Take part | Bringing the real world into the curriculum

Academic and professional services colleagues are joining forces to explore how to bring the real world into the curriculum during a special event.

Take part | Bringing the real world into the curriculum. October 2023

Inspired by the Student Opportunities and Futures Strategy, and aligned with Curriculum Redefined, the event will explore the ideas and experiences of colleagues across the University to define what experiential learning means at Leeds.

Experiential learning is an engaged process whereby students ‘learn by doing’ and by reflecting on the experience.

The half-day session – being held at the School of Music from 12 noon to 5pm on 15 November – is a collaboration between Professor Karen Burland, University Academic Lead: Student Opportunities and Futures, and Greg Miller, Deputy Director of Student Opportunity. It aims to bring together colleagues who are already using different types of experiential learning in their teaching, and those who are keen to explore how this type of activity might support and enhance the curriculum. 

There will be networking opportunities, soapbox presentations and an ‘unconference’ format, with delegates co-creating part of the agenda on the day. External speaker Mark Peace, who’s creating the Institute for Experiential and Skills-based Learning to connect colleagues across the country, is helping to design the afternoon’s activities. He will reflect on what he’s hearing throughout the afternoon, connecting in real-time how the work Leeds is doing might play into the national agenda.

Karen said: “Experiential learning has predominantly happened within extra or co-curricular spaces, but innovation exists at Leeds – and the wider sector – and we want to find a way to bring it into the curriculum.

“It’s so much more than work placements – it’s about simulations, lab work, collaboration in the real world, research projects or collaborative international online learning. It could be fieldwork, study abroad or talks from employers.

“It’s about making the curriculum a space for students to explore their skills and values and to discover what matters to them; it’s also vital we find ways to make experiential learning accessible and inclusive for everyone, and find ways as a community to nurture and support this practice.”

Collective expertise

This session is just the starting point for an ongoing programme of events, workshops and peer-to-peer networking opportunities connecting academics, professional services colleagues and students to design and operationalise different experiences.

Greg said: “The success of this work will rely on partnership with professional staff, academic colleagues and students. 

“We hope to build on our collective expertise and passion to make experiential learning a joint ambition that’s achievable at scale and responsive to future needs of our students and wider society.

“This is just the start of the conversation and a real opportunity to focus on how we prepare students for the world, inside and outside of education.”

Get involved

Complete the enrolment form to register your interest. Calendar invites and a more detailed event outline will be shared closer to the date. Visit the Student Opportunities and Futures SharePoint site for further information about experiential learning at Leeds.

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