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Assessing the societal value of a service-learning project in information studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Abstract:

The purpose of this work is to assess the societal value of a Service-Learning (SL) project carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic by the Faculty of Information Science of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) in collaboration with two Senior Centers of the City of Madrid. The aim of the project was to support elderly’s integration in the online activities carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic and to train them in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The analysis of societal value is based on a case study and a varied range of data whose purpose is to provide multiple insights into the experience, emphasizing communicative processes. The results corroborate the educational value of experiential learning for students, although the impact on the community appears limited by the role of consumers of a service that participating elderly ended up playing. The evaluation of the project by the faculty leading the activities was corroborated by the institutional partner and provides evidence of the capacity for societal transformation of higher education institutions.
Keywords: Service-learning, Library and Information Science, societal value, higher education institutions, elderly, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)