Experiential Learning

NBCC engages learners in relevant experiential learning (EL) so they can increase their knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and develop the capacity to contribute to their workplaces and communities.

EL engages learners in direct experience and focused reflection to construct meaning and meet learning objectives.

At NBCC, we recognize Experiential Learning in three ways: Foundational Awareness, Active Exploration, and Work Integrated Learning (WIL).

Work Integrated Learning (or WIL) is the pinnacle of NBCC’s experiential learning framework and includes 10 different types of experiences.

Experiential Learning Cycle

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning (EL) is an instructional strategy designed to achieve learning outcomes. It is reflective, formal, and intentional. More than ‘hands-on’ or practical learning, it involves learners in direct real-world experience in their field of study coupled with time to reflect on their experience, all with the aim of meeting specific learning objectives. In other words, it immerses learners in both an experience and critical reflection about the experience to develop new skills, attitudes, or knowledge and make connections to future applications. The learning is then assessed to ensure outcomes are achieved. 

Experiential Learning Framework

Work Integration
Direct Industry-Specific Experiential Learning (Work Integrated Learning)

  • Applied Research
  • Service Learning
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Field Placement
  • Co-op
  • Internship
  • Work Experience
  • Clinical Placement
  • Apprenticeship
  • Capstone Project (for an Industry Partner)

Active Exploration
Deeper Engagement in Industry-Specific Experiences

  • Virtual Tour/Site Visit
  • Interactive Simulation
  • Conference/Webinar
  • Inquiry/Problem-based Learning
  • Job Shadowing
  • Capstone Project (no Industry Partner)
  • Volunteering
  • Work Teaching Lab (Living Classroom)

Foundational Awareness
Curriculum-Connected Classroom Experiences

  • Guest Speakers
  • Classroom Activities
  • Basic Technical Assignments & Reports

How Can NBCC’s Experiential Unit Support You?

STUDENTS, we want to prepare you for success. NBCC’s Experiential Learning team can offer you opportunities to learn through hands-on and applied experiences that will help you develop new skills, attitudes and knowledge, offering you an edge in today’s job market. From internships, work experience preparation and special funds designed to remove barriers to your work-integrated learning, we can support you.

FACULTY, as a member of NBCC’s academic team, you are already well-equipped for experiential learning through the Adult Education Instructor Development Program. You understand how to develop and facilitate structured learning experiences to meet program curriculum outcomes utilizing the EL framework. We can help you bring these experiences to your students. We’ll support you by helping find partners and opportunities, developing and processing agreements, managing relationships, and more.

PARTNERS, you are valuable to NBCC. You, as industry and community partners, are involved in all types of experiential learning throughout the year, such as tours, visits, technical projects, service learning, applied research, and guest speaking. We are here to support you by matching your needs with the appropriate program and the right student.


Clarissa Harris
Head, Experiential Learning | Research, Innovation and Experiential Education
(506) 624-3933