Sample student projects
Food Insecurity at Minnesota State University Mankato
Class size: Medium sized class (about 17 students), face to face
Community engagement: Existing study community (college campus) with low investment/ collaboration from community partner
Team Size: 4 teams of 4 all working on different aspects of one project
Racial Justice Study: An Examination of Ticket Citations in the City of Mankato, Minnesota
Class size: Small class (9 students), face to face
Community engagement: high investment investment
Team Size: 3 students. There were 3 teams of 3-4 all working on different projects with a different partners in the class
All project form this semester are available here: https://studentshowcaseblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/applied-sociology-fall-2014/studentshowcaseblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/applied-sociology-fall-2014/
Social ActionProjects, Spring 2018
Class size: Medium (about 20 students), face to face
Community engagement: Utilized students’ existing community relationships
Team Size: 6 teams of about 4 students each, all working on different projects.
Sample student project guidebooks
Social Change in the 21st Century, Social Change Projects, Spring 2018
Sociology in Action, Food Insecurity at Minnesota State Mankato, Spring 2018
Contracts: Templates & Examples
Community engagement is not always possible due to time, class size, or institution and community support. You can still motivate your students by building in real world assignments and small projects. Here are some ideas as well as examples from my classes:
Semester long service learning:
Instead of one-time service learning have the students identify (or identify for them) an organization that they can do work for throughout the semester. Worried about having them use organizational time? Have them go to already established volunteer events and do the rest of their service learning in the background. They can do things like make social media posts, write an op ed, do a literature review, search for grants, etc. At the end of the semester they can "offer" these things to the organization to do with what they want--or you can have all students work in the background with one organization and you can offer the very best of what your students collaboratively created.
Class website example
Society and Animals: aboutanimalsbyanimals.weebly.com
This is a lower division writing intensive class, so I teach public writing that gets posted on a public website. This website is live, and as more classes have contributed I get more choosy about the guidelines for which get posted online. The best articles from past semesters get used to teach content in the class as well as writing a couple times during the semester, which motivates students since they see a direct outcome of a good article.
Final project website example
Student Showcase blog: studentshowcaseblog.wordpress.com
I also keep a website of any final project or class exercises that I can imagine students wanting to share with family, friends, or on social media. It is low stakes, and may not motivate all students. However, it will motivate some students and help them start conversations about the class content even after the course is over.