Students performing a practicum

Our mandate

The Office of Experiential Learning, within the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, serves as a gathering place for collaboration and innovation in experiential education. The Office supports a growing community of practice dedicated to sharing knowledge, fostering reflection, and enhancing experiential learning opportunities.

  • Two masked students in a garden with trees.
  • We:

    • Support faculty and instructors in the development and deepening of experiential learning activities in courses and programs.
    • Act as a coordination point for sharing of high-impact experiential learning practices and resources across all faculties.
    • Work with colleagues to incorporate Indigenous pedagogies and inclusive practices within experiential opportunities.
    • Support measurement of the impact of experiential learning projects and activities, and gather data and stories about experiential learning at the university.
    • Champion a culture of best practices and innovation within experiential education through collaboration within the University and with colleagues across Canada.

What is experiential learning?

  • Experiential learning is a pedagogical strategy that advances learning, personal growth and competency development by engaging students directly in the applying theoretical concepts in practice and reflecting critically on those experiences.

    At its best, experiential learning is intentional, reflective, and transformative, and promotes deep engagement with theory through relevant hands-on activities or immersion in a complex learning environment.

    Since the university’s founding, experiential learning has provided opportunities for students to apply their learning in a range of diverse contexts, and to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions critical to life, work and global citizenship.

    "Experiential learning integrates principles drawn from Indigenous pedagogies, including respect, reciprocity and reflection, and is a form of learning that is inextricably linked to Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing." (Battiste, 2002)

  • A masked dentistry student works on a reclined patient.
Experiential learning integrates principles drawn from Indigenous pedagogies, including respect, reciprocity and reflection, and is a form of learning that is inextricably linked to Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing.
Battiste, 2002Indigenous Knowledge and Pedagogy in First Nations Education: A Literature Review with Recommendations. Prepared for the National Working Group on Education and the Minister of Indian Affairs. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Types of experiential learning

The 12 types of experiential learning identified by UM reflect our commitment to the education of the whole student, the diversity of learning experiences at UM (both curricular and co-curricular), and the dynamic, seamless nature of the experiential learning landscape.

Type of experiential learning Description
Applied Research Systematic investigation and original research, including research that utilizes Indigenous methodologies, conducted by a student under faculty guidance and/or co-created through collaboration with a community partner and faculty researcher.
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Learning opportunities developed through collaborative and reciprocal partnerships between community, faculty/staff and students. The site of learning can be the classroom, the community or a land-based setting and the spectrum of engagement can vary from knowledge exchange and consultation to involvement, collaboration, and co-creation with community partners. 
Campus Integrated Learning (CIL) Intentionally designed and institutionally recognized experiences on campus with a strong focus on personal growth and competency development with clearly defined learning outcomes and regular coaching, mentorship and/or supervision. For example, Elder or ceremonial helpers, elected and appointed governance and student leadership roles, orientation leaders, peer helpers, Indigenous student participation in sweats and other Indigenous ceremonies.
Co-operative Education A Senate-approved academic program that alternates academic study with paid, full-time, supervised work experience. It is linked to the student’s area of study in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services, academic research and the professions in accordance with minimum criteria.
Creative Works Intensive creative effort that results in the production of fine artwork, dance, writing, filmmaking, musical compositions and other forms of creative expression. Examples include oral tradition and storytelling, self-organized paid performances, non-course-related rehearsals and music practices.
Entrepreneurship Engagement in the early-stage development of business start-ups and/or the advancement of ideas that address real-world challenges, while leveraging resources, space, mentorship and/or funding to achieve the desired outcomes.
Industry Project Students, individually or in teams apply discipline-specific knowledge to address an organizational challenge, explore a new idea, or start a new venture. Examples include business clinics, UMIDEA, and capstone projects.
Internship Supervised, discipline-specific work experiences where learning is formally assessed and academic credit granted. Unlike co-op, students do not alternate work experiences with academic terms.
Laboratories and Studios A distinct component of a course that includes the self-directed application of course concepts in a controlled setting.
Program-Based Placement Activities that are often required for completion of an academic program, where they practice the discipline or program-specific competencies, receive academic credit, and are typically not paid.  Examples include fieldwork, clinical and professional practice, dental clinics, field placements, law externships, and practica.
Project-Based Intentionally designed opportunities for students to engage in contextual experiences that require the application of disciplinary knowledge and critical analysis to demonstrate learning or to address a problem or unmet need. Examples include case studies, hackathons, simulations, incubators, problem-solving for industry/community, game-based learning, clients, moot court.
Work Experience Paid work in an on-campus or off-campus setting that is designed to promote the development of clearly defined competencies, is supervised, is approved by the Institution, and engages students in concrete opportunities to reflect on their learning (e.g., work study, graduate and undergraduate research awards, Teaching Assistants, Mini U Leaders, Residence Advisors, tutors).

 

Resources

Review the current articles and links curated by the Office of Experiential Learning.

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Contact us

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
65 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

204-474-8708
204-474-7514