“We need to reaffirm the enduring value of a broad liberal arts education at the undergraduate level, but also to ask ourselves how we can help our graduates extract the full benefit from that education. We need to demonstrate more clearly how the education we provide prepares our graduates for a lifetime of success and fulfillment, while also contributing to the economic, social and political success of the region, province, nation, and the world.”President Meric Gertler, Installation Address
Experiential Learning at U of T
Experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing. As an instructor or staff member at the University of Toronto, you help support experiential learning by finding opportunities for students to integrate their academic outcomes and competency development within communities and workplaces. This meaningful engagement with stakeholders within and outside the University provides students an opportunity to reflect on how classroom lessons take shape in other settings and, ultimately, informs and heightens their understanding of themselves and their disciplinary field of study.
Why is EL important for students learning?
The University of Toronto’s teaching mission outlines the institution’s goal to “strive to ensure that its graduates are educated in the broadest sense of the term, with the ability to think clearly, judge objectively and contribute constructively to society.” Experiential learning is shown to support students’ self-awareness of their abilities, solidify lessons from the classroom and help them to make better informed academic, personal and professional choices. As an instructor or staff member, you so often lead this work by creating, contributing and organizing experiential learning opportunities for our students.
How do I get started?
You have many avenues to support you in creating and coordinating curricular and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities. The EL Hub can help you:
Connect with the U of T community of EL Practitioners
Navigate the institutional landscape to locate funding, resources and divisional and shared service units that can support your work
Plan + Implement your EL opportunity by providing you with key development considerations, course and program development resources and information about the course tagging initiative at U of T
Types of Experiential Learning
Instructors and staff have the opportunity to incorporate experiential learning into course and program curricula, as well as through co-curricular initiatives. Below find an overview of the forms experiential learning takes at U of T.