you can take the following actions:
  • Click on a row to see the agency that posted the need.
  • Click on the checked box in the Reflection column to read a student's response to the reflection question.
  • If hours are pending, click Verify or Decline as applicable.
  • To export student reflections, click the Export Reflections button at the bottom of the page.

Instructor Dashboard

The instructor dashboard displays your students' progress toward your course's service-learning requirements.

Click on a student's name to view the details of their volunteer hours.

Video: SLM Guide for Instructors

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