Experiential Learning

A circular graphic representing the domains of innovation associated to this project.

The 'Learning Through Experience: Fostering Tenacity through Experiential Education' project sought to gain a deeper understanding of student experiences in Experiential Learning opportunities and their own unique needs and perspectives. Through long form interviews and open-ended questions we developed a deeper understanding of EL at UofT, and reflected back on education more broadly asking about how education (both traditional learning and EL itself) can be made “experiential” such that the positive impacts can occur everywhere and for everyone. This projects aim was to support and complement the critical work being done on EL around the university, such as the development of the Experiential Learning Hub and further efforts to support students, instructors, and staff in making EL excellent at UofT.

Icon of book with connecting circles reaching outwards.

Integrated Learning Experience

Students engage fully in learning experiences both within and outside of the classroom.

Icon of individual wearing a graduation cap, with a timer in the background.

Future-Ready Students

Students have opportunities to develop their skills and build their confidence beyond academics.


Through our data, we learned that the key to Experiential Learning is fostering tenacity. 

When EL stakeholders foster tenacity in students, in themselves and in the process, they learn through novelty, interdependence, and positive failure, leading to not only more tenacious stakeholders, but a strengthened approach to learning and education at the university.

We found that fostering tenacity was organized under three themes:

  1. Securing New Know-How
  2. The Whole is More than the Parts
  3. Encouraging Positive Failure

Learn more about these themes, and design principles to help support meaningful experiential learning experiences across the University, by visiting the blog post and report provided below.

Illustration or a bridge, with each part of it representing the core themes

Research Team

Johanna Pokorny

Johanna Pokorny

team photo

Gabriel Simmons


Lillian Shaddick

Sara Hormozinejad

Sara Hormozi-Nejad

Jeremy Chu

Jeremy Chu

Design & Communications Team

Kaitlyn wearing long pink earrings, standing infront of a brick wall

Kaitlyn Corlett