Experiential Education

Experiential Education is the application of theory to a concrete experience, either within the classroom, within the community or within the workplace, which advances the learning outcomes of a course or program. It requires students to reflect upon their learning.

To find out more about EE, we highly recommend these two key resources:

The Guide to Experiential Education 

The  YU Experience Hub 

This page also contains the following resources:

Examples of Good Practice

Dr. Hynie from the Department of Psychology along with her students and community partners explain the benefit of the community-based applied research projects embedded in her 4th-year capstone course.

View Transcript for the Experiential Education Video

York Support

The Teaching Commons offer workshop sessions that include seminars and hands-on activities on approaches to EE, with plenty of resources and planning tools.  Participants will be introduced to the theory and practice of experiential education; consider how to evaluate experiential learning; design appropriate and innovative teaching and assessment activities; and create a course plan that includes EE components. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with some of the EE coordinators who can provide practical support in developing community contacts and managing relationships.

Current EE support offerings include:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all in person EE support offerings have been postponed or moved online. For more information, or to request individual support, please contact Brian Nairn, Educational Developer (nairn1@yorku.ca) or Lisa Endersby, Educational Developer (lendersb@yorku.ca).

Internal to York Resources

The Guide to Experiential Education is a valuable resource to both students and faculty wanting to learn more about EE, structured reflection, with interactive readiness checks to assess one’s communication skills, problem solving skills, teamwork, and civic engagement.

The role of the  YU Experience Hub is to identify and implement Experiential Education opportunities across York University.

Each Faculty has at least one Experiential Education (EE) Coordinator who can assist you with the pedagogical and practical considerations of integrating EE into your course. A full list of EE Coordinators, by Faculty, is available on the YU Experience Hub website.

The Office of the Associate Vice-President Teaching and Learning has extensive information about EE, as well as an Experiential Education Toolbox.

Partnership building is an important component of community- and work-focused EE. For support with community-focused EE, the York-TD Community Engagement Centre can help. For information about work-focused EE (including internships), you can visit the YU Experience Hub.

The Faculty of Health EE Website contains ideas and guidance specific to York.

A presentation outlining evidence in the literature for benefits of Experiential Education was created for the Department of Psychology. Some research is specific to the discipline but the presentation also contains insights and information that are relevant across faculties.

The articles referenced in the above presentation are also summarized in an annotated bibliography. This document summarizes 25 resources that can help demonstrate the benefits of experiential education for student learning. The accompanying summary table offers a quick reference of some key articles and their associated findings.

Developing Experiential Education: A Course Director’s Toolkit for Fostering Student Engagement is a step-by-step guide for doing experiential education at York.

The Teaching Commons has developed tools to help course directors plan their EE course:

External to York Resources

Rubrics for marking reflection and experiential learning

Government Reports and Resources