Service Learning Projects


Service Learning Projects | Student Websites

Service Learning Projects 2005 – 2011

What we do – Students develop professional grade websites for nonprofit organizations as group projects. These involve redeveloping existing sites and designing new ones. Projects are based on the needs of the organization as well as timing. In addition to community service value, these projects provide students with real-world portfolio contributions.

How it works – I work with the University’s community engagement coordinator and the writing department to find, qualify, and organize projects. Project purpose and scope are key factors along with willingness and availability of organization stakeholders.

Summer 2011 was an extraordinary semester. This was a compressed six week session wherein students not only learned technical skills and design principles, they also developed three group project websites in just four weeks time. Design Team links at the bottom of every webpage tells the project story and provides details on student roles and contributions.

2011 Service Learning Projects – websites produced by one class in just four weeks.

2010 Service Learning Project – one of three projects is highlighted. It’s a custom designed WordPress content management system for the Community Design Center of Minnesota. Note the comparisons below.

2008 Service Learning Project

The version designed by Writ 573G Students is located here – Mounds Theatre student designed site.

The current version of the website is located here –

This was a formidable project involving the redesign and merging of two separate websites. One for The Portage for Youth and the other for the Historic Mounds Theatre in St. Paul MN. These sites were confusing and didn’t serve these organisations well. Furthermore, changing needs required a new web presence.

2007 Service Learning Projects:

  1. Website Redesign for the Partnership for the Education of Children in Afghanistan (PECA).
    To say this was a formidable project would be a serious understatement considering it was completed by four students, most of whom had little experience at the start of the semester. Here is the website delivered by students to the client. The current live site resides at Though the live site contains many of the structural elements implemented by the design team it has since been redesigned and consequently usability and aesthetics have suffered (you be the judge).
  2. New website for the Eastside Financial Center which was created as a partnership with Lutheran Social Services and U.S. Federal Credit Union. It’s located on Payne Avenue in St. Paul near Metro State’s St. Paul campus. This serves as a gateway website for community information and links to key partners. It features implementation of a translation tool and text sizer. The current live site resides at Here’s the website as delivered by students to the client.

2006 Service Learning Project:

Dr. David Levinson, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota, needed a new website for the the NEXUS research group for which he is the director. For this project the class was divided into three teams. Each worked with the client in creating separate versions the final site. Presentations were made near the end of semester to the client via Skype and Gotomeeting as the client was based in London at the time. The winning design and runners up are featured below.

Fall 2005 Service Learning Project:

The Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education was the recipient of a new community service website in 2005. This endeavor also involved three competing design teams. View the winning version of this website and see competing designs that are linked from the design team page.
NOTE: after 4 years this organization is redesigning the site in the fall of 2009.

Also see Student Websites