Experiential Learning in a Common Core Curriculum: Student Expectations, Evaluations, and the Way Forward

  •  Gavin W. Porter    
  •  Jessica A. King    
  •  Nathalie F. Goodkin    
  •  Cecilia K. Y. Chan    


Universities are becoming increasingly conscious of how learning activities align with the attributes they desire in their graduates. Experiential learning is viewed by many institutions as an essential activity for students to gain attributes such as problem solving skills, observation skills, advocacy, and critical thinking. An experiential learning activity, in the form of an environmental fieldtrip, was examined in the context of a university’s new common core curriculum. Student expectations were compared to evaluation of the fieldtrip itself, and guidelines for future trip outings are made in consideration of both published works and our own experiences. The ability of departments and faculties to engage students in beneficial and enjoyable learning will be of utmost importance in attracting student enrollment. This is particularly pressing in universities that are transitioning into less differentiated first year intakes.

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