Designing for Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual Wellness: Assessing Interdisciplinary Service Learning Projects in Interior Design and Apparel Design and Merchandising

By Anubhuti Thakur, Wei Cao and Shirley Warren.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 25, 2014 $US5.00

A variety of community-based service learning projects were undertaken in interior design and apparel design classrooms. These projects focused on enhancing the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of elderly and underserved populations, like hospice patients, battered women, and residents of an elder-care facility. This study aimed to answer the question, "In what ways did students' involvement in service learning impact their achievement of selected learning outcomes?" Learning outcomes for the projects were that students will: (1) develop insights into applications of theoretical concepts to real world experiences; and (2) demonstrate an awareness of their social and civic responsibilities. Data collection involved surveys of 75 students with a 50% response rate (n=35). Preliminary results indicate that students found these projects to be more time-consuming and challenging. However, they also responded that involvement in service learning projects enhanced their academic learning while providing them a deeper understanding of the complexity of social issues they may face as professionals. Students felt better informed about the needs of their community and their civic responsibility. Results of this study are expected to direct the development of service learning projects by providing insights into strategies for preparing students, establishing relevance of project activities to course content, and designing achievable student learning outcomes.

Keywords: Community Service, Learning, Design, Assessment

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.79-91. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 610.764KB)).

Dr. Anubhuti Thakur

Associate Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA

Dr. Wei Cao

Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA

Shirley Warren

Lecturer, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA