1. Strategic Priority
  2. Degree Level Expectation
  3. High Impact Practice
  4. Criteria for EL
  5. 12 Types of EL Activities
  6. Examples at Carleton

Experiential learning, high-impact practices and a greater appreciation for the value of teaching will ensure we meet the expectations of diverse and changing student populations, create positive learning and career outcomes, and respond to societal needs.

– 2020-2025 Strategic Integrated Plan

Strategic Priority

Experiential learning is a significant strategic priority at Carleton as well as Ontario-wide.

Part of Carleton’s commitment to experiential learning was the establishment of a $50,000 Carleton University Experiential Learning Fund (CUELF) to support the integration of experiential learning into academic courses/programs. Learn more

2020-2025 Strategic Integrated Plan

2020-2025 Strategic Mandate Agreement

Degree Level Expectation

In April 2019, the Carleton Senate approved the following Degree Level Expectation (DLE) on EL to take effect Fall 2019:

Students will demonstrate the ability to reflect on the link between theoretical knowledge and experiential application in contexts that prepare students for the workplace and/or civil society.

The DLE on EL was intended to (1) signal Carleton’s commitment to experiential learning, and (2) to ensure that all programs include experiential learning in their learning outcomes and curriculum maps.

Expectations for each degree level are described below.

High Impact Practice

Experiential learning has been identified as a high impact practice that contributes to student engagement, deepens learning, improves academic outcomes, and enhances work and life skills.

Experiential learning can be an opportunity for students to work on projects that have a real impact on the community.

Theory and Scholarship

Criteria for EL

In September 2017, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) issued its “Guiding Principles for Experiential Learning (EL)” indicating their commitment to “ensuring that every student has at least one EL activity by the time they graduate from a publicly funded postsecondary institution”.

The following criteria have been developed in order to identify which Carleton courses include experiential learning:

  1. The activity must meet the requirements of MAESD’s experiential learning checklist.
  2. The experiential learning activity must be significant. This means that the activity is an integral part of the course but the course may also have elements that are more traditional. A portion of the student’s assessment in the course relies on engagement in the experiential learning activity.
  3. The experiential learning activity is a continuing element of the course. It is not dependent on which instructor teaches the course.
  4. The experiential learning activity can be categorized into one of the 12 types listed below. For the purposes of reporting, only one dominant type of experiential learning may be recorded for each course.

Course activities must satisfy the above criteria in order to be recognized in the CourseLeaf Curriculum Management System as including experiential learning.

12 Types of EL Activities

Carleton has defined 12 types of experiential learning activities*. These activities can take place in the classroom, community, and/or workplace and be undertaken independently or in teams.

*These definitions have been informed by the work of colleagues at Brock University, Northern Illinois University, Ryerson University, University of Victoria and York University

Examples at Carleton