Use these tips to plan for successful experiential learning:
- Begin preparations early and give yourself extra time to prepare for any activity that you haven’t facilitated before.
- Review the course/program learning outcomes. Determine if an experiential learning activity helps meet those outcomes and how.
- Follow the Eight Principles of Good Practice (as stated by the National Society for Experiential Education) to plan a successful activity that is integrated into the course, with clear and transparent evaluation processes and criteria, and with time and a mechanism for reflection.
- Complete a risk assessment of the activity according to the Guide to Risk Management for Experiential Learning and take measures to minimize and manage the risk.
- If the activity is off-campus, consult with Legal Services and complete the necessary risk management forms.
- If an external partner is included, clearly communicate to all involved the expectations and role of the partner, of the students and of the faculty coordinator.
- Include the activity in the course syllabus. Ensure the students are informed of any risks, any additional expectations the experiential learning component will entail (ex. time, expenses, travel), and the expectations of them before, during and after the activity.
- Prepare the students to participate in the experiential activity. Ensure they have the skills and knowledge to successfully participate.
- Contact the Career Development and Experiential Learning department with any questions.
- Review the Eight Principles of Good Practice again, to ensure all principles are followed.
Learning is an iterative process, so give yourself time afterward to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t in order to strengthen your EL facilitation skills.