Serving children and adolescents in need during the covid-19 pandemic: Evaluation of service-learning subjects with and without face-to-face interaction

Li Lin, Tan Lei Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has posed a great challenge to teaching and learning activities in higher education, particularly for service-learning subjects that involve intensive human interaction. Although service-learning may be transformed to a virtual mode in response to the pandemic, little is known about the impact of this new mode on student learning and well-being. This paper reports a university credit-bearing service-learning subject that involves services toward needy children and adolescents in a non-face-to-face mode under COVID-19 pandemic. We examined the effectiveness of this subject by comparing it with the same subject delivered via a face-to-face mode. Objective outcome evaluation via a pretest-posttest comparison (N = 216) showed that the students who took service-learning subjects with and without face-to-face interaction showed similar positive changes in positive youth development competences, service leadership qualities, and life satisfaction. Subjective outcome evaluation (N = 345) also showed that most students were satisfied with the subject, instructors and benefits regardless of the service mode. The findings highlight the important role of non-face-to-face service learning in promoting college students’ positive growth and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2114
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Higher education
  • Online teaching and learning
  • Positive youth development
  • Service learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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