Types of Experiential Learning at Sheridan
In addition to the specific definition for each experiential learning activity noted below, all curricular experiential learning opportunities at Sheridan strive to meet stipulations set by the Ministry of Colleges & Universities (MAESD, 2017; MCU, 2020):
- In a workplace or simulated workplace.
- Includes authentic demands relevant to building career-ready skills.
- Structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
- Applies program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
- Includes self-assessment/reflection and verification or evaluation of the student's performance.
- Counts towards course credit or credential completion, and/or is a formal part of the curriculum.
Industry Project (IP)Students/faculty identify a problem or potential innovation (process, product, or service) and create an industry-related response. The result could be a marketing plan, business plan, project plan, product analysis, entrepreneurial project, prototype, recommendations and/or pitch. This may be a capstone project*.
Interactive Simulation (IS)Students participate in an interactive and authentic learning experience in either a simulated workplace environment or the classroom, to practice skills or concepts; with or without the use of equipment/technology. Students apply their learning to a simulated hands-on real-world experience.
Job Shadowing / Field Observation (JS)Students observe, explore and critically reflect on a workplace or employer that is representative of their academic program of study. Students consider how this experience may impact their own professional practice and thereby expand their knowledge in that area.
Performance-Based Learning (PL)Students produce or participate in individual or team performance-based learning activities intended for an audience. Students perceive, interpret, experiment, and adapt performances to meet the needs of the task, and to demonstrate their ability to think and reason. This may be a capstone project*.
Research Project with a Community or Industry Partner (RP)Students participate in a research project that includes an element of systematic inquiry, investigation, or experimentation about a research topic, or to address a research question. This type of research project is completed with an industry or community partner and may be funded. This may be a capstone project*.
Research Project Without a Community or Industry Partner (RW)Students participate in a research project that includes an element of systematic inquiry, investigation, or experimentation about a research topic, or to address a research question. This type of research project is completed without an industry or community partner and may be funded. This may be a capstone project*.
Studio-Based Learning (SL)Students participate in an investigation and/or creative process in a studio or makerspace with resources that are reflective of the project needs. Driven by research, material exploration and strategic experimentation, students may research, design, critique, construct, reflect, refine, and/or test a prototype or final product. This may be a capstone project*.
Work-Teach Lab (LB)Students participate in activities in which laboratory work is used for teaching and learning core course concepts. In a controlled lab, shop, applied research centre, or using augmented reality or virtual reality, students use industry tools, technology, and processes to observe, measure, and/or test course concepts.
*Capstone ProjectsA Capstone Project is typically the length of an academic term, integrated into the curriculum and serves as an essential cumulative component of the program. A capstone project can be part of a research project, performance-based learning, studio-based learning, or an industry project. A capstone project provides an EL experience for students under the guidance of a faculty member and is often matched with industry/community partners to develop solutions to a real-life problem or technical challenge. The project may be completed by an individual or by a team of students (typically 3-5 students).
ReferencesMinistry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. (2017). Guiding principles for experiential learning. Retrieved from
Ministry of Colleges and Universities. (2020). Graduate and Employer KPI Surveys 2020-21 Survey Cycle. [Internal Document]