Students

What is experiential education?

Experiential education (EE) is an approach to learning that bridges theory and practice. You participate in applied practical experiences and then reflect on the experiences using the knowledge you have learned in your program. Whether it is within or outside the classroom, EE will help you to develop important skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

Visit the Experiential Education Guide, an interactive resource developed specifically for students, to learn more about experiential education, and find great tools to help you succeed in EE.

What does experiential education look like?

EE can take many forms, and chances are that you have already participated in at least one type of EE in your program. Visit our Gallery to see examples of EE in the Faculty of Health.


Classroom-Focused

Pencil iconYou apply course theories and concepts during  concrete learning activities (e.g. labs, field trips, talks by guest speakers), within or outside the classroom. Then you reflect on your experience in light of the course content and your own ideas.
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Examples of courses

Community-Focused

Globe iconYou have the opportunity to interact with community partners and support projects that benefit the community, and allow you to apply the course content. Then you reflect on the experience by linking it to your understanding of theory.
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Examples of courses

Work-Focused

Pie chart iconYou get hands-on work experience within authentic work environments. This allows you to develop competencies and skills by applying the theories and concepts learned in your program, and reflecting on your actions.
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Examples of courses

How does experiential education work?

Are you wondering what to expect in an EE course? Would you like some resources to support your learning?

Experiential Education Guide: Access information about EE, what to expect in your EE courses and resources to help you progress as a learner.

YU Experience Hub: Visit the website to learn more about EE across the university, as well as to hear about students' experiences with EE.

Learning Skills Services: Access resources to improve your effectiveness and efficiency at studying and completing assignments.

Career Centre: Access resources and support around resume and cover letters, job searching and more.

Student Guide to eLearning: Access resources on blended learning, web enhanced learning and other ways in which elearning is incorporated in your courses.

Experiential education can help you develop and strengthen skills and attributes related to academic performance, civic engagement, and employability.

Academic performance:

  • Understanding of concepts
  • Oral and written expression
  • Academic performance

Civic engagement:

  • Multicultural competence
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Improved attitudes toward social responsibility

Employability:

  • Knowledge exchange and mobilization
  • Professional networking opportunities
  • More defined career plans

Read more about how EE helps develop the core competencies valued by employers.

What? So What? Now What?

Have you ever wondered why your professor asks you to discuss in small groups, keep a class journal, or participate in online discussion forums? All of these are ways in which you can reflect on your experiences and relate them to course content.

Reflection is a key part of experiential education. It helps you to define your experience (What?), illustrate its significance (So what?), and plan next steps (Now what?).

Check out the Structured Reflection resources on the Experiential Education Guide.