To kick off the Innovate/Collaborate (IN/CO) Grant Program, a $40,000 grant was awarded to a team of faculty and staff from Drexel University, the College of Charleston,University of North Carolina Wilmington and the College of Charleston in Summer 2017. This grant project, titled “Tracking Experiential Learning Outcomes Across Three CAA Campuses,” was awarded to support development of a validated instrument and database to enable careful assessment of experiential learning across multiple types of experiences and campuses.
Among the challenges of measuring the educational impact of experiential learning is that a diverse array of experiences–from course-based projects to study abroad to internships, to name but a few–can all be considered as experiential/applied learning . Typical approaches to assessing experiential learning include assessments of students’ perceptions of the value of the experience. This project team seeks to develop a richer understanding of the specific learning and student development that takes place in experiential learning opportunities, as well as the impact on student learning in subsequent coursework, academic programs, and further applied learning settings.
Updates & Progress
Drexel University hosted the first post-award grant team meeting in November 2017. During this session, the project team discussed existing experiential learning assessment tools and practices on each campus, the infrastructure required (e.g., offices involved, systems used to collect data, availability of existing data), the instrument development process, and grant sustainability. University of North Carolina Wilmington convened the project team for a second in-person meeting in February 2018, focusing on the identification of common student learning outcomes and the logistics of piloting the instrument across all three campuses. College of Charleston hosted a third in-person meeting of the IN/CO grant team in April 2018 to review the draft instrument; examine platforms, delivery, and timeline; and follow up on mining current data. Opportunities for future funding and project sustainability were also discussed.
Over the next academic year, the draft instrument will be piloted with a diverse range of students who have participated in experiential learning opportunities. Focus groups will be conducted with participating students to gauge both student perceptions and the efficacy of the instrument in capturing data. The project team will also present on this grant at the fifth annual Drexel Assessment Conference (September 12-14, 2018).
Meet the Experiential Learning IN/CO Grant Team
- Robert Hicks | Social Research Assistant for ETEAL | University of North Carolina Wilmington
- Lea Bullard | Assistant Director of General Education Assessment, College of Arts & Science | University of North Carolina Wilmington
- Karin Roof | Director of Academic Assessment and Strategic Planning | College of Charleston