Experiential Learning at the University of Guelph

What is Experiential Learning?

At the University of Guelph, we define experiential learning as a pedagogical practice whereby students gain new knowledge, skills and abilities by intentionally applying their classroom learning in a workplace or simulated workplace setting. Experiential learning opportunities are grounded in an intentional learning cycle with clearly defined learning outcomes. They engage students actively in creating knowledge and critically reflecting on their experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of how they can utilize what they have learned and the skills they have developed in future endeavours. 


Participating in experiential learning activities can have a positive impact on students' academic and professional careers. Benefits include: 

  • Development and strengthening of skills (soft and technical) demanded by employers.
  • Establishment of professional networks.
  • Opportunities to explore career options and/or confirm career direction.
  • Application of theory in real-world contexts, while gaining new insights into course material.
  • Participation in self-directed learning opportunities.
  • Acquire new knowledge and concrete experience - assets when pursuing future employment.  

View our Experience Profiles to read what students, faculty and partners have to say about the benefits of experiential learning.

Experience Profiles

  • Katherine is a co-op employer at Verve Senior Living. Her organization worked with their first co-op student from U of G in 2018 and she shares the positive experience they had.