Service learning has been utilized as an effective type of pedagogy, and students involved in service learning projects gain real-world experiences outside the classroom. Research suggests that intergenerational service learning projects are becoming increasingly common and such projects are likely to enhance the quality of both academic and civic outcomes for students. There is, however, relatively little research on the learning outcomes of event management students involved with physically active older adults. This study investigated the learning outcomes of undergraduate students who facilitated a sporting event for older adults. Students participated in structured service learning opportunities at the Indiana Senior Games, a multi-sport event for those aged 50 and older. Three investigators independently used content analysis methodology to analyze 142 student reflection papers. It was found that the students developed relationships with older adults, were less likely to negatively stereotype older adults, and realized the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle when they grow old. Service learning opportunities with older adults are a promising practice for undergraduate students, as self-esteem and a sense of social responsibility may be affected.
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