Pursuing a corporate understanding of service-learning in nursing education: a case study
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A corporate definition of service-learning (SL) could help to mainstream SL in higher education institutions (HEIs). Concepts like ‘service-learning’, ‘community engagement’ and ‘community service’ tend to be used interchangeably. It is thus imperative to start from a common understanding of these related concepts. Therefore, this article discusses the development of a definition of SL for a school of nursing. The democratic process of the nominal group technique (NGT) allowed the academics to discuss conflicting points openly during the consensus-seeking process. The thematic analysis, based on frequency scores, identified ‘equal tri-partnership’; ‘teaching and learning process’; reflective practitioners’; ‘community needs’; ‘community development’; ‘shared values’; and ‘community engagement’ as the essential concepts to be included in the definition of SL. It can be concluded that the final SL concept list was formulated due to the academics’ willingness to examine their individual practice theories with the purpose of developing a shared understanding of these concepts.