Experiential Learning Courses

Check out the spring 2015 EL course offerings!

Overview

Experiential learning is a process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences.* At Brandeis, curricular experiential education may involve practicum courses, experiential learning courses, community-engaged learning courses, academic internship courses, and other activities including laboratory studies and creative work. Experiential learning can also occur in a traditional classroom setting with a focus on active learning and reflective processes that connect theory, practice, and the synthesis of new ideas.

The pedagogical principles of experiential learning are:

  • Authenticity: participants find activities and consequences relevant to their lives
  • Active learning: students are physically and/or mentally engaged in the learning process
  • Relevancy: course draws on student experience
  • Future connections: students develop skills and knowledge that will be useful to them in the future

Experiential learning aims for student achievement in three primary goals, the “ABC” of the student experience:

  • Agency: recognize and exercise role as powerful change agents
  • Belonging: develop and maintain sense of community, both within and beyond Brandeis
  • Competence: learn skills, acquire new knowledge, and apply what is learned

*Definition by the Davis Education Committee, now the Experiential Learning Committee at Brandeis, and adapted from the National Society for Experiential Education.