Experiential Learning Initiatives

Experiential Learning is a successful and well-proven teaching practice that allows students to create more deliberate and explicit connections between their educational experiences in and outside the classroom. It is also an excellent way for faculty to engage in rich learning experiences with students and build their research programs and develop students’ research skills. Experiential learning activities may include field experiences, community-engaged learning, research opportunities, organization-partnered projects, academic internships, professional experience opportunities, simulated work experiences, international experiences and career-engaged initiatives.

Experiential Learning and Outreach Support (ELOS) was launched in 2019 with a mandate to grow and support existing experiential learning initiatives across the Faculty. Support includes the development of new experiential learning courses or experiential activities within a course as well as consultations on how to incorperate experiential learning activities across a full program.

Pedagogical Consultations

Units/instructors may meet with the Faculty of Arts & Science Experiential Learning & Outreach Support (ELOS) office to:

  • Review and enhance existing experiential learning.
  • Develop new experiential learning programs.
  • Provide guidance on how to incorporate experiential learning at a curriculum planning/mapping level to ensure it is best positioned to support student learning.
  • Consult on appropriate types of experiential learning for their context.
  • Request feedback on experiential learning proposals.
  • Identify resources and funding sources.
  • Provide support in building academically-linked curricular and co-curricular experiential learning activities.
  • Provide guidance on best practices in student assessment and evaluation of experiential learning activities.

Please contact experientialsupport.artsci@utoronto.ca to arrange a consultation.

Support for Community and Employer Partnerships

The ELOS office can help connect faculty to community and employer partners for experiential learning activities, support them in maintaining relationships with partners to ensure sustainability of programming, as well as provide guidance on addressing any workplace issues that may arise while students are on experiential learning placements. Please contact experientialsupport.artsci@utoronto.ca to arrange a consultation.

Support for Logistical and Administrative Matters

In terms of logistical and administrative support, the ELOS office can provide:

  • Guidance on risk management and insurance requirements
  • Training for students to prepare them for work-integrated learning and community-engaged learning activities
  • Guidance on technology to help manage and track experiential learning activities

Funding Support

The Faculty of Arts & Science has a number of funding opportunities to help support experiential learning activities. Please follow the links below to learn more about each program and to apply for funding. Questions about any of these opportunities can be directed to experientialsupport.artsci@utoronto.ca.

Dean’s International & Indigenous Initiatives Fund (DIIIF)

DIIIF gives faculty the opportunity to seek funding for not-for-credit academic activities that involve undergraduate and/or graduate students and include international travel and/or engagement with Indigenous Nations and organizations.

International/Indigenous Course Module (ICM)

ICMs provide an opportunity for faculty to take a group of undergraduate students on a Reading Week trip as part of a course. ICMs are designed to enhance students’ classroom learning by applying course content to relevant settings and communities around the globe.

Research Opportunity Program (ROP)

ROP gives faculty the chance to engage second- and third-year undergraduate students in their research projects for course credit (299s and 399s).

Research Excursions Program (REP)

REP gives faculty funding to involve upper-year undergraduate students on a faculty-led research project that takes place off-campus.

Backpack to Briefcase (b2B)

b2B activities provide career-engaged learning opportunities for students in a disciplinary context. Events include career panels, networking events, mentorship meals, industry nights and workshops. Please direct questions about the b2B program to backpack@artsci.utoronto.ca.