Experiential Learning Series

Foundations of Experiential Learning

This series is comprised of introductory workshops for those curious about exploring experiential learning (EL) as a means to facilitate student collaboration and enhance engagement. Each workshop will provide tools and insights to help instructors consider how the EL cycle and assessing student learning through critical reflection can fit into courses they teach.


Aligning EL Learning Outcomes with Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle

Starting with the general question of “How does the Experiential Learning cycle differ from a more traditional learning cycle?”, and moving into “What do I want students to know?” and “How do I want them to know it through an EL activity?,” participants will be guided through the process of developing and aligning course learning outcomes with Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. This workshop will show how meaningful experiential learning starts with an understanding of the different phases of the experiential learning cycle. Participants will use Kolb’s cycle develop or refine their own course or program learning outcomes.

Date: January 12, 2021
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Using Authentic Assessment in Experiential Learning

Experiential learning often emphasizes learning objectives like problem based learning, metacognition and collaboration. These outcomes requires unique assessment methods to ensure that students are acquiring these intended experiential learning skills and competencies. In this workshop, participants will explore the 8 principles of authentic assessment in order to help design an effective experiential learning assessment method for their classes or programs. Participants will also engage in hands-on exercises to develop or refine an assessment rubric for their own EL activities.

Date: February 9, 2021
Time: 1 – 2:30 p.m.

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Defining Critical Reflection and Designing Effective Reflection Prompts

Effective critical reflection is the root of meaningful experiential learning and is the bridge between students doing something and students learning from that doing. In this workshop, participants will explore Ash & Clayton’s (2009) DEAL model for critical reflection which aligns reflection prompts to course learning outcomes. Examples of various critical reflection style assignments will be reviewed to encourage participants to think about how to design their own critical reflection assignments that meets the overall course or program objectives.

Date: March 9, 2021
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m. 

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Additional sessions


The Diversity of Community Engaged Learning (CEL) at UCalgary

Community Engaged Learning, or CEL, refers to curricular or co-curricular activities designed in partnership with community organizations to address a community-identified need. They seek to cultivate a sense of civic consciousness, to address social issues, and to contribute to the public good (adapted from Brown University, 2019). At the University of Calgary there is a diverse offering of CEL opportunities across multiple disciplines and programs, like peer mentors mentoring in a UCalgary academic course, students working with community partners as diverse as Indigenous groups to the Calgary Public Library, and engaged with Calgary industries to solve specific information and technology issues. The common theme is that students, instructors and community partners are all part of a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship that enriches student learning. This roundtable will bring together panelists from various CEL programs to share experiences and talk about challenges and benefits of engaging students and community partners in this form of Experiential Learning. 

Date: March 23, 2021
Time: 1 - 2 p.m.

Register here