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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Service learning


  • Influence: Service learning
  • Domain: Technology, School, and Out-of-School Strategies
  • Sub-Domain: Out-of-school
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to accelerate
  • Influence Definition: A teaching strategy that combines learning from classroom instruction with applications to solving real world problems through action and thoughtful reflection, aimed to benefit both the community and the learner. Students engage in community service activities and apply the experience to personal and academic development.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 8
  • Number of studies: 157
  • Number of students: 18,391
  • Number of effects: 118
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.53
  • Robustness index: 3


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Journal of Experiential Education Celio, Durlak & Dymnicki USA A meta-analysis of the impact of service-learning on students 2011 Service learning 62 11,837 17 0.43
Teaching of Psychology Conway, Amel, & Gerwein USA Teaching and learning in the social context: A meta-analysis of service learning's effects on academic, personal, social, and citizenship outcomes. 2009 Service learning 19 1,193 19 0.43
Dissertation White USA A Meta-Analysis of Service Learning Research in Middle and High Schools 2001 Service programs on academic progress 9 0 9 0.87
Korea National University of Education Research Institute Lee Korea A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of service learning 2018 Service learning 21 0 21 0.69
Campbell Systematic Reviews Filges & Dietrichson, Viinholt, & Dalgaard Denmark Service learning for improving academic success in students in grade K to 12: a systematic review.  2020 Service learning 5 0 5 0.14
Revista Española de Pedagogía Bonastre, Camilli, Garcia-Gil, & Cuervo Spain Implicaciones educativas y sociales del Aprendizaje-Servicio con métodos mixtos a través de un meta-análisis. 2021 Service learning 11 341 11 1.07
Academy of Management Learning and Education Yorio & Ye USA A Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Service-Learning on the Social, Personal, and Cognitive Outcomes of Learning 2011 Service programs on academic progress 19 2,891 25 0.53
Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning Warren USA Does Service-Learning Increase Student Learning?: A Meta-Analysis 2012 Service programs on academic progress 11 2,129 11 0.33
TOTAL/AVERAGE 157 18,391 118 0.56
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