What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an umbrella term used to cover all the opportunities available to students to take part in sector-specific learning experiences. These opportunities can take place in a variety of settings including workplaces, simulation facilities, labs, shops, and studios in both educational, workplace and practice environments. They are a chance for students to experience their field or industry and learn what's expected of them before graduating.

Experiential Learning keywords: capstone projects, industry or community partners, interactive simulations, on-campus work teaching labs, performance-based learning

Work Integrated Learning keywords: applied research projects, apprenticeship, campus incubators, clinical placements, co-ops, field experiences, field placements, practicum placements, service learning

Six guiding principles of experiential learning

The Ministry of Colleges, and Universities (MCU) outlines their six guiding principles of experiential learning:

1. The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
2. The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their employability, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.
3. The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
4. The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
5. The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student's performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
6. The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

Here's what a partner said about one of our School of Design students:

"Amy was very professional and has a ton of potential. I enjoyed working with her and will continue to hire her on a project-to-project basis until we can hire a full-time in-house designer. I am also very pleased with the quality of her work and of George Brown for facilitating the internship. I look forward to helping more of your students." – On the Lot Content Accelerator

What are the benefits of experiential learning?

For students

Employers are looking to hire students with practical knowledge and skills. They're looking for graduates who are workplace ready. That's why we believe in learning by doing, incorporating experiential learning in our programs.

Here are some of the benefits for students:

  • Practical, hands-on experience
  • Develop and hone professional skills
  • Build strong relationships through networking opportunities before entering the workplace.

Many of our experiential learning opportunities are hosted on GBCareers.

Check out GBCareers