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Community Service Learning: Successfully Engaging Emirati Business Students

Robyn Albers 1 and Bradley Johnson 2
1. College of Business, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2. Center of Educational Innovation, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract—Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) is often considered inclusive of Project-based learning and Problem-based learning and the overarching model for authentic student learning. A key component of IBL is that students have a high degree of autonomy and self-determination. According to Self-Determination Theory (SDT), motivation is contingent upon three existing factors: autonomy, competence and relatedness. This present study looks at two different types of student assignments: traditional class projects and community service-learning projects. Six case studies of female, Emirati undergraduate business students compared their experiences with both these two projects conducted under the guidance of the same instructor. The results indicate that students are less engaged with traditional class projects that require the students to research a topic and present on the findings. Students, however, reported greater engagement with the community service-learning project because it includes all three criteria of SDT and greater depth of learning.

Index Terms—service learning, project-based learning, motivation, self-determination, depth of learning, student engagement, Emirati success

Cite: Robyn Albers and Bradley Johnson, "Community Service Learning: Successfully Engaging Emirati Business Students," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 161-166, December 2016. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.2.2.161-166