Experiential Learning and Work Integrated Learning

Experiential Learning is an umbrella term used to cover all of the opportunities available to students to take part in sector-specific learning experiences. These opportunities can take place in a variety of settings including workplaces, simulation facilities, labs, shops, and studios in both educational, workplace and practice environments. They are a chance for students to experience their field or industry and learn what’s expected of them before graduating.

List of experiential and work-related keywords. See caption below this image for more details.

Six Guiding Principles of Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning Academic Quality Framework

​The Ministry of Colleges, and Universities (MCU) outlines their six guiding principles of Experiential Learning:

  1. The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
  2. The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their employability, interpersonal skills and transition to the workforce.
  3. The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
  4. The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
  5. The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student’s performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
  6. The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

Experiential Learning Academic Quality Framework

The benefits of fully integrating experiential learning into academic programming and the student experience are significant. ​GBC’s EL Quality Assurance Framework is informed by and acts in support of the college’s Mission, Vision and Values. This document serves as a guide for the framework's components and criteria.

Experiential Learning and Work Integrated Learning Resources

Online Resources

  • Experiential Learning Toolkit - The EL Toolkit is a website that provides information, examples, and templates for designing, delivering, facilitating, and evaluating experiential learning (EL) in post-secondary education.
  • Experiential Learning at George Brown - ​Learn more about EL at GBC and check out some of out on-campus Experiential Learning opportunities.
  • Accessible WIL at George Brown - ​Learn more about how GBC conduct pre-WIL intervention for students who may require accommodations to participate in a WIL experience.
  • CEWIL Canada Resource Hub - This hub showcases the best practices and tools used across the nine types of work-integrated learning (WIL) adopted by CEWIL Canada, as well as the ways in which underrepresented populations are supported and successful in Canadian WIL programs.
  • BHER (Business/Higher Education Roundtable) and Work Integrated Learning - BHER set a bold target for 100% of undergraduate students to have access to some kind of WIL prior to graduation. BHER continues to work alongside industry partners to make this vision a reality, fostering a number of sector-specific WIL initiatives.
  • ​International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning - ​The International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning (IJWIL) publishes peer-reviewed original research and topical issues dealing with Work-Integrated Learning (WIL).
  • Student Work Placement Program (SWPP/ESDC) - The Student Work Placement Program gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study. ESDC works with Employer Delivery Partners. Employer Delivery Partners are a group of recognized associations and organizations that represent the interests of employers in industries. They work with businesses and post-secondary education institutions to:
    • provide wage subsidies to employers that offer quality student work placements; and
    • create partnerships with colleges, universities, polytechnics and CEGEPs to recruit students for these placements.

SWPP Information Package SWPP Contacts and Process

COVID-19 Contingency Planning

WIL Recommendations & Resource Document

This document provides recommendations and resources for the completion of WIL credits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the recommendations

Onsite Work Integrated Learning opportunities during COVID-19

These documents provide guidelines and resources for onsite WIL opportunities (essential services) due to COVID19 implications.

The position of the College remains that all WIL opportunities be aligned with the recommendations provided on the WIL Recommendations and Resources document. Discretionary flexibility will be applied on a case-by-case basis.

Criteria and General Forms

Riipen Resources 

Riipen is an online platform which functions as a marketplace by bringing students, educators, and employers together to embed project-based experiential learning activities directly into course curriculum. Companies with projects connect with professors who have students interested in completing those projects, and those projects become part of the course and are completed for course credit.

If you would like to get started with Riipen please contact Rebecca Tapiero at rtapiero@gerogebrown.ca

Get in touch

For more information, please contact the Office of Work Integrated Learning and Experiential Education:

Dario Guescini
Director, WIL, Experiential Education and Global Mobility

Rebecca Tapiero
Project Coordinator, Work Integrated Learning and Experiential Education

Diogo Vieira
Systems Optimization Specialist, Work Integrated Learning