A Suitcase Full of Eels

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Service-learning and sustainability within ILLUS510 (pedagogy for compassionate change)

A service-learning initiative that takes place during the BA (hons) Illustration module at Plymouth University.  ILLUS510 teams groups of students with local, non-profit and/or ethical partners. The intention is to allow the students to tackle ‘real-life’ projects whilst still working towards module-specific assessed learning outcomes. The service-learning process requires the student as well as their tutors, and the service-learning partners, to engage with teaching and reflecting on issues relating to sustainability. This process should provide effective conditions for transformative learning.

We have found that illustration is a perfect area for this initiative as students can respond to a wide variety of information, often using storytelling and marketing techniques that disseminate important information in engaging and creative contexts such as children’s picture books, infographics, comic books, printmaking or animation. Student’s projects also have the potential to be valuable marketing tools for the student in terms of employability, and for the University in regards to community engagement whilst further enhancing its reputation as an institution working towards a sustainable future.