Individual in Community Hub Guide
Over a lifetime, people move in and out of multiple communities that range from the family, to neighborhoods and cities, to professional and other organizations (which might be international), to larger units such as the nation. These communities may be defined by, among other things, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, personal relationships, time, location, interests, and beliefs. The ability to accept individual responsibility toward multiple communities, and to work as engaged members of diverse communities is essential to all aspects of life in the 21st century. Hub Curriculum Guide
Courses and cocurricular activities in this area must have all outcomes. If you are proposing an IIC course or if you want to learn more about these outcomes, please see this Interpretive Document. Interpretive Documents, written by the General Education Committee, are designed to answer questions faculty have raised about Hub policies, practices, and learning outcomes as a part of the course approval process. To learn more about the proposal process, start here.
Learning Outcomes for Individual in Community
Courses and cocurricular activities in this area must have all outcomes.
If you are proposing an IIC course or if you want to learn more about these outcomes, please see this Interpretive Document. Interpretive Documents, written by the General Education Committee, are designed to answer questions faculty have raised about Hub policies, practices, and learning outcomes as a part of the course approval process. To learn more about the proposal process, start here.
To date, faculty teaching approved BU Hub courses have defined “community” through the lens of:
- The Irish in Boston
- Queer communities, as well as communities formed around sex and gender identities
- “High” and “lowbrow” culture
- Social movements, including Black Lives Matter, the antiwar movement of the 1960s, feminist “waves” within the U.S., and internet activism and “slacktivism”
- Social class in Boston (ex: the gentrification of South Boston)
- The BU campus community, as well as local high schools
- Local town and state governments
- K-12 mathematics education in the U.S.
- Monolingual and bilingual environments
- Audiences of writers and readers
- Capitalism and labor markets in Western society
- Poverty in Massachusetts
- Ethnic communities
- Cultural constructions of motherhood
The following are assignments that faculty have developed for this Hub area:
- One way to evaluate students’ learning in this area is to develop a writing assignment with a reflection component, which specifically requires students to connect their community experience with course themes, questions, and texts. Examples are available from the University of Waterloo.
- Other instructors have evaluated students’ progress towards the Hub learning outcomes by having students keep a journal of reflections about their experiences; deliver an oral presentation; or a conduct a digital project, such as an ePortfolio. ePortfolios are supported by BU through the free Digication platform and have been successfully used in CGS.
- One CGS faculty designed a social-science project prompting students to engage with the communities serviced by a local cross-town bus.
- Lastly, some instructors have opted to use pre- and post-tests to measure changes in students’ thinking and values over time. Pre-tests can be used to assess disciplinary knowledge; they can also be given to students at the beginning of a course, unit, or internship experience to provide a baseline of students’ worldviews and beliefs. For instance, students could write a letter to themselves at the beginning of the course, in which they describe their goals for their educational experience. After completing a post-test, instructors have then prompted students to revisit their original responses from the pre-test. This metacognitive exercise makes explicit — for both instructors and students — the changes in student beliefs, values, and identities as the course progresses. Faculty interested in the Hub’s Individual in Community area may also wish to explore the CTL’s Service Learning Guide for additional resources and sample assignments/activities.
Course Design Questions
As you are integrating the Individual in Community into your course, here are a few questions that you might consider:
- What reflective assignments — both graded and ungraded, high- and low-stakes — are you developing to measure students’ analysis of their own worldviews and beliefs?
- Do students have opportunities throughout the semester to apply and practice these skills and receive feedback?
- In what ways can you explicitly talk with your students about how to participate respectfully in local / university communities? How will students be prompted to identify and reflect on the issues impacting these communities?
After working with over 200 faculty, the CTL has developed an optional course syllabus template.
Sheila Cordner, co-author of this guide, would be happy to be in touch with faculty interested in pursuing service learning in their courses: firstname.lastname@example.org.