Direct Service: Involves student engagement with the client population on an interpersonal level. The engagement is performed at the site of service. Examples of direct service include tutoring, reading to the elderly, coaching a youth activity in a low-income area.
Indirect Service-Learning: Students fulfill a community need identified by a community partner without engagement with the client population. Examples of indirect service may include planning fundraising activities for a community organization, developing a social media strategy for a community action group, designing posters or flyers for a local nonprofit, building low income housing, cleaning a community park.
Research-Based Service-Learning: A type of service that involves collaboration with a community partner to conduct research that addresses community issues or needs. Partners may be nonprofit groups, government agencies or community leaders. Examples of community based research projects would include testing water reports provided to a local community, auditing energy use in public housing, gathering data for a community grant application, gathering research that assists in the development of a video for a nonprofit or government agency.
Advocacy-based Service-Learning: A type of service where students create awareness or educate others on public topics that are of concern to the community partner and/or the greater community. Examples of this type of service would include planning and executing public forums that address community issues, writing and distributing information that illuminates a problem experienced by the community, helping to draft legislation that helps solve a community need, organizing a letter writing initiative that addresses a social issue.
Delve, C.I., Mintz, S.D., & Stewart, G.M. (1990). Promoting values development through community service: A design. In C.I. Delve, S.D. Mintz & G.M. Stewart (Eds.) Community Service as Values Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Jacoby, B (2015). Service-Learning Essentials: Questions, Answers and Lessons Learned. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass