The purpose of this paper is to share the experience and relevance of a service-learning project in an upper-level MIS course in a liberal arts college located in a small town. Service learning involves addressing a real need, evaluating of a desired outcome, and making time for a structured reflection. The project was implemented in the fall 2001 and spring 2002 semester with 25 students participating in each semester. It involved the implementation and use of the WebTV technology in a nursing home that houses about 150 aging and/or disabled residents. The purpose of the project was to improve the quality of life for the residents, enhance the interactions between the residents and the nursing home staff, and create a unique service-learning opportunity for the students. The responsibility of the students was to devote some time each week to work with willing residents to use the technology, in many cases for the first time, to communicate with their loved ones using e-mail and to explore the Internet. The result, collected either via written feedback or a group decision support system session, from this service-learning project indicated high-level of satisfaction on the part of the students, the residents, and the nursing home staff. This project was funded by the Lutheran Partners Grant Program of the Lutheran Brotherhood Foundation.
Keywords: service learning, structured reflection, WebTV, quality of life, e-mail, satisfaction, Lutheran Brotherhood Foundation
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