Journal of Nursing Education

Major Article 

Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning: An Integrative Review

Maryanne T. Sandberg, EdD, RN

Abstract

Background:

Nursing faculty plays a central role in facilitating service learning experiences, yet little is known about their perceptions of service-learning.

Method:

Whit-temore's and Knafl's method for integrative review was used to analyze sources from CINAHL, ERIC, MEDLINE Complete, ProQuest LLC, and ScienceDirect.

Results:

Literature about nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning was scarce. Therefore, a thematic analysis was completed on 17 diverse sources regarding general faculty perceptions.

Conclusion:

Limited research was discovered related to nursing faculty perceptions, exposing a gap in the literature. Further research may clarify the role of service-learning in nursing education. [J Nurs Educ. 2018;57(10):584–589.]

Abstract

Background:

Nursing faculty plays a central role in facilitating service learning experiences, yet little is known about their perceptions of service-learning.

Method:

Whit-temore's and Knafl's method for integrative review was used to analyze sources from CINAHL, ERIC, MEDLINE Complete, ProQuest LLC, and ScienceDirect.

Results:

Literature about nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning was scarce. Therefore, a thematic analysis was completed on 17 diverse sources regarding general faculty perceptions.

Conclusion:

Limited research was discovered related to nursing faculty perceptions, exposing a gap in the literature. Further research may clarify the role of service-learning in nursing education. [J Nurs Educ. 2018;57(10):584–589.]

Service-learning is a well-established method of pedagogy in nursing education (Balakas & Sparks, 2010; Broussard, 2011; Brown & Schmidt, 2016; Gaster, 2011; George, 2015; Ogenchuk, Spurr, & Bally, 2014; Riner, 2013; Schmidt & Brown, 2016; Sheikh, 2014; Voss, Mathews, Fossen, Scott, & Schaefer, 2015). As a form of experiential learning, service-learning should meet both student academic outcomes and community needs and engage students in reflective learning (Billings & Halstead, 2016). Nursing faculty play a central role in initiating, coordinating, and maintaining community partnerships (Billings & Halstead, 2016; Zlotkowski, 1998). However, little is known about nursing faculty perceptions of the benefits and barriers of service-learning.

Purpose

The purpose of this integrative review was to analyze and synthesize the current literature regarding nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning, including perceived benefits and barriers. Integrative reviews are used to combine diverse methodologies and varied perspectives into a comprehensive summary of the literature (Whittemore, Chao, Jang, Minges, & Park, 2014; Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). Therefore, this integrative review may provide a deeper understanding of faculty perceptions and identified benefits and barriers of service-learning currently found in the nursing education literature.

Problem Identification

Although there is a growing base of research focused on nursing student perceptions of service-learning (Bailey, Carpenter, & Harrington, 2002; Bentley & Ellison, 2005; Gaster, 2011; Groh, Stallwood, & Daniels, 2011; Hunt, 2007; Narsavage, Batchelor, Lindell, & Chen, 2003; Nokes, Nickitas, Keida, & Neville, 2005; Ross, Noone, Luce, & Sideras, 2009; Stallwood & Groh, 2011; Thomson, Smith-Tolken, Naidoo, & Bringle, 2011; Vogt, Chavez, & Schaffner, 2011; Wilson, 2011), there is limited research regarding nursing faculty perceptions. The role of faculty is critical to service-learning because it is faculty who negotiated meaningful activities with community partners and ensure that these activities meet both community needs and academic outcomes of the course (Abes, Jackson, & Jones, 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Billings & Halstead, 2016; Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; Gelmon, Holland, Driscoll, Spring, & Kerrigan, 2001; Hart, 2015; Lambright & Alden, 2012; Pribbenow, 2005; Zlotkowski, 1998). Due to the important role that faculty play in planning and conducting service-learning activities, an understanding of nursing faculty perceptions may help to determine the benefits and barriers of service-learning and better inform the use of service-learning in nursing education. The research question for this integrative review was: What are nursing faculty perceptions of the benefits and barriers of service-learning?

Method

An integrative review was conducted to synthesize literature that addressed service-learning and nursing faculty perceptions. According to Whittemore and Knafl (2005), integrative reviews allow the researcher to evaluate both quantitative and qualitative evidence, as well as theoretical literature, to provide a comprehensive summary of a particular subject. The resulting broad-range view of a topic can add important information on complex concepts important to nursing (Whittemore et al., 2014; Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). However, the breadth of integrative reviews can increase systematic bias and risk of error in sampling and data analysis (Whittemore, & Knafl, 2005). Therefore, it is important to adhere to a strict methodology when analyzing diverse sources (Whittemore et al., 2014; Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). To enhance the rigor of this literature review, Whittemore's and Knafl's (2005) five stages of review were used: (a) problem identification, (b) literature search, (c) data evaluation, (d) data analysis, and (e) presentation.

Literature Search

A literature search was conducted in June 2016 using the following keywords and terms: service learning, nursing faculty, and perceptions or perspectives. The terms were limited to abstracts, so the search would be more likely to yield sources in which faculty perceptions or perspectives and service learning were prominent in the article. Inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed, scholarly articles related to nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning in institutions in the United States. Exclusion criteria included articles focused on students, community service, academic partnerships, and international service-learning or articles published prior to 2005.

The following databases were searched for peer-reviewed, full-text articles or dissertations published in English: CINAHL®, ERIC, MEDLINE Complete®, ProQuest LLC, and ScienceDirect®. The search was limited to a 10-year span between the years 2005 to 2015 to gain current results. The initial searches of the databases yielded sources as follows: MEDLINE Complete, ERIC, and CINAHL: seven total pertinent articles; ScienceDirect: no pertinent articles; and Pro-Quest LLC: no new sources. Of the seven articles, only two focused on nursing faculty perspectives. Therefore, the terms faculty benefits and nursing education were added. The change in search terms yielded another four pertinent articles, with two related to nursing education. Due to limited search returns regarding nursing faculty, the search was widened to include faculty in any discipline to discover general information about faculty perceptions. The databases were searched again without the terms nursing faculty or nursing education, resulting in four pertinent sources. The various searches yielded a total of 15 pertinent sources.

According to Whittemore and Knafl (2005), multiple search strategies are advisable to achieve a comprehensive review and augment rigor. Therefore, ancestry searches of reference lists of the articles were completed. Websites dedicated to service-learning were also searched for scholarly sources, including the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health©, and Campus Compact©. Four additional sources were obtained. The combination of all searches yielded 19 scholarly sources.

Next, the articles were read and evaluated for pertinence to the research question and fulfillment of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Several articles were excluded related to a focus on international service-learning. Other articles met exclusion criteria but were retained. For example, two of the articles obtained via ancestry searches were included despite being published prior to 2005. One article published in 2002 was chosen because it had been cited by 13 of the original articles (Abes et al., 2002). Another article published in 2004 was selected due to its pertinence to the research question (McKay & Rozee, 2004). The final total number of scholarly articles used in this integrative review was 17, including 13 research studies.

Data Evaluation

Of the final 17 scholarly sources, two were descriptive articles and two were literature reviews. Formal research articles included five qualitative studies, three quantitative, and five mixed-methods studies. All 17 sources included data or descriptions regarding faculty perceptions of service-learning. These sources represent a diverse sampling frame, including theoretical literature and research; therefore, it is difficult to compare the quality of the sources (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). This difficulty lies in the fact that evaluating the rigor and quality of a quantitative study is different than evaluating a qualitative study. Theoretical literature is also evaluated differently than research. Therefore, Whittemore et al. (2014) recommend evaluating each source for authenticity, quality of methodology, and value of information related to the research question. Whittemore and Knafl (2005) described coding the sources on a simple point scale based on the criteria above. Sources receiving low scores for rigor or relevance will have less weight in the data analysis stage (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). For the purposes of this integrative review, each source was evaluated on a 3-point scale for the quality of methodology and relevance to the research question: high (3 points), medium (2 points), and low (1 point). The use of a simple 3-point scale provided a process to compare the quality of the primary sources (Whittemore et al., 2014). The ratings are summarized in the Table.

Ratings of Quality of Methodology and Relevance of Information to the Research Question

Table:

Ratings of Quality of Methodology and Relevance of Information to the Research Question

Data Analysis

The goals of data analysis in integrative reviews include synthesis of the evidence and an impartial interpretation of primary sources (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). This is accomplished in four phases: (a) data reduction, (b) data display, (c) data comparison, and (d) conclusion drawing and verification; each of these phases will be explicated.

Data Reduction and Display

The first phase of data analysis is data reduction. In this phase, the data must be organized from diverse sources into an overarching classification system (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). Sources were sorted according to method and sample. The second phase, data display, was accomplished by sorting sources according to methodology. Data were then extracted from each source and entered into individual tables in the matrix. Each table was divided into seven columns: (a) citation, (b) method, (c) sample, (d) quality of methodology, (e) data relevance, (f) implications for this literature review, and (g) themes (benefits and barriers). These data are summarized in Table A (available in the online version of this article).

Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)

Table A:

Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)

Data Comparison, Conclusion Drawing, and Verification

During the data comparison phase, the individual tables were compared and grouped according to various data. Notes regarding the iterative process were maintained in a decision log to provide clarity to the data analysis (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005) and preserve an audit trail (Polit & Beck, 2012). In the final phase, conclusion drawing and verification, noted patterns and relationships are synthesized into themes and compared with the primary sources to improve accuracy and confirmability of the conclusions (Polit & Beck, 2012; Whittemore & Knafl, 2005). Following the specific strategies of the integrative review method enhances the rigor of the data analysis, synthesis, and resulting conclusions despite the use of a wide variety of sources (Whittemore & Knafl, 2005).

Presentation

The results of this integrative review present a picture of the current research regarding nursing faculty perceptions of facilitating service-learning that is extremely limited. Four of the 17 sources were either descriptive articles or literature reviews. Additionally, only four of the 17 sources pertained to health professions faculty, some of which included nursing faculty. Only two of the four sources pertaining to health professions faculty specifically discussed nursing. However, neither of the two were research studies. Both were literature reviews regarding service-learning in nursing education (Gillis & Mac Lellan, 2010; Murray, 2013), which offered no insights into benefits or barriers of service-learning for faculty. Given that there were no research studies identified addressing nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning, all 17 sources regarding higher education faculty were grouped together to look for common themes, which may illuminate the research question.

Discussion

This integrative review was conducted to explore nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning, including perceived benefits and barriers. Limited literature on nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning resulted in the need to analyze literature regarding general faculty perceptions of service-learning. This section will describe the benefits and barriers noted in the 17 sources regarding faculty perceptions of service-learning.

Benefits for Faculty

Fourteen of 17 research studies reported benefits for faculty involved with service-learning. Benefits noted in the 17 sources included increased faculty engagement in teaching (Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Cooper, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005), increased faculty engagement with the community (Abes et al., 2002; Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; Hou, 2010; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005; Vogel & Seifer, 2011), deeper faculty connections with colleagues or students (Abes et al., 2002; Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Burch, 2013; Hou, 2010; Pribbenow, 2005), linking theoretical knowledge to practice (Abes et al., 2002; McDonald & Dominguez, 2015; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005), and increased faculty engagement in scholarship and leadership (Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Cooper, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Vogel & Seifer, 2011); each of these common benefits will be discussed in the following section.

Increased Faculty Engagement in Teaching. Several sources reported increased faculty engagement in teaching (Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Cooper, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005). Pribbenow (2005) reported that service-learning led to a synergistic classroom environment, with both faculty and students more engaged in teaching and learning. A nursing instructor in Pribbenow's (2005) study stated that the students' experiences in service-learning “will be able to enrich my own teaching” (p. 32). Furthermore, Pribbenow (2005) stated that faculty involved with service-learning exhibited “a sense of excitement and engagement” (p. 28). Likewise, Cooper (2014) reported that faculty credited a transformation in their teaching and learning to service-learning. Bulot and Johnson (2006) echoed these results, asserting that service-learning brings new life to teaching as faculty and students see each other in a different light. All four studies attribute this increase in faculty engagement to improved and more meaningful student learning because of service-learning (Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Cooper, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005).

Increased Faculty Engagement With the Community. Multiple scholars noted that faculty involvement with service-learning led to increased engagement with the community (Abes et al., 2002; Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; Hou, 2010; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005; Vogel & Seifer, 2011). Two quantitative studies asserted that service-learning is useful in creating community–university partnerships and improving relations with the community (Abes et al., 2002; Hou, 2010). Both studies involved survey research with 500 to 1,200 faculty contacted and response rates over 35%, indicating large samples. This finding was supported in Bowen's and Kiser's (2009) research, with 85% of the participants reporting that service-learning led to deeper engagement with community partners. Twenty-five percent of the faculty interviewed by Abes et al. (2002) indicated that community engagement was also an important motivator to continue using service-learning, (p = .011) indicating statistical significance for this result. The importance of increased engagement with the community was also confirmed by all five of the qualitative studies (Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005; Vogel & Seifer, 2011).

Deeper Faculty Connections With Colleagues or Students. Two research studies linked service-learning with a deeper sense of connection with other faculty (Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Pribbenow, 2005). Participants noted that their involvement with service-learning led to closer relationships with faculty in other departments and lead to less feelings of isolation overall (Bowen & Kiser, 2009). Bowen and Kiser (2009) reported numerous faculty quotes, such as “collaboration made us feel that we are part of a community—a community of scholars” (p. 35). Pribbenow (2005) confirmed this finding, stating that 100% of the participants in his study noted that faculty involvement in service-learning “led to a greater sense of connection to other faculty and the institution” (p. 28). Pribbenow speculated that this sense of community would lead to continued collaboration in service-learning.

Several researchers also linked service-learning to deeper connections between faculty and students (Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Burch, 2013; Hou, 2010; Pribbenow, 2005). Pribbenow (2005) reported that faculty attributed service-learning with “enhanced understanding of students, which often led to deeper student-faculty connections” (p. 27). Hou (2010) confirmed these findings in his study. Further corroboration of this benefit was found in one study, in which 85% of faculty reported deeper collaborative relationships with students (Bowen & Kiser, 2009).

Linking Theoretical Knowledge to Practice. Another benefit of service-learning noted in the literature was an increased ability to link theory to practice (Abes et al., 2002; McDonald & Dominguez, 2015; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005). Pribbenow (2005) reported that faculty used examples from service-learning activities to demonstrate theoretical concepts for greater understanding. Abes et al. (2002) and McDonald and Dominguez (2015) echoed this claim, asserting that service-learning provided a means for practical application of course content. McKay and Rozee (2004) reported that faculty attributed service-learning with better ability to connect theory and practice in their teaching of abstract concepts.

Faculty Engagement in Scholarship and Leadership. Finally, the findings of four studies suggested that service-learning could lead to increased faculty opportunities for scholarship and research (Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Cooper, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Vogel & Seifer, 2011). Bowen and Kiser (2009) reported that 74% of faculty gave presentations and 41% published articles related to service-learning. These opportunities represent significant benefits to faculty in university settings, in which scholarship is highly valued. Cooper (2014) noted that a majority of faculty also reported that service-learning informed their scholarship, leading to presentations and writing opportunities. Vogel and Seifer (2011), in their 10-year retrospective study, presented the most powerful findings. Nearly half the faculty interviewed indicated that faculty involvement with service-learning led to numerous opportunities for research and scholarship (Vogel & Seifer, 2011). These opportunities included writing books or chapters on service-learning and acting as principle investigators on various grants. Faculty also credited service-learning with leadership opportunities, such as acting as consultants to other schools in the United States and abroad, and securing appointments to boards, including a state board of nursing.

Barriers for Faculty

Service-learning is not without its barriers. Common barriers for faculty included increased faculty workload, resulting in intensive faculty time commitment (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Darby & Newman, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005), limited institutional support and training (Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Darby & Newman, 2014; Lambright & Alden, 2012; McKay & Rozee, 2004; O'Quin, Bulot, & Johnson, 2005; Pribbenow, 2005), difficulty meeting academic outcomes through service-learning (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Cooper, 2014; Hou, 2010; McKay & Rozee, 2004), and limited recognition of service-learning in promotion and tenure (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; Lambright & Alden, 2012; McKay & Rozee, 2004; O'Quin et al., 2005). Further discussion of these barriers will follow.

Increased Faculty Workload. Many aspects of service-learning add to faculty workload. Banerjee and Hausafus (2007) noted that faculty reported difficulty in finding and maintaining community partners, especially with large classes. One faculty member in Pribbenow's (2005) study commented, “it's a hell of a lot more work, let alone the reading part, but also the preparation and implementation” (p. 28). Several of the research studies also referred to increased workload related to complex logistics required in service-learning courses (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Darby & Newman, 2014; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005).

Inherent in increased workload is intensive faculty time commitment. All but one of the 17 sources noted the amount of time needed to facilitate service-learning as a major challenge for faculty (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Bulot & Johnson, 2006; Burch, 2013; Cooper, 2014; Darby & Newman, 2014; Hou, 2010; McDonald & Dominguez, 2015; McKay & Rozee, 2004; O'Quin et al., 2005; Pribbenow, 2005; Vogel & Seifer, 2011). In one study, faculty reported spending between 2 and 10 additional hours per week in service-learning courses above what was required for traditional courses (O'Quin et al., 2005). The average additional hours needed to facilitate a service-learning course was 4.5 hours per week, representing a significant increase in faculty workload.

Limited Institutional Support and Training. Another challenge closely associated with increased faculty workload is limited institutional support and training. One research study offered this quote from a faculty member, “I would continue to incorporate service-learning into my courses but without institutional support, its quality [will be compromised]” (Abes et al., 2002, p. 10). Lack of financial support for service-learning was also noted as a common challenge in other studies (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Hou, 2010; Lambright & Alden, 2012; O'Quin et al., 2005), as well as a lack of faculty training (Bowen & Kiser, 2009; Lambright & Alden, 2012; McKay & Rozee, 2004; Pribbenow, 2005). Lambright and Alden (2012) asserted that a lack of coordination for service-learning courses was also part of the limited institutional support that challenged many faculty.

Difficulty Meeting Academic Outcomes. One possible consequence of limited availability of faculty training is found in the difficulty faculty face designing service-learning experiences to meet academic outcomes (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Cooper, 2014; Hou, 2010; McKay & Rozee, 2004). Banerjee and Hausafus (2007) also noted that faculty struggled to apply service-learning as a meaningful part of course content. In addition, faculty also faced barriers ensuring students' service-learning assignments made by community partners were more than menial tasks (McKay & Rozee, 2004).

Limited Recognition in Promotion and Tenure. The final common challenge noted in eight of the research studies involved the lack of faculty rewards for service-learning. Although a majority of the faculty (n = 7) in Cooper's (2014) study reported that service-learning had a positive influence on faculty promotion and tenure, faculty in other studies did not agree. Lack of recognition of service-learning was cited as a common challenge in faculty promotion and tenure (Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Darby & Newman, 2014; Lambright & Alden, 2012; McKay & Rozee, 2004; O'Quin et al., 2005). In fact, one third of the faculty in Banerjee's and Hausafus' (2007) study and 60% of faculty in the study by O'Quin et al. (2005) reported service-learning as a barrier to promotion and tenure, illustrating this common perception.

Limitations

Of the 17 final sources, only 13 were research studies. Eight of these 13 were written more than 5 years ago and none of the 13 studies involved perceptions of nursing faculty exclusively. Research on faculty perceptions in other disciplines is also lacking. Five of the research studies recommended investigating perceptions of service-learning in faculty from specific disciplines (Abes et al., 2002; Banerjee & Hausafus, 2007; Cooper, 2014; Hou, 2010; Pribbenow, 2005). This demonstrates a large gap in the literature regarding faculty perceptions of service-learning in general, and particularly nursing faculty perceptions.

Conclusion

Nursing faculty plays an essential role in designing, establishing, and maintaining service-learning agreements with community partners and ensures that student academic outcomes are met. Yet, faculty perceptions of the benefits and barriers of service-learning remain unclear. The purpose of this integrative review was to analyze and synthesize the current literature regarding nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning. However, research regarding nursing faculty was scarce, which necessitated widening the search to include general faculty perceptions. None of the 17 scholarly sources addressed nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning. Therefore, a thematic analysis was done to identify general faculty perceptions of the benefits and barriers related to service-learning. This integrative review exposed a gap in the literature regarding nursing faculty perceptions of service-learning. Further research on this topic is recommended to gain a better understanding of nursing faculty involvement in service-learning and to clarify the benefits and barriers of service-learning in nursing education.

Additional recommendations for research include comparison studies of nursing faculty perceptions and general faculty perceptions of service-learning. This integrative review revealed aspects of service-learning that are similar to clinical experiences, such as developing and maintaining relationships with community organizations and interacting with students on a different level than in the classroom. Therefore, research exploring whether nursing faculty perceive service-learning experiences to offer different benefits and barriers than clinical experiences could also provide valuable insight into the use of service-learning in nursing education. Finally, research on nursing programs that integrate service-learning throughout the curricula could reveal nursing faculty perceptions of the benefits and barriers of service-learning sustained over time.

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Ratings of Quality of Methodology and Relevance of Information to the Research Question

Study (Year)Quality RatingRelevance Rating
Abes et al. (2002)3–High3–High
McKay & Rozee (2004)2–Medium2–Medium
Pribbenow (2005)3–High3–High
O'Quin et al. (2005)3–High1–Low
Bulot & Johnson (2006)1–Low1–Low
Banerjee & Hausafus (2007)3–High3–High
Bowen & Kiser (2009)3–High3–High
Hou (2009)3–High2–Medium
Hou (2010)3–High3–High
McMenamin & McGrath (2010)3–High2–Medium
Gillis & McLellan (2010)3–High2–Medium
Vogel & Seifer (2011)3–High3–High
Lambright & Alden (2012)3–High2–Medium
Murray (2013)3–High1–Low
Darby & Newman (2014)2–Medium2–Medium
Cooper (2014)3–High3–High
McDonald & Dominguez (2015)2–Medium1–Low

Matrix for Integrative Review on Nursing Faculty Perceptions of Service-Learning (SL)

Study (year)MethodSampleQuality of MethodologyData RelevanceImplicationsThemes Noted
Hou (2010)Quantitative survey1,200 faculty from each school of major southeast research university invited to participate (n = 362); general faculty of the university–with and without SL experience unspecified timeframe Actual sample of faculty SL only (n = 102) Non-SL faculty (n = 260) Response rate = 37.4%Cronbach alphas in acceptable ranges (0 to 1.0) .65 to .85 for SL faculty and .74 to 0.91 for non-SL faculty showing internal consistency, preliminary validity via Comparative Fit Index, item discriminate validity, and group comparison. Limited by small sample of SL Q = HighCan quantify specific perceived benefits and barriers of SL for faculty with various involvement with SL R = HighWeb-based Faculty SL Belief Inventory–could be used in my research. Permission obtained from Dr. Hou to use instrument if cited and results reported to her. Recommends: Future research in other institutions, different SL stages, and different disciplinesBenefits: Increased faculty engagement with the community Deeper connections with colleagues or students Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment Limited institutional support and training Difficulty meeting academic outcomes
Abes, Jackson, & Jones (2002)Quantitative survey500 general faculty at 29 institutions in Ohio, members of OH Campus Compact, research institutions, graduate programs, and associate programs Unspecified time frame, 39% response rateSurvey questionnaire-pilot tested by panel of experts at home institution and modified accord to recommend. Open and closed questions (α = .05) Limitations: Various interpretations of SL definition included in survey, no way to check use of SL Q = HighData grouped by discipline, health professions included Direct perceptions of faculty to SL benefits, barriers, motivators, deterrents R = HighFaculty are internally motivated to use SL; consistent across types of institutions, rank, discipline, tenure, or gender Unequal representatives of different disciplines; Recommended research in various specific disciplinesBenefits: Increased faculty engagement with the community Linking theoretical knowledge to practice Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment Increased faculty workload Limited institutional support and training Difficulty meeting academic outcomes
Lambright & Alden (2012)Mixed method Likert survey, with interviews and document review3 colleges, admin, faculty, docs Sample: 63% female, 77% White, 53% tenured, 33% nontenure track, Average time teaching = 16 yrs. Total sample: 57, response rate of 56% Unspecified time frame Determined sample by asking staff, admin, & faculty which faculty were participating in SL classes, snowballing from those respondentsSurvey Likert scale questionnaire with demographics Interview: 14 with administration response and 8 identified as leaders in SL. Audio recorded, transcribed and coded inductive process with detailed definition of codes: analyzed with QSR NVivo®, using memoing and pattern-matching Document analysis: strategic plans, mission state. Annual reports, committee descriptions, personnel review guidelines, and procedures Limitations: only three institutions in the northeast of the United States Q = HighMixed methods yielded rich qualitative data that provided insight into faculty interviews Data regards sustainability of SL, not direct perceptions of benefits and barriers, but does give some important insights R = MedInformal mentoring very helpful, administration support, especially point man is helpful, centralized support services, recognition is important in sustaining SL Religious institution: may be more receptive to SL Need more research on impact of religion and size of institution on SL; whether promotion and tenure practices are barriers across different types of institutionsBenefits: N/A Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Limited institutional support and training
Bulot & Johnson (2006)Mixed-methods survey with interviews in gerontology class42 general faculty from 66 institutions for 6 months; Both from community college and university settings, all different ranks and areas of the country Response rate = 70%Survey-website questionnaire, survey questions and open text boxes, follow-up interviews Limitations: No details given. No mention of how survey was interpreted or how questions or interviews were conducted Q = LowNo data given, just conclusions. General barriers and rewards of SL for faculty in gerontology classes. No quotes from text boxes or interviews R = LowSimilar costs and rewards of SL as other studies. Limited authenticity, no mention of survey instrument reliability or validity, no audit trail or means to determine trustworthiness of results. Study fits my research, but limited use due to lack of trustworthy data.Benefits: Increased faculty engagement inn teaching Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment
Bowen & Kiser (2009)Mixed method survey: Document reviews, interviews and case studies of SL conference notesFormer faculty fellows at Elon (n = 21) and Western Carolina University (n = 11) 32 total questionnaires sent out. Response rate = 85%Detailed description of different data collection and analysis methods. Member checking done during interviews Inductive process for qualitative analysis, triangulation of data collection, quotes included Limitations: Difficult to isolate effects of faculty fellowship in SL from other influences, no control group, subjects may have tried to justify their investment of time in SL Q = HighDirect perceptions of faculty of SL, barriers, rewards, and positive effect of fellowships, statistics given on quant questions R = HighStrong study regarding the effects of faculty fellowships in SL. Similar barriers, but specific professional gains as a result of SL. 25 of 27 respondents still use SL. Fellowships may be suggestion for improvement of SL in institutionsBenefits: Deeper faculty connections with colleagues or students Increased faculty engagement in scholarship and leadership Barriers: Limited institutional support and training Intensive faculty time commitment
O'Quin & Bulot (2005), Earlier study with Bulot & JohnsonMixed-methods survey with write-in text boxes, web-based or paper66 institutions, all ranks of faculty, 60 faculty, Response rate = 70%Detailed description of results of survey via table Limitations: no measure of validity, trustworthiness, or credibility of data. No description of qualitative analysis measures Q = LowDirect perceptions of faculty on barriers of SL and suggestions for improvement, no benefits specifically discussed. R = High97.5% want to do SL again Growing theoretical support, but lagging support in practiceBenefits: N/A Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Intensive faculty time commitment Limited institutional support and training
Banerjee & Hausafus (2007)Mixed-methods cross- sectional survey Likert-scale368 human sciences (HS) faculty multiple institution (all human sciences faculty in US higher education with Family and Consumer Science [FCS] teacher education program.) Unspecified timeframe Response rate: 26% (Descriptive research guideline is 10, 20%)Looks at faculty who participate in SL and those who don't–comparison of faculty perceptions, motivations, and deterrents. Survey splits at use of SL Sent e-survey to 1,662 random faculty at institutions chosen from FCS directory. 3 surveys: demographics, perceptions of faculty of SL as value-added in discipline & efficacy, general statements to avoid response set bias. Piloted/revised survey with FCS panel who use SL, low response rate Limitations: few direct quotes used self-report, variations in SL ANOVA, Pearson Chi-square, t-tests Q = HighDirect perceptions of faculty re: SL for a particular discipline Similar survey as my study Explores discipline specific efficacy of SL, diff issues and solutions in diff disciplines R = HighCampus Compact provides discipline specific SL workshops Little research on discipline specific efficacy of SL–further research needed! Lack of research: Health Sci. faculty perceptions for SL fit in the discipline; specific motivation & deterrents; what outcomes faculty feel important Correlation between discipline & faculty commitment to SL? Published research in diverse disciplines will encourage faculty & legitimize use of SL p. 37 & 42Benefits: N/A Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Intensive faculty time commitment Increased faculty workload Limited institutional support and training Difficulty meeting academic outcomes
Pribbenow (2005)Qualitative case study, with semi-structured interviews35 general faculty and 3 administrators from one institution for 11 months Middletown University – doctorate programs, Catholic, large urban Midwestern city Varied in SL exp from 1 semester-8 years; department and discipline, rank, and genderEmbedded single case study—effective in exploratory studies, one institution with well-established SL program (1990s) Interviews audiotaped and transcribed Also, looked at SL syllabi, course materials, institutional documents, and limited observation Constant comparative method, field notes, coding, used Atlas/ti software to identify patterns & themes, memo writing & member checks, Audit trail & triangulation of data, direct quotes of faculty. Limitations: one institution over limited timeframe, no student interviews. Q = HighDirect perceptions of faculty on how SL affects their teaching and learning, direct quotes add richness No barriers specifically discussed R = HighSynergistic classroom–teaching and learning shared by students and faculty. Adds community as co-teacher and that faculty must understand SL in light of their discipline (Good paragraph on what is known and needed (pp. 25–26) Future research recommendations across various types of institutions, how experienced and new SL faculty differ to improve faculty development Factors that shape how faculty are affected, and how different disciplines use of SL affects facultyBenefits: Increased faculty engagement in teaching Increased faculty engagement with the community Deeper faculty connections with colleagues or students Linking theoretical knowledge to practice Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment Increased faculty workload Limited institutional support and training
Cooper (2014)Qualitative case study9 general faculty (various disciplines, including nursing) 5 women/4 men, all but 2 white–includes 1 nursing faculty member 10-year retroactive studySemi-structured 1-hour interviews, transcribed by researcher, member checking, constant comparative method to determine themes. Data analysis included a review of literature to substantiate results - increased trustworthiness of data Direct quotes of subjects. Limitations: single institution, final reports of participants not included, SL new to institution – need other perspectives from more established SL schools Q = HighDirect perceptions of faculty on how SL affects teaching and learning, promotion and tenure, challenges and benefits–varied. Not much on transformative nature–only one subject Long studyR = HighEducation faculty refer to difficulties facing education majors due to student teaching – similar to clinical (p. 423) Important to explore SL in different disciplines, how involvement in SL transforms teaching (p. 426) Recommend: Faculty development programs to leverage transformational teaching and learning, need clear reward structure for faculty, facilitate collaboration and connection with other faculty in multiple disciplinesBenefits: Increased faculty engagement in teaching Increased faculty engagement with the community Faculty engagement in scholarship and leadership Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Intensive faculty time commitment Difficulty meeting academic outcomes
Darby & Newman (2014)Qualitative interviews24 general faculty from one liberal arts university in the southeast United States; unspecified timeframe; Different disciplines: included public health, but not nursing. Varied levels of faculty: lecturers – full professors.Recruited faculty through academic service list of 75 members. First researcher: individual interviews re: rewards and challenges, motivation, and recommendations of strategies to sustain SL Audit trail, interview protocol, asked same questions of all faculty, transcribed verbatim, open coding, categories, visual display of data, direct quotes Limitations: researchers' school where taught 28 SL courses and recent graduates of school; small study in one school Q = MedDirect quotes of faculty perceptions, time drag (p. 109) Numerous recommendati ons for sustaining motivation for SL R = MedHas definition of SL from National Survey of Student Engagement – “high impact practice” (p. 91) Looks at theoretical framework: Social Cognitive Theory & Bandura's model of motivation, cyclical process Check Campus Compact for annual survey, 2012 regarding incentives Recommends: larger study with multiple institutions, untenured versus tenuredBenefits: Increased faculty engagement with the community Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Intensive faculty time commitment Increased faculty workload
McMenamin & McGrath (2010)Qualitative focus groups and interviews Grounded theory38 health care (HC) students, educators, and community partners in Ireland–6-month time frameGrounded theory (Glaser/Strauss) purposive sampling, informed consent, modifications made for asphasic subjects Quiet room, record individuals and focus groups w/moderator authors' experience w/SL and literature review Guided topic guides - perceived impacts on all stakeholders include faculty. Topic guides piloted with each group Analysis: iterative review, transcribed verbatim, thematic analysis by each researcher then compared – increases validity, clear audit trail, separation of duties Direct quotes included Limitations: small sample, limited diversity Q = HighHealthcare study, but NOT nursing and not in United States Does not have much regarding faculty perceptions or differences between health care SL and general education. R = MedDirectly involves HC students and faculty Discusses how SL & clinical differ (p. 499) Specific goal of impacting students' civic responsibility benefits both students and community Little on impact on faculty in literature, Not much in article. Relations with community seen as critical to supporting relevance of teaching and research Further research across HC disciplines, venues, interest: How does SL meet discipline-specific learning objectives in HC programsBenefits: N/A Barriers: N/A
McKay & Rozee (2004)Qualitative structured interviews32 faculty from large metropolitan university in southwest United States, tenured and tenure track, lectures through faculty various levels, average teaching time 8.93 years at campus Strong support for community service learning (CSL) at all levels, more than 200 CSL courses offered regularly, CSL Center provides guidance to faculty on promotion and tenure committees regarding service-learningPurposive sampling, multiple disciplines in same university, participation in course development workshops in CSL center on campus and taught at least one SL course Interview protocol based on Roger's theory: questions regarding each step of adoption process (perception, motivation, attitude, legitimization, trial, evaluation) Recorded, transcribed using software, then coding to categories, intercoder reliability of 0.85 adequate. Direct quotes Q = MedDirect perceptions of faculty Discusses individual and collective character of SL faculty adopters in related to Roger's theory, which may provide clues to improve SL adoption R = MedUsed Roger's model for the diffusion and adoption of innovations model as theoretical framework to explain and promote CSL Echoes most of literature in benefits and barriers but adds potential to combine research, teaching and service More focused on innovation adoption theory than faculty perceptionsBenefits: Increased faculty engagement in teaching Increased faculty engagement with the community Linking theoretical knowledge to practice Faculty engagement in scholarship and leadership Barriers: Limited recognition in promotion and tenure Intensive faculty time commitment Increased faculty workload Limited institutional support and training Difficulty meeting academic outcomes
Vogel & Seifer (2011)Qualitative interviewsHealth professions (includes nursing) faculty and staff of community partners 16 institutions–started with original researchers and then snowball sampling 16 original investigators + 7 = 23 faculty, SL staff, administrators, deans, and chairsRetroactive study × 1 yr. reflecting on past 10 years. Gelmon et al 1998 research on health profess schools – this is follow-up study for long-term impact and how sustained SL (through CCPH) Invited original investigators at 17 schools – individual phone interviews 60–90 minutes; same 3 topics Recorded and transcribed thematic coding and memo writing, thematic coding Direct quotes and multiple specific examples Limitations: selected subjects only from university with Health Professions Schools in Service to Nation, bias related to memory Q = HighDetailed information on benefits for faculty, almost none on barriers and costs Includes direct quotes from nursing. R = HighStudy focused on health professions –includes nursing but not exclusive. Recommends future retroactive studies use mixed methods, including documents and observationsBenefits: Increased faculty engagement with the community Faculty engagement in scholarship and leadership Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment
Gillis & MacLellan (2010)Literature reviewNursing education in Canada 10-year literature review from 1999 to 2009 25 sources–assessed for eight factors author/date; description of SL, setting, course concepts, reflection, barriers, & enablers to SLInclusion criteria: nurse as author, nursing students involved in SL, related to nursing courses, critical reflection, related to health promotion, education, screening, of vulnerable populations; collaborative partnerships, written in English Exclusion criteria: co-ops or work placements CINAHL, EBSCO, PROQUEST, COCHRANE, ERIC, ABI inform & SAGE Manual searchers of specific journals Search terms: vulnerable/SL/nursing/Canada Q = HighSome focus on barriers & enablers of SL from faculty perspective, but mostly focused on students R = MedGives overview of SL in nursing education Findings echo other articles Nursing faculty already have heavier work schedules than other disciplines so time for SL more of a factor. No reference for this. (p. 21)Benefits: N/A Barriers: N/A
Murray (2013)Literature ReviewNursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 11 yr. literature review from 2001–2012 Started with 250 articles and included 15 (8 descriptive, 7 research)Inclusion criteria: peer reviewed between 2001–2012, meet Bringle's & Hatcher's (1996) definition of SL Exclusion criteria: Interdisciplinary SL, graduate school, Associate of Science in Nursing programs, development of SL partnerships, outside United States, heavy focus on community outcomes over student outcomes Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Education Research Complete, MEDLINE Health Source: Nursing Academic Edition databases Search terms: SL, nursing students, nursing education Q = HighAlmost no focus on faculty, except some recommendations R = LowGives an overview of SL in BSN programs Fully focused on student outcomes – no focus on faculty except recommendation for method for evaluation. Course outcomes should be rigorous Also, recommended development of standardized survey tool to evaluate SL in nursing educationBenefits: N/A Barriers: N/A
McDonald & Dominguez (2015)DescriptiveGeneral science facultyGives examples of how faculty can design effective SL activities How to design a framework for defining, identifying, and creating successful community partnerships in SL Q = MedGood recommendati ons for faculty planning of SL activities R = LowNot related to nursing faculty–still offers some benefits, barriers, and recommendations May be able to use the recommendationsBenefits: Linking theoretical knowledge to practice Barriers: Intensive faculty time commitment
Hou (2009)DescriptiveMaster of Public Health program at University of GeorgiaDescriptive article re new MPH students implementing SL Gives direct quotes of students, not faculty Q = MedGood recommendations for faculty planning SL courses or activities R = HighInvolves MPH courses – so graduate students and faculty, but does offer some different challenges for faculty Also offers recommendations for meeting these challenges May be able to incorporate recommendationsBenefits: N/A Barriers: Faculty time-intensive commitment
Authors

Dr. Sandberg is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick, Georgia.

The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The author thanks Dr. Michelle Byrne, a Professor at the University of West Georgia and dissertation chair, for her guidance through the dissertation process and the writing of this article. The author also thanks Jonas Philanthropies for their support in the form of a Jonas Nurse Leader Scholarship.

Address correspondence to Maryanne T. Sandberg, EdD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Coastal Georgia, One College Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520; e-mail: msandberg@ccga.edu.

Received: January 07, 2018
Accepted: May 01, 2018

10.3928/01484834-20180921-03

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