CTL Guide to the Individual in Community Hub Area

Guidance for designing or teaching an IIC course, including assignment resources and examples.

From the BU Hub Curriculum 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. For more context around this Hub area, see this Hub page.

Learning Outcomes for IIC

Courses and cocurricular activities in this area will have the first learning outcome and will also have either the second or the third learning outcomes.

  1. Students will reflect critically on their engagement and relations with different communities—campuswide, citywide, national and/or international—and will recognize and analyze the issues relevant to those communities (or to different individuals in those communities).
  2. Students will consider at least one of the dimensions of experience that inform their own worldviews and beliefs as well as those of other individuals and societies. Such considerations may include (but are not limited to) race, class, gender expression, sexuality, disability, neurodiversity, age, language, religion, politics, or cultural history.
  3. Students will demonstrate depth of understanding of the historical and systemic bases of racial bias and inequities in the world today, including in the United States. This may include awareness of systems and/or cultural structures of racial bias and inequity (such as in education, employment, health, disability, housing, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the law), the societal consequences of such inequities, and antiracist or other activism aimed at creating a more just and equitable society.

Note: Courses must address Outcome 1, together with Outcome 2 or Outcome 3. Courses need not address all three outcomes. This means that faculty should consider whether they will address Outcome 1 and Outcome 2, or whether their course is more suited to address Outcome 1 and Outcome 3. In the latter case, please note that some course materials should focus on the historical and systemic bases of racial bias, including in the U.S.  To learn more about the proposal process, start here.

Using Reflection in IIC Assignments

Reflection is an important aspect of IIC’s learning outcomes. We ask students to “reflect critically on their engagement and relations” with communities, to analyze the ways in which experience shapes worldview, and to become aware of how systems of bias affect society. How can instructors facilitate reflection in these contexts and what might be the benefits of reflection?

Research suggests that reflection assignments help students develop empathy and self-awareness around cultures that are not their own (Wies, 2018). Further, reflection is an important part of active learning (Fink, 2013; Singer-Freeman & Bastone, 2018). In the context of IIC, reflection can support student learning in your course and help students develop transferable skills around interacting with a range of communities and understanding how they are situated in relation to those communities.

Grading Reflective Assignments

The resources below are collected from J. Elizabeth Clark’s presentation “Reflective Writing for Project-Based Learning” (2022).

  1. Models for Assessing Reflection (Depaul): An overview of how to begin thinking about assessment, followed by two theoretical models and accompanying rubric questions.
  2. Assessing Reflection” (Barbara Glesner Fines): Argues that reflection is a characteristic of advanced learners and proposes a rubric with three categories to assess reflection: Undeveloped, Developing, Skilled. 
  3. Reflection Guide and Rubric (University of Alberta): A student-facing handout that introduces reflection and then sets out stages of reflection, together with questions and rubric.

Works Cited and Recommended Sources

Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. John Wiley & Sons.

Hosman, L., & Jacobs, G. (2018). “From Active Learning to Taking Action: Incorporating Political Context Into Project-Based, Interdisciplinary, International Service Learning Courses.” Journal of Political Science Education, 14(4), 473-490. https://doi.org/10.1080/15512169.2017.1419876

Sturgill, A., & Motley, P. (2014). “Methods of reflection about service learning: Guided vs. free, dialogic vs. expressive, and public vs. private.” Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 2(1), 81-93. https://doi.org/10.2979/teachlearninqu.2.1.81

Wies, J. (2018). “Perceptions of Risk, Lives in Sacrifice: Service, Learning, and Liberation Pedagogy in Appalachia.” Teaching and Learning Anthropology, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.5070/T31139332