The shift to online learning has not stopped Brock University from delivering life-changing experiential education opportunities in every Faculty, but it has led to the creation of some new resources.
With all Spring and Summer Term courses taking place online, the Experiential Education (EE) team took quick action to ensure instructors can continue to incorporate the experiential learning components that have made Brock University a leader in this area. To do this, the team developed a section of the Faculty Guidebook on Experiential Education centred around bringing experiential learning online.
Sandy Howe, Brock’s Associate Director of Experiential Education, said the diverse resources being offered cater to many different courses.
“These are curated resources, with some ready to be plugged into courses right away and others providing great frameworks and templates around what high-quality experiential course components could look like online,” she said.
The mixture of simulations, virtual field experiences, and service and community engaged learning are available alongside crowd-sourced resource collections to showcase EE’s ability to bring an array of experiential outcomes to any department.
The resources provide helpful hints for an array of experiential learning that ranges from virtual microscope exercises and national park tours to state-of-the-art marketing and human resources simulations.
Referencing examples of new online experiential opportunities in Dramatic Arts, Kinesiology and the Goodman School of Business, Howe said she hopes more instructors will access the new resources and reach out for the expertise of the University’s EE co-ordinators.
“We want to keep the conversation going as a campus around experiential learning,” she said. “We’ve come this far and experiential learning is a critical piece of the student experience we offer. We have the chance now to find innovative ways of keeping students engaged in their new learning world.”
Howe said willingness from every Faculty to continually try new EE opportunities is what has made Brock the envy of other post-secondary institutions.
“These new additions to the website are great because Brock is a leader in experiential education,” she said. “We are always looked to for best practices, resources and new ways of doing things. Part of this comes with not being afraid to try. If we wait for perfection, we’ll never move forward, and our approach has always been to try our best and adjust from there.”
As the new opportunities multiply, Howe said her team is also sharing Brock’s successes with others to better experiential learning outcomes across the province and beyond.
“Since we began working from home, a variety of campuses and colleagues have been reaching out to see how Brock is supporting the transition to virtual learning and maintaining experiential courses online,” she said. “People look to us as leaders in this space and we have been happy to help generate ideas and also share resources that we were quickly able to generate.”
Learn more about Brock’s online Experiential Education resources here.