Community learning is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content. Engaging students in meaningful, relevant, need-based and well-supervised service is critical to the success of any quality community learning course.

The academic study may be in any discipline or combination of disciplines. The service may address a variety of community needs, such as direct service to people in need, improvement of community resources, community outreach and education, research, or policy analysis.