Thinking about incorporating an integrated learning experience in your class? Take the 4 Simple Steps!
Integrating Experiential Learning Into Your Courses
EL courses may include different or additional learning objectives as compared to a traditional course such as: teamwork, communication, leadership, complexity of understanding, problem analysis, problem-solving, critical thinking, and cognitive development.
This will depend on the nature of the service projects. Is there one community partner or are there a number of partners. How many students can the community partner accommodate? This decision may also be influenced the nature of the class assignments related to EL. A smaller class size could make class discussions around reflection more beneficial for each student. Large class sizes may require a different model such as a consulting project
While optional projects may be considered, generally it is best to make experiential projects and assignments a required part of the class, is they are to be included. Making a community engaged project optional will most likely make more work for the instructor who will have to create and evaluate alternative assignments.
Students will need to commit extra time to work in the field including transportation time. Generally, students are required to commit to 5-7 hours per week on their service project in a community-based learning class. Faculty may need to commit more time, especially when developing new EL courses.
If students have not experienced community-based learning classes before, they may need more work on preparing them to go into the community.
Refer to the reflection section on assignments for ideas.
How are students involved in their own assessment? How are community partners involved in assessment?
Single semester courses make it difficult to accomplish a very much for the community partner. Are there possibilities for creating a service project that lasts longer than one semester? It is possible the concurrent iterations of the course continue a project with new students.
Incorporating issues of diversity and inclusion within the framework of programming in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) - hoping to narrow the gap in existing academic and policy research - is the aim of researchers: Dr. Wendy Cukier, Dr. Mark Campbell and Dr. Lauren Mcnamara, in their report Ensuring Equitable Access to Work-Integrated Learning in Ontario produced for the Ted Rogers School of Management's Diversity Institute (2018)