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Supporting experiential learning

[Student panel at Experiential Learning Summit]
Kevin Collins, Coordinator, Community Engaged Learning, Student Experience Office, right, leads a panel discussion entitled ‘What makes an impactful EL experience,’ featuring Queen’s students, from left, Candice Pinto, James Xie, and Tess Wittman, during the university’s first Experiential Learning Summit.

The Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub) hosted the inaugural Experiential Learning Summit in Wallace Hall in the JDUC on March 27.

The event brought together more than 70 students, faculty, and staff to showcase the various experiential learning opportunities available at Queen’s, both curricular and co-curricular. Attendees also learned about experiential learning strategies and resources that are being used to facilitate growth on campus and in the community.

“Experiential learning programs allow students to develop professional skills and gain new insight into course materials,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “The EL Summit celebrates the strides that Queen’s has taken to expand and enrich its learning opportunities for both students and staff.”

Panels were held throughout the event to highlight the personal experiences of EL course instructors and coordinators, student participants, and EL Hub staff. The panelists discussed successes, challenges and resources related to effective EL course and program design.

Margaret Maliszewska of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, one of the speakers at the summit, has recently created a course on intercultural competencies in which she has implemented an EL experience with local organizations.

“It’s important for students to apply their conceptual understanding as well as their language skills to real-world situations,” Dr. Maliszewska says. “Developing this course, with the help of the EL Hub, has allowed me to engage with my students on a practical level and strengthen my own abilities as an educator.”  

For James Xie (Sc’19), one of the student panelists, participating in a 16-month internship at Invista as a research and development engineer helped him develop professional and interpersonal skills.

“During my internship, I was able to expand my skills to entirely new fields and lead truly multidisciplinary projects that had a real impact,” he says. “I found the experience helped to solidify my technical and management background, and provided a great environment for me to try new things, and make mistakes, while still having mentors to ask for guidance when I needed it.”

To learn more about experiential learning and the variety of resources available, visit the EL Hub website, or contact them at el.hub@queensu.ca