Changes in Multicultural Experience: Action Research on a Service Learning Curriculum

Ruo Lan Liu*, Pai Ying Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Service learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities designed for student learning and development. This study investigated the changes in the multicultural experience of graduate students who participated in a service learning curriculum. The participants comprised six graduate students who enrolled in the “Service Learning Research” course. Action research and qualitative methods were applied to analyze data including interview content, reflection diaries, and community service dossiers. The results revealed the following problems that the participants experienced at the beginning of service learning: (1) a sense of anxiety and anticipation before service engagement; and (2) substantial barriers during service delivery. Through guidance and reflection after intervention, the students demonstrated the abilities to question and observe. Moreover, the evaluation revealed that the participants reflected on the changes in their multicultural experience. Directly contacting service recipients was an essential factor affecting the participants’ changes, and keeping reflection diaries and engaging in in-class discussion facilitated supporting and inspiring the participants. According to the results of this study, we recommend that service learning curricula be reinforced through integrating multicultural teaching and challenging students to reflect on their conduct as well as supporting the students. Additionally, suggestions for subsequent studies are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-256
Number of pages18
JournalSystemic Practice and Action Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1


  • Multicultural experience
  • Reflection
  • Service learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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