For examples of experiential courses at Brandeis, download the course list (pdf) for spring 2009
The Benefits of Experiential Learning
"Experiential learning creates an opportunity for students to engage and to apply academic understandings through hands-on experience, while simultaneously learning new information about the world around them. I have found their academic training and knowledge takes on innovative and new dimensions as they apply it to their field placement. Through experiential learning, students arrive to class eager to share their experiences in the field. Beyond the value of this experience for students, themselves, students also enrich the university campus by bringing their analysis of this experience back to our campus and informing the viewpoints of colleagues and faculty."
Internship Instructor in the HSSP Program
"Experiential learning for me means bringing the students into the everyday lives of people who lived and died 2,500 years ago in the world of ancient Greece and Rome. Our collection of 800 ancient objects in the Classical Studies Artifact Research Center makes it possible for students actually to hold classical objects and try to feel what it would have been like in those days. The Romans, for example, did not just make high art, but they also had baby bottles, ordinary drinking cups, tongue depressors and a fantastic sewer system."
Ann O. Koloski-Ostrow
Associate Professor of Classical Studies
"Experiential Learning gives students the opportunity to take what they learn in class and apply it to real world situations. Taking their learning beyond the campus provides them with new perspectives and first-hand experience while allowing them to make personal contact with the community and give of themselves in ways they may never have thought possible. Through this practical approach to learning, students gain confidence in their own abilities, discover innovative ways to overcome obstacles and turn a class project into a life experience"
Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
"Teaching an experiential learning course has required me to explore the issues which the students are curious about, in order to be able to mentor them better. It actually has affected my approach to my discipline. I have became more aware of the “real world” applications of teaching and learning foreign languages, and I incorporate my new understandings in my teaching and in my research."
Professor of Hebrew and Director of the Hebrew and Arabic Languages Program
"I am a dancer and a choreographer/movement director, I teach by being physically engaged while presenting an example of practiced skill in movement. I work toward giving opportunities for students to find their potential and to learn how to engage in a variety of exercises that encourage and develop a variety of directions and opportunities for growth and depth while engaged in acting and dancing. I offer solutions to the ongoing question “So how can I move with more ease, confidence, strength, flexibility and captivating presence on the stage."
[ Have you noticed a change in the way students relate to ideas and tasks in your courses? ]
"Yes, I see that they become more trusting of their potential and desire to work seriously and honor excellence without feeling an intense pressure to always be right. The work in class does not focus entirely on the end result. The students become aware of how important it is to take time, focus on detail, and approach the obstacles with patience. Students like to know what the goal is, but they are less worried about that, and more interested in what is happening in the present while they work on the challenging elements of the class. Students also thrive from having 'wins.' Experiential Learning can be a win win situation in education."
Louis Frances and Jeffrey Sachar Professor of Creative Arts