Service-learning: impacts of learning motivation and learning experience on extended social/civic engagement

Sze Yeung Lai, Chi Leung Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Service-learning (SL) integrates academic curricula and practical
experiences to deliver social services to communities. By
participating in a SL program, students’ prosocial behavior can be
nurtured once they are appropriately motivated and supported.
This study investigates students’ different motivations to join SL
programs, the enjoyableness of their learning experiences, and
whether they intend to engage in future social/civic activities. A
mixed-methods approach, combining a questionnaire survey and
an interview study, was adopted in two student cohorts in a
fashion-related SL program in Hong Kong over two consecutive
years. The results demonstrated that students held positive views
of the program. However, different types of motivation had
different impacts on learning experiences and learning outcomes.
Extrinsic motivation was more complicated than intrinsic
motivation and, thus, generated controversial results. Furthermore,
learning experience had a mediating role that partially explained
the association between motivations and extended social/civic
engagement. The findings deepen our understanding of the role
of SL in nurturing students’ prosocial behavior, generating
implications for the design of similar programs while providing
references for future studies in SL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020


  • Service-learning
  • learning experience
  • learning motivation
  • mixed-methods
  • social/civic engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this