EL in the Classroom

Climate Change Simulation Classroom

Experiential learning isn’t just internships. There are dozens of ways to develop your skills, add to your resume, and explore careers while completing your degree.

Many courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels include the opportunity to participate in experiential learning. Experiences could range from a one-day field trip to a term-long industry project.  Activities could involve contributing to a real-world project with a community partner or engaging in a simulated work experience here on campus. Regardless of format or length, each of these learning experiences presents an opportunity to apply what you are learning and to hone your skills.

Stay tuned as we explore ways to make it easier for Western students to identify and consider taking courses with an experiential learning component. In the meantime, we hope that the following list will help you to consider the types of experiential learning opportunities that exist within courses and degree programs at Western.

Hear From Your Peers

"Careers both inside and outside of academia require a wider variety of skills than they did twenty or even ten years ago. Experiential learning opportunities can help graduate students not only broaden their skillsets but to become uniquely qualified for jobs that they may not have even intended to pursue." 
- Mary Blake Rose (Society of Graduate Students President 2017 - 2019)

Discover Your In-Class EL Options

Research / Scholarly Creation

Definition: A supervised/mentored project extending over at least a term, during which the student engages in original research or scholarly creation.


Definition: A distinct course component that includes the self-directed hands-on application of course concepts in a controlled setting.

Field Experience

Definition: An individual or group excursion that requires the student(s) to observe or engage in activities outside the traditional classroom (e.g. field trip, field school).


Definition: A learning exercise that mimics/simulates a real-world process or system (e.g. model UN, clinical skills, moot court).

Creative, Performance, Physical Practice

Definition: An experience that enables skill development through intensive practice or performance (e.g. studio course, performance-based course, movement modules).

Industry Project

Definition: A course that involves students working with an external partner on a specific project to propose strategies that address an organizational challenge or idea (e.g. consulting project).

Case Based Learning

Definition: A learning activity that involves groups of students examining a detailed, real life, authentic, or contextualized situation that requires the group to assess, evaluate, and respond with recommendations.

Community Engaged Learning

Definition: Students engage in a project, developed collaboratively with a local, national, or global community partner, that has mutually beneficial outcomes.