York University students interested in learning more about experiential education have an exciting new resource to explore.
The Experiential Education Guide is an innovative new website where students can find out what to expect from their experiential education courses at York University. Experiential education (or EE for short), moves beyond lectures, readings and assignments, to situate learning in ways that are both practical and hands on. Students, guided by their professors, apply what they’ve learned to real world experiences either in the classroom or in the community. They learn how to translate their knowledge into action, explore problems and find solutions. Along the way they develop the critical skills they will need to succeed in the workforce.
“Experiential education is central to York University’s mission,” explains Genevieve Maheux-Pelletier, an educational developer in the Teaching Commons. “The innovation in this guide is its emphasis on students and as far as I know, it is the only resource of its kind to support students in their experiential learning.”
Maheux-Pelletier served as the project lead and coordinated the efforts of a pan-University team involving the faculty and staff from the Teaching Commons, Learning Technology Services and the University Libraries. They were charged with developing a guide to experience-based learning. The group worked with students to develop a full-service, comprehensive resource and the result demystifies EE learning.
The guide, which is the result of seven months of work by the team, offers information on the different paths students can take to pursue experience-based learning. It offers details on what EE looks like in the classroom and the core competencies students need to be successful in their EE journey.
“This guide is an example of the Teaching Commons working with Learning Technology Services and others across campus to produce a resource that will be of use to students and faculty,” says Celia Popovic, director of the Teaching Commons. “I am particularly proud of the way Genevieve managed this partnership and the high quality of the product.”
“It contains real learning objects,” says Maheux-Pelletier, noting that it situates students’ understanding of experience-based learning through the clever use of videos, infographics and jargon-free language. The guide sets the stage for student success and highlights the transformational effect of EE on learning.
“What is really exciting about this resource is that it clearly sets York University apart from all of the other universities in Ontario,” says William Gage, associate vice-president teaching & learning at York University. “While the Experiential Education Guide is clearly for students, it is also for professors to use with their students.”
EE is a cornerstone, a foundational piece of the quality education delivered to York students in classrooms across the campus, says Gage, noting that York University has invested significant resources in developing its leadership role in experiential education. First identified through the Academic Innovation Fund, multidisciplinary project teams from across the University have working since 2011 to develop methods to bring experience-based learning to students in ways that are both sustainable and meaningful.
Visitors to the site can learn more about the many ways that York University students are connecting their course material with real world experiences in the community. For more information, drop by the Experiential Education Guide.