Experiential Learning Definition and Inclusion Criteria

U of G Definition of Experiential Learning

In 2016-2017, experiential learning (EL) was defined by the University of Guelph’s Experiential Learning Task Force as:

A pedagogical practice whereby students gain new knowledge, skills and abilities due to the intentional application of classroom learning in a workplace or simulated workplace setting. Experiential learning opportunities are grounded in an intentional learning cycle and clearly defined learning outcomes. They engage students actively in creating knowledge and critically reflecting on their experiences, allowing them to understand how to transfer their knowledge and skills to future endeavours.

Benefits of Experiential Learning

Participating in experiential learning activities can have a positive impact on students' personal, academic, and career journey. Benefits include:

  • Developing and strengthening of transferable knowledge, skills, and attitudes sought by employers
  • Establishing professional networks
  • Exploring and confirming career options and direction
  • Applying disciplinary theory in real-world contexts
  • Tailoring learning to meet individual personal, academic, and career goals.
  • Reference for employment or further education applications

Experiential Learning Categories and Criteria

Experience Profiles