Experiential learning is diverse in nature, takes many forms, and often involves activities with many unknown factors. Managing risks helps us safely offer these impactful learning experiences so that all parties can benefit from the many and meaningful rewards possible.

Disclaimer: This module is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice, simply a base level of information for you to consider when thinking about and/or planning experiential learning activities.

This module has been designed for all audiences.

What are the risks and rewards associated with EL?

Examples and Artifacts

list Identifying risk

Looking at risk management processes, the vast majority of risk management tends to focus on the physical safety of participants, which is a critical component of any experience, particularly experiences with unknown or changing circumstances, and/or possible risk from the following perspectives (Sattler, 2011):

External Links

document High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter
Report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, published 2008. This document discusses essential learning outcomes, knowledge of human cultures and the phsical and natural world, intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibility, and integrative and applied learning.

link Outcomes of High-Impact Educational Practices: A Literature Review
Report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, published 2009. This document discusses what is currently known about how high-impact practices affect outcomes for students, including service learning and capstone experiences.

quiz Risks and Rewards

Potential risks

Potential rewards

How can we evaluate and mitigate risks associated with the EL?

Examples and Artifacts

list Assessing and determining risk level
The next step in the process is to evaluate the risk to determine level of risk.

forms Forms
Be sure to check with your institutional partner to find out what permissions and insurance forms are required.

list Travelling internationally
When travelling internationally or to areas nationally where conditions differ in a variety of ways, additional levels of risk management may be appropriate.

External Resources

document Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning: Managing Risk, Maximizing Reward
This study addresses a number of topics including: needs of community sites, how the experience will enhance learning outcomes for the student, if credit-bearing, how many credits and logistical considerations including transportation, scheduling, and who is responsible for what part of the experience.

document Risk Management Handbook
This handbook, developed by the University of Tennessee Knoxville seeks to provide a broad overview of risk management for faculty and staff involved in experiential learning programs. The document includes resources specific to University, as well as general information about risk management.

link Student Unpaid Work Placement Workplace Insurance Coverage for Ontario University and College Students
The guidelines and details covered in this website will guide you as you navigate Ministry insurance coverage of students in unpaid placements facilitated with Ontario Post-Secondary Institutions.

How can participants be rewarded?

Examples and Artifacts

table Potential rewards for EL team members
This table lists ideas for rewarding contributing members of the EL activity.

Planning and development worksheet

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