Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching

Exploring Experiential Learning

April 30 to May 1, 2019

Call for Proposals now open!

Learn more here

How do we transform education to spark curiosity, drive innovation and prepare students to thrive in their chosen careers? What does learning look like in a postsecondary institution that emphasizes entrepreneurial, creative and critical thinking? How do we design teaching and scholarship that are informed by and contribute to our local, national and international communities? Increasingly, experiential learning is prioritized in higher education. Students demand relevant and meaningful learning experiences and employers expect them to be equipped with the skills required by a changing workforce.

Under the umbrella of experiential learning, students are encouraged to participate in field experiences, cooperative education or internships, alternative break programs, and applied research projects, among other opportunities. While different in their delivery, programs under this broad umbrella treat learning as a process whereby students engage with new challenges and reflect on them, leading to deep learning and meaningful growth.

Ten years ago, in his work on student engagement, George Kuh challenged higher education to prioritize high-impact practices for every student (Kuh, 2008). In 2016, the Business and Higher Education Roundtable boldly posited that all postsecondary students should have access to participate in at least one work-integrated learning experience before they graduate (Academica Group, 2016). That same year, Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development also committed to ensuring that all students engage in experiential learning at least once before graduation (The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Panel, 2016). In this rapidly evolving landscape, learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom shift to foreground “problems and questions to be solved” rather than “information to be remembered” (Wurdinger, 2005, p. 51). Institutions across Canada and around the world are contemplating ways of empowering students to be lifelong, reflective learners prepared to take on contemporary challenges.

The 2019 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching invites faculty, instructors, administrators, librarians, staff, students and postdoctoral scholars in Exploring Experiential Learning – and the scholarship, approaches, practices and issues surrounding it – in the postsecondary context.


Academica Group. (2016). Four principles that will set Canada on the path to universal WIL opportunities. Retrieved from

Kuh, G. D. (2008). High impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges & Universities.

The Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Panel. (2016). Building the workforce of tomorrow: A shared responsibility. Queen’s Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from

Wurdinger, S.D. (2005). Using experiential learning in the classroom. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.




The 2018 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching
"Students as Creators, Drivers, Innovators and Collaborators"

The 2017 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching
"Creating a Learning Culture: Conversations that Matter"

The 2016 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching
"Exploring Creativity"