Evaluation: 5th Global Service Learning Summit

July 5, 2018

By Nora Pillard Reynolds, Director of Globalsl

Just over two months ago, many of us gathered at the University of Notre Dame for the 5th GSL Summit: Dignity and Justice in Global Service Learning. We hosted 47 concurrent sessions presented by 107 colleagues from institutions of higher education, community-based organizations and NGOs nationally and internationally. The Summit further attracted an additional 220+ participants for a total of 330+ participants representing 165 separate institutions from 20 countries across five continents. You can find many of the session materials posted here.

Thanks to the 140 attendees that completed the GSL 5 evaluation survey to help us distill lessons learned and inform future planning for Globalsl. In the interest of transparency, you can access the GSL5 evaluation overview here. In reviewing the evaluation overview, you will find:

  • The majority (84%) of attendees at GSL5 were first timers!
  • The majority are based on campus – faculty/ admin/ staff (75% of survey) vs. off campus (20%).
  • Over 88% are “very excited” or “excited” about the idea of smaller, place-based gatherings.

The open-ended responses provided significant feedback (take-aways, tensions, and recommendations). The evaluation overview provides evidence and quotations for each of these areas. Tensions included:

  • Practical tools vs. theoretical/ academic/ critical discussion
  • Emphasis on faith (Christian)
  • Introduce ideas/ concerns vs. dig deep/ edgy/ push the limits
  • Who is present and leads/ drives & how much focus should be on higher education and community organizations
  • Hospitality vs. critique about alignment of community values and conference spending/ setting

In response to feedback, we are working to facilitate opportunities for participation and leadership in Globalsl planning. We will be sending an invitation to participate in the organizing structure of globalsl (and therefore future Summits and gatherings).

Participants who entered their email address in the survey as interested in supporting future organizing work, will be contacted. If you did not complete the survey or did not provide your name, but would like to learn more about opportunities to participate in the organizing/ governing structure, please email buildingbetterworld@gmail.com.


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