In light of Coronavirus, COVID-19, we at the Center for Community-based Learning, Leadership, and Research reaffirm our commitment to the well-being of UWM students, staff, and faculty, as well as our non-profit partners in the Milwaukee community.

For current updates on COVID-19 and its impact on the UWM campus, please visit

As you are moving your teaching online, we want to provide some guidance for how to plan for community engaged work and teaching. Recommendations are below.


Below are a list of resources and articles related to virtual and remote service learning best practices:

Becnel, K., & Moeller, R. (2017). Community-embedded learning experiences: Putting the pedagogy of service-learning to work in online courses. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 32(1), 56-65.

In this article, Becnel and Moeller (2017) discuss different techniques that can be utilized for adapting service-learning pedagogy into an online learning environment. 

Guthrie, K., McCracken, H., & Anderson, T. (2010). Teaching and Learning Social Justice through Online Service-Learning Courses. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 11(3), 78-94.

This article outlines how when technologies, pedagogies, and on-site experiences are combined, students experience a stimulating and transformative learning environment that encourages them to discuss and experience social justice, action, and change outside of the classroom. 

Guthrie, K., & McCracken, H. (2010). Making a difference online: Facilitating service-learning through distance education. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(3), 153-157.

This article describes a case study that examines experiential learning and civic engagement within an online format of a class that incorporates service-learning pedagogy. 

Helms, M., Rutti, R., Hervani, A., Labonte, J., & Sarkarat, S. (2015). Implementing and Evaluating Online Service-learning Projects. Journal of Education for Business, 90(7), 369-378.

In this article, RuttiHervaniLabonte and Sarkarat (2015) discuss the techniques and implementation process of service-learning in an online format. 

Mcwhorter, R., Delello, J., & Roberts, P. (2016). Giving Back: Exploring Service-Learning in an Online Learning Environment. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 14(2), 80-99.

In this article, McwhorterDelello and Roberts (2016) discuss how best to incorporate service-learning into an online environment specifically for online business students. 

Nielsen, D. (2016). Facilitating service learning in the online technical communication classroom. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 46(2), 236-256.

In this article, Nielsen (2016) discusses different techniques for integrating service-learning into an online platform, while also examining the positive impact it has on helping students create a greater sense of civic engagement.  

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any additional resources or have questions. You can reach out to Laurie at  


Organization Observation through Online Presence

  • This document outlines a way students could research and report on a non-profit. Note that there is a sentence highlighted in yellow on the doc that would need to be filled in to make it course content specific.

TakeCare Film Vignettes

  • A group of documentary filmmakers in California is making a series of health related films that address issues such as childhood trauma, nutrition, nature as a tool for better health, aging, veterans issues, the impact of poverty, and environmental issues. Although these films are not yet released for widespread consumption, they gave permission to share the site with you since it is in “Friends and Family Mode”. You could select one or two of these films (they are all about 5 minutes long) and ask students to write a paper on the issue presented. You would just need to provide some thoughtful prompts for them to write about connected to your course content.

The Problem We All Live With – Part One – This American Life Podcast

  • If you are teaching a Multicultural America 150 course, or another course that is examining issues of race and how it intersects with the lives of young people and public education, we suggest this podcast and some prompts for an online discussion. This is especially good for classes like the 150s where so many students were assigned youth serving sites such as schools or youth serving organizations.

Documentary 53206 or Dream Big Dreams Film

  • For a very local look at community issues, we suggest the above films available through the UWM library and online from the PBS website.


As you are social distancing, to help prevent to spread of the Coronavirus, we want to remind you that remaining connected is important for your mental health and well-being. Below are some ways to remain connected to the community.


The CCBLLR office will update this webpage with volunteer opportunities that follow social distancing guidelines so you remain safe and healthy. Volunteering remotely is a great way to spend some of your time while you are at home – it will help you feel connected to the outside community, and it will allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. Below are current remote/virtual volunteer service opportunities that you explore.



    • K-12 Virtual Tutoring Project-
      Are you interested in supporting elementary, middle, or high school students with their academics during this period of uncertainty? The Virtual Tutoring Project (VTP) matches college-age tutors with families seeking academic support while their kids are home. Tutors can indicate the subjects and grade levels they are comfortable working with and are asked to commit to tutoring two students for two sessions each week; the sessions last about 30-45 minutes each. Individuals with experience working in educational environments are strongly encouraged to apply! The CCBLLR with provide logistical support for the tutor onboarding process. Please indicate your interest in joining the VTP by completing this form.
    • Virtually Tutor Hartford University School Kids-
      Hartford University School (located on the UWM Campus) is seeking help in engaging students through distance learning. Volunteer will work remotely with Hartford Ave school kids who are below grade level, and help is urgently needed to help bring these students to grade level. Volunteers would engage with middle school students through a variety of means, including phone, calls, google meets, etc. Volunteers must have already previously passed an MPS background check. For additional information, contact Mr. Hill, a Hartford Ave school math teacher, at or phone 414 534-0456.



    • Check-in on Elders through Serving Older Adults-
      Serving Older Adults of Southeast Wisconsin (SOA), runs the programming at the 5 county-owned senior centers. Although general programming at the centers is on hold, they are distributing meals in a drive-through format to those older adults who need them. They are reaching out to seniors to check in on them. They have over 5,000 participants, so they welcome any help. A volunteer application can be downloaded from their website at Volunteers should fill out the online application form so SOA can complete a background check before you get started. For more information contact Cathy Woods at 414-628-6755. 



    • Mentor Refugees through Catholic Charities Milwaukee-
      If you are looking for an opportunity to work with the Milwaukee refugee and immigrant communities join the Milwaukee Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services volunteer team! Volunteers will work directly and remotely with learners to improve their English speaking, reading and writing, review the 100 civics questions, information/vocabulary on the N400 (Citizenship Application) questions, encourage learners to work independently on their English and, just to check-in. Lessons take place one-on-one or in small groups once a week for 20-30 minutes. Although teaching/tutoring experience is helpful, no experience or additional language skills are required. This opportunity is ideal for volunteers who want to continue to support refugees/immigrants in a more structured setting during COVID-19. Training and materials will be provided to all volunteers. For more information or to sign-up please contact Jessica Brandt at



    • Volunteer with the Wehr Nature Center-
      Wehr Nature Center is a 220 acre preserve located in Whitnall Park in Franklin. As a part of Milwaukee County Department of Parks it is protects both plants and animals of southeastern Wisconsin. There are more than five miles of trails through the five natural communities. It serves as a natural classroom to the many people who visit throughout the year.  Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the programs that occur at the Nature Center. If you are interested in learning more please visit:



    • Find local volunteer opportunities in your area on the Volunteer Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Page-
      Not in the Milwaukee area? Volunteer Wisconsin now has a COVID-19 response page where you are able to search for local service opportunities by the county or city in Wisconsin that you are currently living in. We realize that with classes moving online for the rest of the semester that a lot of our students have returned to their hometowns for the rest of the year. This is a great way for you to get still get involved while being away from campus. If interested in searching these opportunities go to



      • Donate items of need to the Gathering Meal Program-
        The Gathering Milwaukee is a meal program in Milwaukee that our office has long been a partner with. They provide 10 meals a week to people who would otherwise go hungry.The Gathering is currently in urgent need of tuna pouches, bottled water, juice boxes, to-go containers with compartments, salty snacks, and fresh fruit/fruit cups. If interested in donating, items can be dropped off at 1300 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Monday through Friday between 7:00 am and 8:30 am or between 9:30 am and 10:30 am


If you have questions or need help, contact  Laurie Marks by email or call 414-229-3161.