The benefits of experiential learning will always require evidence, says HEQCO president

June 10, 2016

Higher education stakeholders need to carefully consider the realities behind recent calls to provide experiential learning opportunities to every Canadian PSE student, writes Harvey Weingarten of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Weingarten outlines some of the potential problems that might arise if schools, employers, and governments rush too quickly to provide as many of these opportunities as possible, especially if there are no clear metrics to gauge whether these opportunities actually achieve desired learning outcomes. Weingarten suggests that calls for more experiential learning opportunities can be better informed if employers prioritize the specific skills they want from graduates, and if they properly “evaluate whether the experiential education students get actually leads to the development or acquisition of the skills we, and they, want as a result of the experience.” HEQCO