Note: This article's focus is on the next-generation Service Learning Module (SLM), released by Galaxy Digital in late 2017/early 2018. For information on the old version (Legacy SLM), click here. The SLM is an add-on module and is not part of a standard Connect platform. SLM features are only available to clients who have purchased the module.

This article is geared toward SLM Leaders who are managing a course in the Service Learning Module. It defines the terms SLM Leader and SLM User Group, and it explains how SLM User Groups differ from standard user groups. It also provides instructions for accessing the SLM Leader Portal, describes the different sections of the portal, and links to other articles within the SLM Leader Guide.

A note about language overrides: A site manager has the option to override the terms SLM, user group, block, and leader. As a result, your site's terminology may not match the terminology used in this and other SLM Leader Guide articles.

What is an SLM Leader?

The Service Learning Module (SLM) users the term SLM Leader for professors, instructors, teaching assistants, and others who are responsible for managing SLM user groups within SLM.

SLM leaders can access their SLM Leader Portal, where they can view individual student progress, add responses and hours for a student, create private needs for a course, approve or deny submitted volunteer hours, and more. SLM leaders can also access and send out a "join link" for students to join the user group, and they can export important data for each user group.

What's an SLM User Group?

In short, an SLM user group is typically an academic course that has a service-learning component. As you explore your academic institution's Connect site, you'll noticed that it actually has two types of user groups:

  • Standard user groups - Generally used to group individuals who belong to, and are doing volunteer work as part of, a company, social or service club, or other volunteer group.
  • SLM user groups - Used for grouping students and instructors within an academic course occurring within a specific academic term.

OK, But What's the Difference?

First, let's look at how the two types of user groups are alike:

Now, let's look at how they're different, and how SLM user groups are particularly useful for courses that use service learning.

  • Unlike a standard user group, and SLM user group can have one or more designated SLM Leaders who can view member progress toward goals, add needs, approve or deny volunteer hours, and more. (See this table for a more comprehensive list.)
  • An SLM user group is associated with a particular block (semester or other academic period) and has a specific "respond by" date. Standard user groups exist independently of blocks and have no time constraints.
  • An SLM user group can have a set goal for volunteer hours for each member (student). Students within the group can access a personal SLM user group page to view their progress toward the course goals. (This goal is entered by the site manager.)
  • An SLM Leader can attach reflection questions to an SLM user group. What this means is that each SLM user group member, when submitting hours for that group, can be asked (or required) to answer certain questions about the volunteer experience. You can pose a variety of question types, including one that can be answered with a file upload (such as an essay in a Word document).
  • SLM user groups can have agencies assigned to them so that the SLM leader can post needs for the group on behalf of an agency. 

Your SLM Leader Portal

As a course professor, instructor, or assistant, you can manage your course, your students, and their volunteer hours from the SLM Leader Portal.

Accessing the SLM Leader Portal

To access your SLM Leader Portal:

  1. Log in to your Campus Connect site.
  2. From your profile menu, select SLM Leader Portal.

Note: Your site manager must designate you as an SLM Leader before you can access the SLM Leader Portal and the management capabilities described here.

You'll be taken to your Leader Portal's landing page, which lists the courses within the most recently started block. 

To view courses within a particular block, select the block from the Block dropdown and click Go.

Note that the Leader Portal table shows the following information:

  • User group title - The name of the course
  • Members - The number of members (students and leaders) in the course
  • Hours - The number of hours students have submitted thus far
  • Goal - The set goal for volunteer hours for each student 
  • "Respond By" date - The last day that students are allowed to respond to a need for this user group
  • Percent complete - The percentage of hours that have been submitted, compared to the overall course goal
  • Join link - A link that you can send to students so that they can join the SLM User Group.

To hide any of these columns, click Table Filter (just above the table, on the right-hand side of the page) and select which columns should be hidden.

Sections of the Leader Portal

Your Leader Portal has several areas, indicated by the headings shown below.

Sections are described below. For more information on a section, click the "Learn more" link to view the applicable article in the SLM Leader Guide.

Section and DescriptionLink
Leader Portal: As shown previously, displays the SLM Leader's courses within a selected block; shows the course title, number of members (including instructors), hours submitted, "respond by" date, and percent of goal completed. Also include the ability to copy the course "join link" for students.

Note: The hours goal and "respond by" date are entered by your site manager.

Learn more
Roster: Displays all SLM User Group members, including SLM Leaders. Also includes options to remove someone from the user group, to copy the "join link" for adding students, and to access individual student information.Learn more
User Info: Displays information for a single, selected student, including their responses, volunteer hours, and reflections (all of which you can edit).Learn more
Needs: Displays all needs assigned to each SLM User Group. From this area, you can edit needs, add needs on behalf of agencies assigned to your course, and export need information.Learn more
Responses: Displays student responses by course; from this area, you can add, edit, or delete responses. You can also add hours for a response and export existing responses to a spreadsheet.Learn more
Hours: Displays student volunteer hours by course; from this area, you can add, edit, approve/deny, and delete hours. You can also view student reflections and export hours data.Learn more
Reflections: Use this area to create and edit reflection questions.Learn more