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Winterfest 2024

Learning by doing: Engage your students with experiential learning


The classroom experience is evolving for faculty and students. Recognizing this change, the Centre for Teaching and Learning has teamed up with the Experiential Learning Office for Winterfest 2024.

We invite the Concordia community to discover ways of incorporating "learning by doing" through hands-on activities and focused reflection that inspire student engagement and deeper learning.

Learn from faculty, students, and practitioners about experiential learning: what it is, how to integrate it, and resources available at the university.

Winterfest will take place Monday, January 29 to Friday, February 16, 2024

Session topics

This series of hybrid sessions will cover:

  • Re-engagement with experiential learning
  • Authentic assessments in experiential learning
  • Reflective learning
  • Skill-building opportunities


Faculty panel: Re-engaging students through experiential learning

Date: Monday, January 29, 2024
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Format: HyFlex (H-629 in-person and online)


In-class experiential learning activities and assessments have the potential to reinvigorate students’ interest in not only what they are learning, but how they can use the knowledge, skills, and competencies in other settings. Our faculty panel members have been using experiential learning to engage with students and deepen their learning in unique ways. They will outline the value they see in using an experiential learning approach, share examples of activities and assessments they are currently using, and provide practical tips and advice for other instructors who are looking to do the same. 


  • Rex Brynen, Professor, Political Science, McGill University
  • Susan Dinan, Part–time Faculty, Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University
  • Jordan LeBel, Professor, Marketing, Concordia University
  • Xiaodan Pan, Associate Professor, Supply Chain and Business Technology Management
  • Kristy Snell, Interim Academic Leader, I3J Institute

Facilitators: Cherine Zananiri, Director, Experiential Learning and Institute for Co-operative Education & John Paul Foxe, Senior Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Student perspectives on course-integrated experiential learning

Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Format: Online


Hear from Concordia students about their experiences participating in different course-integrated experiential learning activities and assessments, and the impact that these experiences had on their learning, engagement, and awareness of their own skills and values.


  • Abigail Koff, Political Science (BA)
  • Komachi Nomizu, International Business (BComm)
  • Nadia Sioufu, Computer Engineering (BEng)
  • India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Art History and Studio Art (BA)

Facilitators: Josephine Guan, Instructional Designer, Centre for Teaching and Learning & Samantha Larocque, Lead, Experiential Learning

Introduction to experiential learning

Date: Friday, February 2, 2024
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Format: Online


This workshop provides instructors from any discipline with an introduction to experiential learning theory and practices. During this session, we will define experiential learning, examine the benefits and challenges of its implementation, and discuss the instructor’s role. Additionally, we will present and explore myriad experiential learning practices for your classroom, guidance on choosing suitable activities and assessments, and practical tips for implementing them in class. 


  • Lorraine Donald, Coordinator, Experiential Learning
  • Ariel Harlap, Instructional Designer, Centre for Teaching and Learning

How to integrate skill-building opportunities into your course

Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Format: Online


Concordia has an abundance of opportunities for students to develop a range of academic, social, cognitive, and career-related skills outside of the classroom. Many of these opportunities can be integrated into courses to deepen students’ learning by helping them articulate the value and transferability of the skills and knowledge they learn in class. This workshop will introduce the FutureBound program, one of Concordia’s most popular skills development programs, and will explore how instructors can enhance their course by working with the FutureBound Team to incorporate their workshops into the curriculum.


  • Andrea Taylor, Lead, FutureBound Program
  • Alice Isac, Manager, Experiential Learning

Faculty panel: Designing experiential learning assessments

Date: Thursday, February 8, 2024
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Format: HyFlex (H-629 in-person and online)


This panel highlights Concordia instructors who have taken different approaches to incorporating experiential learning assessments into their courses. Hear about the different assessments they have designed and used and discuss the benefits and challenges of experiential learning assessments for student learning and course management.


  • Eric Haney, Lecturer, Political Science
  • Alice Isac, Part-time Faculty, Education
  • Angela Kross, Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment

Facilitator: John Paul Foxe, Senior Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Designing authentic, experiential learning assessments

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Format: In-person (H-629)


One common question about experiential learning is how to assess it. Assessing experiential learning involves measuring learning in both the process and the product. One way to achieve this is to create authentic assessments within an experiential learning framework. These assessments require applying learned knowledge and exercising judgment in situations that mirror realistic challenges or tasks. By combining these approaches, students’ understanding and skills can be assessed through a final product, while also fostering their capacity to apply knowledge in realistic settings and improve their reflective and critical thinking abilities.

This interactive workshop aims to help faculty members develop assessments that integrate experiential learning and authentic assessment approaches. The workshop will describe the key characteristics of authentic, experiential assessments and provide opportunities for participants to practice designing effective assessments that they can then tailor to their unique teaching context. Participants will leave the workshop with practical tools and information on authentic experiential assessment that they can utilize in the future.


  • Samantha Larocque, Lead, Experiential Learning 
  • Ying Li, Curriculum Developer

Integrating reflective learning into courses

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Format: Online


A crucial part of experiential learning is enabling students to reflect on their learning. Yet it’s not always clear how to fit reflection into the course plan, what you should be asking students to reflect on, or how to assess reflection activities. This workshop will help you get started on designing reflective activities for your courses. We will discuss the significance and influence of reflection on the learning process, methods to encourage students to appreciate reflection, and various reflective activities and assessment strategies. Instructors will depart with practical advice and recommendations for integrating reflection into their courses.


  • Alicia Cundell, Teaching Consultant, Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Lorraine Donald, Coordinator, Experiential Learning
  • Natalie Roper, Lead, Student reflective learning, Institute for Co-operative Education
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