The promise of service learning in a pediatric audiology course on clinical training with the pediatric population


Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness of service learning (SL) and its impact on students' clinical competency, interest in pediatric audiology as a career, and levels of community engagement, as well as its impact on the community.

Method: Forty-eight students enrolled in an SL pediatric audiology course providing hearing and middle ear testing to 292 children, ages 6 months to 5 years. Another 10 non-SL students served as a control group. SL surveys were administered to students before and after the SL experience and post hoc to the non-SL group to assess their perceived readiness for evaluating children and their interest in pediatric audiology. Parents and community partner staff members completed another survey to provide feedback about their experience with the SL activity.

Results: The students' ratings were higher post-SL than pre-SL, and their learning gain was positively ranked post-SL compared with the non-SL group. Also, 71% of the SL students expressed positive interest in pediatric audiology post-SL compared with 37% of the non-SL group. Responses from community partners were also positive.

Conclusions: Embedding SL into a pediatric audiology course increased student interest in pediatric audiology as a career and enhanced readiness to evaluate young children.


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type





Children, Clinical training, Middle ear dysfunction, Pediatric audiology, Service learning

Publication Date


Journal Title

American Journal of Audiology