• Experiential Learning

    Campus as a Living Lab

    Exploring the Campus as a Living Lab: A Pathway to Innovation and Engagement The concept of a “Campus as a Living Lab” is not just an academic buzzword; it’s a transformative approach that turns a non-classroom part of the university campus into a hub for experiential learning and community engagement. Dr. Allison Cammer’s invitation to explore this concept is a call to action for students, faculty, and staff to engage with the campus beyond the traditional classroom setting.  Why is ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ Important? The ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ initiative is crucial for programs like nutrition, where real-world application and community interaction are key components of learning.…

  • Experiential Learning,  Internationalization

    Bringing Theory to Life Through International Experiential Learning 

    The University of Saskatchewan’s taught abroad courses aim to transform theoretical knowledge into tangible experiences (this is a form of experiential learning). In Dr. Kirsten Fisher’s 300-level Political Studies course, students explored transitional justice through onsite interactions with governmental, non-governmental, and community organizations in Uganda. This was possible because of Dr. Fisher’s research in these communities and existing relationships. This demonstrates the efficacy of the teacher-scholar model to align what we research with what we teach. This immersive approach to learning enriches students’ understanding, illuminating the nuances of real-world applications of the policies they’d studied.  Key tip: Leverage the teacher-scholar model, such that existing research partnerships can benefit students, even in the…

  • Experiential Learning,  Sustainability,  Uncategorized

    The Life-Giving Role of Field Work in Biology Courses

    Biology 228 at the University of Saskatchewan stands as a testament to the enduring value of field work in higher education. After a 10-year gap and a reduction in field components, this course which serves approximately 140 students  has re-embraced  experiential learning, recognizing its profound impact on student development. Led by seasoned lab educator Scott Halpin, whose expertise spans four decades, Biology 228 exemplifies the transformative power of hands-on experiences. By venturing outdoors, students transcend traditional classroom boundaries, cultivating a deeper connection with nature and their academic pursuits. Key Take-Aways Field work fosters transformative experiences for students. It cultivates systems thinking skills by nurturing observation, ecological literacy, and a deeper…

  • Experiential Learning

    Elevating Mentorship in Higher Education: The Key to Effective Preceptor Development

    Mentors play an invaluable role in shaping the future of our students. The integration of preceptorship, and their input on assessment, in workplace learning is necessary to fully actualize experiential learning. Here is a summary of a conversation with Taylor Raiche, Experiential Learning Assessment and Program Development Specialist at the College of Pharmacy, providing crucial insights into the essence and importance of preceptor training for effective mentorship. Key takeaways Preceptors Play a Crucial Role in Professional Identity Formation Preceptor Supports Matter Clear Rubrics Help Everyone Balancing Consistency and Adaptability Preceptorship is a mentorship model where experienced professionals, in their workplace context, guide students, offering a hands-on approach to learning. This…

  • Experiential Learning,  Instructional Strategies

    Gamifying Learning Experiences

    In this blog post, we’ll explore helpful tips on how to incorporate gamification into your own university courses. Dr. Martin Gaal, a Political Studies faculty member, has successfully incorporated gamification into two of his courses, POLS 261 Global Politics and POLS 201 Global Citizenship Cultures and Coexistance. While POLS 261 and POLS 201 are not prerequisites for each other, Dr. Gaal does see value in students taking POLS 261 before 201. This sequential progression aligns with the staircase model of applied undergraduate learning. In 261, students experience a classroom-supported simulation of the world. In 201, students engage with a self-directed, and self-created, simulation of the world. Graphic adapted from Beaudoin,…

  • Experiential Learning,  Sustainability

    Instructional Strategies for Climate Justice

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Environmental Solutions Initiative has developed the Climate Justice Instructional Toolkit to enhance climate justice education. Aimed primarily at educators in introductory undergraduate courses, the toolkit provides resources and programming to integrate climate justice content and instructional approaches across various disciplines. The toolkit is openly licensed and includes adaptable teaching modules (with downloadable pptx files), instructional guides, and student resources. The toolkit focuses on climate justice—addressing the unequal impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups and identifying solutions. The proposed instructional strategies align with the University of Saskatchewan’s teaching practices for sustainability competencies and types of experiential learning. The initiative also encourages feedback and collaboration for…

  • Experiential Learning,  Undergraduate Research

    Embedding Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Skills: A Step-by-Step Guide for Classroom Success

    Whether you’re a seasoned educator or just beginning, this blogpost aims to empower you to align your course outcomes with research, artistic, and scholarly work (RSAW). Let’s explore a self-guided journey of instructional alignment using the 7-level research skills framework and the experiential learning cycle. To undertake this self-guided exploration, you may wish to have the following material handy: Sticky notes in two colours Paper Markers Pens A large piece of paper Step 1: A Day in the Life… Grab a sheet of paper and markers, and draw a ‘day in the life’ for you as a researcher, scholar, or artist. What tasks do you take on? How well can…

  • Experiential Learning,  Internationalization,  Sustainability

    To Be What the World Needs, We Need to Bring the World Into the Classroom

    The global lockdown of 2020 showed us that learning doesn’t require desks and a lectern. If the activities could be done in isolation (listening, reading, answering test questions), then why should students opt into classroom learning? Yet, there is immense value in gathering and interacting with each other. Thus, what we choose to do in these classroom spaces matters. Educators can contextualize their disciplines and helps students make meaning of their developing knowledge and skills by bringing external thoughts, processes, and contexts into the teaching space. Here, we’ll summarize a few key ways of ‘bringing the world in’ that can help students connect, reflect, and use feedback to advance their…

  • Experiential Learning,  Uncategorized

    Reflective Journaling: How Instructor Feedback Helps Students Improve

    Journaling is like capturing a series of snapshots of changing knowledge and skills. Reflective journaling is a lens through which students can examine their own progress, capturing moments of insight and understanding of their own learning. With continuous feedback from instructors, these journals bring clarity and refinement to the student experience. We’re reflecting with Dr. Kathy Walker from the department of Political Studies to see how students develop and process their understanding in Political Studies 222 and 422. Throughout the term, students compose their thoughts and experiences, each entry serving as a snapshot of their intellectual journey. This process is not about a simple record of who’s paying attention, but…

  • Experiential Learning,  Uncategorized

    Adding Experiential Learning to a 200-Level Course Project

    Adding Experiential Learning to a 200-Level Course Project   It can feel overwhelming to add experiential learning to large classes, particularly at the first and second year level of undergraduate learning. For Dr. Bob Patrick from the Department of Geography and Planning, the new USask experiential learning cycle helped him revamp a 200-level course project into an authentic learning experience with opportunities for reflection and feedback. Dr. Patrick’s course is about measuring sustainable development in cities. With a class size of 60 students, he decided to make this learning adventure more engaging by making experiential learning explicit and bringing the world into his classroom. Here’s how he did it: Empowering…