Integrated Learning: Experiential Education at the University of Toronto

Speaker and Workshop Series


The level of interest and engagement with integrated and experiential learning opportunities, construed broadly, continues to grow at the University of Toronto and within provincial, national and North American post-secondary education sectors. As a result, academic leaders, faculty members, and staff are increasingly seeking support with developing new or integrating existing pedagogical approaches to the design, implementation, and assessment of such opportunities within for-credit courses and programs.

In addition to supports for opportunities, a clear need has been identified within the University community for a framework that both unifies the range of experiences around core learning elements, while recognizing the unique elements that distinguish each approach. During the 2016-17 academic year, the University of Toronto Task Force on Experiential Learning developed a white paper that addresses the above need, positioning the range of experiential learning modalities under the umbrella framework of Integrated Learning Experiences (ILEs):

“(ILEs) all provide students with the ability to bridge theoretical and practical learning and to observe how the material they have learned in class takes shape in the world… and include(s) examples of experiential, work-integrated, and community-engaged learning that integrate disciplinary outcomes with community engagement and competency development” (p. 10).

In response to the demand for increased supports, and as a means of educating the community on the new ILE framework, a speaker and workshop series is planned for the 2017-18 academic year. The workshops will focus on different models of course- and program-based experiential learning, and serve as a platform for discussing the ILE model at the University. These full-day sessions will bring together leading faculty members from U of T and peer institutions in order to share best practices and provide direct support in the development of new course and program components or offerings

Purpose of the Series:

  • Develop a community of practice within U of T around the various models of Integrated Learning
  • Provide opportunities for instructors and program leaders to engage in an instructional design process, with support from recognized experts
  • Establish connections with and learn from leading practitioners at peer institutions

Past Workshops

November 2nd, 2017


  • Norah McRae, Director, PhD, Executive Director of the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services, the Director of the Office of Community-University Engagement, adjunct faculty member, University of Victoria.
  • Ashley Stirling, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, and Director, Experiential Learning, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto
  • Tracey Bowen, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and Internship Coordinator, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, University of Toronto


February 21st, 2018



April 4th, 2018


  • Susan McCahan, Professor, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, and Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
  • Dr. Susan Nesbit, Professor of Teaching, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia
  • Ahmed Allahwala, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Human Geography, & Special Advisor to the Dean on Experiential Education, University of Toronto Scarborough
    • Professor Allahwala is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Human Geography. His area of expertise is urban governance and social policy, community development, youth engagement, and participatory action research. Professor Allahwala is a key advocate of community-engaged learning at the University of Toronto. He has taught a variety of community-engagement courses in partnership with organizations such as the East Scarborough Storefront, the Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough, TAIBU Community Health Centre, Malvern Family Resource Centre, and the Toronto District Catholic School Board.Professor Allahwala will be joined by co-presenters and long term community partners:Ewa Cerda-Llanos, Manager of Knowledge Exchange & Network Strategies, East Scarborough Storefront
      Umema Sharafali, Youth Engagement Coordinator, East Scarborough Storefront
      Ajeev Bhatia, Co-Chair, LIFT – Let’s Inspire for Today
  • Isabelle Kim, Director, Centre for Community Partnerships, University of Toronto
    • Isabelle leads the continued development and implementation of programs and supports designed to expand opportunities for curricular and co-curricular community-engaged learning and research, in partnership with other units at U of T. Isabelle has a strong interest in community development and higher education, evidenced by her teaching at OISE, academic research, and work history. She comes to the role with 18 years’ experience working with local and international community organizations in the health, education, and the arts. Prior to this appointment, she served in leadership capacities at Canadian international development organizations. Isabelle holds a BA in International Development Studies from UTSC, and a MA and PhD in Curriculum Studies from OISE.

  • Jennifer Esmail, Research Officer, Experiential Learning, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science