This term is typically used to describe people, who of their own free will and without pay, perform some service or do good work. This can be done on a regular or sporadic basis with community groups, faith-based organizations, schools, or other social service organizations.
Strictly defined community service simply means organized volunteering which meets the needs of the community. The service benefits the community agency or individuals in the community and is most often done through non-profit organizations, schools, and public agencies. Often, community service is court ordered and emanates a negative connotation towards participating in community service.
An internship or practicum experience is usually a capstone experience in which the student implements material covered from a series of classes into the field. This experience normally requires no weekly reflection of the student, yet requires the student to culminate the semester with a project or research paper about the internship/practicum experience.
The fieldwork is also a capstone experience in which a supervised clinical experience connected to a certificate or credential program, such as nursing, is required.
Service Learning is academic study linked to community service through structured reflections so that each reinforces the other. The academic study may be in any discipline or combination of fields. The service may be direct service to people in need, community outreach and education, or policy analysis.
Community-based research (CBR) links community members and external researchers in investigations that promote progressive social change as well as deeper understanding of specific issues important to communities. Increasingly, CBR is being carried out through community-university partnerships in which the research course-work of undergraduate and graduate students is integrated with the research needs of community organizations, providing much-needed intellectual resources to community groups while giving students invaluable experience in applying their academic skills. (Contrasting Approaches to Community-based Research and a Case Study of Community Sustainability in Toronto, Canada, Beth Savan & David Sider)