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ExL Program (Experiential Learning Program)

This program is designed to provide tools, materials and resources around reflection for staff, faculty and student leaders, who are engaging students (of all levels) in any kind of experiential learning activity.

What is Experiential Learning (EL)?

Experiential Learning (EL) refers to the active process of learning by doing, in a mindful and intentional manner. According to the Association for Experiential Education, “Experiential Learning occurs when carefully chosen experiences are supported by reflection, critical analysis and syntheses.”

ExL was created by licensed career counsellors to support students’ experiential learning activities by:

  • Educating students about the value of their out of classroom experiences
  • Cultivating a mindful and intentional approach to engagement to enable students to make the most of these experiences
  • Facilitating reflection before, during and following the experience
  • Helping students to communicate their learning to others including future employers
  • Leading students on a path to career readiness

As part of the program, students are encouraged to set goals, expectations and learning outcomes; assess and understand the skills they currently have as well as ones they hope to develop; and are provided with the tools to clearly articulate this information on paper or in interviews.

The ExL Program has three components and is set up “à la carte” style in order to provide flexibility to the users. Requests can be made for one or multiple components of the program.

    • ExL Program Booklets
      The ExL Reflection Workbook is a hands-on workbook that students can use throughout their experiential learning activity. Included are daily reflection questions, self-assessment exercises, a mid-way check in, and final reflection questions to help unpack and evaluate the experience.
    • A unique feature of the ExL workbook is that it is tailored for each program. CaPS designs and tailors the book in collaboration with the faculty member and/or staff member, who will then receive it in pdf form ready for print.

      For a preview of the ExL Book: Selected pages

    • Mindful Involvement Workshop: In order to make the most of their experience, students are guided through the ExL workbook, and its uses, and encouraged to reflect on their reasons for engaging in the experience and what they hope to learn and gain from it. They will engage in activities helping them to reflect on their intentions, expectations, skills, and goals.
    • students participating an ExL Program activity
      Mid-Way Check-In Workshop: This workshop is designed to help students to evaluate where there are at in the moment, giving them the opportunity to reflect on and re-evaluate (if need be) their initial expectations, intentions and goals. This will also provide students the insight and tools to enable them to make the most of the rest of their experience.
    • Final Reflection Workshop: Through engaging and creative interactive activities, students learn how to unpack their experience in terms of skills developed, preferences, and self- discovery. This workshop will also help students translate their experience in a way that can be marketed to future employers.
    • Train the Trainer: This workshop is designed for faculty, staff, and student leaders who would like to engage students in reflection through facilitating workshops and/or activities themselves. They will learn about various reflection activities and be provided with workshop materials. They will also have an opportunity to preview the ExL workbook in order to better guide students through it.


Some of our partnership have included:

  • Medical Physics Research Training Network (Graduate Leadership Retreat)
  • Arts Oasis (Study Abroad)
  • Campus Life & Engagement (Ambassadors for Campus & Community Engagement)
  • Teaching and Learning Services (3 Minute Thesis and the Leadership Workshop Series)
  • MAX BELL School of Public Policy and Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science (PODS – Policy & Data Science Internships)
  • Research Institute, McGill University Health Centre (Surgical Innovation Program)
  • Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (The Social Economy Initiative Impact Internship Program)
  • Social Equity & Diversity Education Office (Alternative Spring Break)
  • McGill Department of Mining and Materials Engineering (MOVE program)
  • McGill Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health (MSCPH Practicum)

If you are interested in using ExL for your program or activity, or you would like more information, please contact CaPS : careers.caps [at] mcgill.ca

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