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Experiential Learning

WHAT IS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Experiential Learning is an educational approach that emphasizes learning through action. Through practical experiences and reflective practices, students can better connect theoretical knowledge acquired in school with real-world scenarios.

Experiential learning programs can take various forms, including community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, internships, student teaching, and capstone projects, among others.

 

Participating in experiential education opportunities provides students with numerous benefits, such as

  • Improved comprehension of course material

  • Wider global perspective and appreciation of community

  • Enhanced awareness of personal skills, interests, passions, and values

  • Opportunities for collaboration with diverse organizations and individuals

  • Development of positive professional practices and skill sets

  • Satisfaction of contributing to community needs

  • Boost in self-confidence and leadership skills

REFLECTIVE ASSIGNMENT GUIDE
 

The goal of the reflective project is to provide students the opportunity to critically assess their ELR experience and link it to their major's learning objectives, future professional ambitions, personal values, skill sets, and goals. 

Although the process for submitting the reflective assignment may differ, faculty supervisors should provide direction on the recommended method. The reflective assignment can be completed through various formats, including:

  • 4-6 page reflection paper

  • PowerPoint or other digital presentation

  • Video documentary

  • Journal

  • Narrated photo album

  • Portfolio

  • Short film

In their reflection, students are encouraged to address the following inquiries:

OBJECTIVE

  • Describe your concrete experience, including what you did, who you worked with, and where you worked.

  • Explain the purpose of the organization and what you observed during your experience.

  • Reflect on what you hoped to learn through this experience.

 

REFLECTIVE
 

This section of your analysis will concentrate on your emotions or perceptions during your ELR experience.

What were your initial feelings at the start of the experience? How did you find the first day? Did your emotions change over the course of a month? Did you feel more assured or perplexed? Did you feel accomplished? What were the most pleasing and demanding aspects of the experience?

 

INTERPRETIVE
 

In this section of your analysis, you will discuss what you have learned from your ELR experience. Consider the following questions:

 

  • What knowledge, skills, or insights did you acquire during your experience?

  • Were you able to achieve your learning goals and objectives? If not, why?

  • Did your experience challenge any of your preconceived notions or assumptions about a particular topic or career field?

  • Why do you believe this experience was valuable?

  • How does this experience relate to your coursework or career aspirations?

  • Can you apply what you have learned in other areas of your life or work?

 

 

DECISIONAL
 

This section of your reflection will focus on how you plan to integrate your newfound knowledge into your current mindset.

In what ways will you apply your experience to your decision-making? Have your beliefs, opinions, or values shifted as a result of this experience? How would you approach the experience differently in the future? What impact has this experience had on your career aspirations, personal life decisions, or use of new information, skills, or technology? How do you intend to apply this new knowledge in the future?

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