Characteristics of Experiential Learning

Knowledge and Skill-Based

Learning activities focus on helping students to deepen their understanding of both curriculum-based and non-curriculum-based learning and to acquire knowledge and skills related to educaiton and career/life planning.

A graphic showing the relationship between Knowledge, Skills and Experience


Learning activities place students' questions, ideas, and observations at the centre of the learning experience.

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Community Connected

Experiential learning opportunities have an authentic and meaningful connection to a community that may be local, national, or global, and either physical or virtual or a combination of the two.

A graphic, where the letters of the words "connected  communities" are scattered and connected by dotted lines.

Based on a Three-Stage Cycle: Participate, Reflect, Apply

The cycle is not rigidly sequential; rather, it is a dynamic and highly personal learning process.

A graphic of the experiential learning cycle. A three circle Venn diagram made up of Participate, Apply and Reflect.

Student Directed/Co-Constructed

Students have a significant role in the design of their learning opportunities, in collaboration with teachers and community mentors.

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The learning activities are designed to engage all students, in accordance with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.

Colourful hands reaching up.


Learning activities are personalized to meet students' particular learning and motivational needs and strengths.

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Developmentally Appropriate

Learning activities are appropriate to the interests, strengths, needs, and aspirations of the students at each stage of their development.

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Assessed and Evaluated in Relation to Identified Learning Goals and Success Criteria

Experiential learning opportunities include structures to assess and, where approrpriate, evaluate and report on students achievement, based on the learning goals and success criteria outlined in the student's learning plan.