Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is being incorporated across the TRU Campus and learning community. Through this series of presentations last winter, the centre examined and celebrated the achievements of faculty and staff members

Some presentations are available on the TRU YouTube Channel

 January 16 - An Introduction to Digital Storytelling

Facilitator(s): Brian Lamb and Alan Levine

A hook of interest, the shape of a narrative, a character to care about, suspension in belief, using less; media metaphors are techniques that we can integrate into our work as educators. While technology provides plenty of tools to tell stories, more compelling is what they afford us to practice and develop our own skills of making and incorporating story not only into teaching, but many forms of expression

TRU's Open Learning Research Fellow Alan Levine will provide a brief overview on his work and experiences with digital storytelling. And with TRU's Brian Lamb, offer an invitation to participate in "The YouShow," a hands-on participatory digital storytelling seminar.

Location:HOL 210B

 January 23 - Experiencing Learning Through Visuals

Facilitator(s) Melissa Jakubec and Kelly Warnock

How do you use visuals in your teaching or learning? Could your presentations be more engaging and meaningful with the addition of images? Do you use graphic organizers to facilitate learning and engagement with course concepts? Are you aware of copyright policies related to the use of images? In this workshop we will discuss how you can improve the learning experience through visuals, including online graphic organizers and realia. Basic rules of copyright and attribution will be covered, as well as practical tips for finding open images online. As a final takeaway, you will participate in a hands on image quest to practice skills learned and contribute to an online image bank

Location: OM1330

Video recording of this session is unavailable

 January 30 - Role Playing, Team Tasks, Simulations, and Real World Exploration

Facilitator(s): Franzi Ng, Ken Monroe, and Kelly Warnock (Open Learning)

This presentation will provide examples of the use of role play, collaborative team tasks, and real world interactions in an online environment. We will discuss how online tools can be used to promote collaboration and deepen student engagement and learning.

Location: HOL 210B

Watch live streaming video from livetru at
 February 6 - Tutor Talk: Experiential Learning in the Writing Centre

Facilitator(s): Sara Wolfe: Writing Centre

In this session, you will be introduced to tutoring and the learning of peer tutors who both work and volunteer in the TRU Writing Centre. Coordinator Sara Wolfe will define tutoring, outline the tutoring process, and explain the tutor training program that is utilized at the TRU Writing Centre. Peer tutors will then discuss their learning and surprises in their tutoring practice. Discussion will follow.

Location: OM 1472

Video recording of this session is unavailable

 February 13 - Interviews, Labs and Field Work

Facilitator(s): Michelle Harrison, Melissa Jakubec, and Franci Ng

This presentation will provide examples of the use of interviews as a means of expanding students' experiential learning in online courses. We will also look at how science labs can occur in an online environment

Location: OM 1472

Video recording of this session is unavailable

 February 27 - Developing an Undergraduate Student Journal

Facilitator(s): Mohammad Mahbobi (School of Business and Economics)

Location: OM 1472

The Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as inquiries or investigations conducted by undergraduate students that make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. 1]. In 2005, CUR and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) recognized collaboration between student and faculty member as the principle of UR. The main component of this principle is to trigger the integrated process of carrying out a research project and to share the outcomes with peers.

In order to engage students in undergraduate research as an activity outside the classroom, and consistent with the mission of the TRU Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation, a Pathways to Learning program for undergraduate research has been developed by combining the experiential learning that occurs outside of the classroom with what students learn in the classroom. The program is designed to encourage and recognize student engagement in disciplinary or interdisciplinary research. It is also a venue for the involved instructors in moving toward more research-led teaching.

The focus of this presentation is on how to engage students in undergraduate research and to share the developed program and its process

Video recording of this session is unavailable

 March 6 - And Now for Something Completely Different...For Me Anyway: Putting Ethics in Action

Facilitator(s): Charis Kamphuis (Law)

In this workshop, Charis Kamphuis will introduce the concept of experiential learning in legal education and explain its treatment in broader debates about law school curriculum. With this backdrop, Charis will describe the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) an experiential learning initiative that she co-founded in 2011.

JCAP has offered experiential learning opportunities to approximately 35 law students across Canada, including, most recently, TRU Faculty of Law Students. Students support JCAP's primary objective of providing legal support co communities who are asserting their rights in the face of transnational resource extraction. JCAP also introduces students to the possibility of transnational community-based lawyering in the global economy. While JCAP works primarily with Latin American communities in conflict with Canadian mining companies, it has also undertaken work for African and Canadian communities. JCAP's work is informed by its close collaboration with transnational network of civil society organizations. In this context, JCAP students have worked on cases in multiple legal fora, including domestic, transnational and international and with diverse legal and regulatory instruments, including public, private, and voluntary regimes.

Location: OM 1472

 April 10 - Experiential Learning in a Multidisciplinary Course: Biology meets Computing Science

Facilitator(s): Joanna Urban (Biology) and Mila Kwiatkowska (Computing)

This talk will present the real-life experience of teaching an introductory bioinformatics course by two faculty members from two different departments: Computing and Biology.

Bioinformatics is a field concerned with usage of information modelling techniques, database systems, and algorithms in biology. Thus, the course topics span computing science and biology. We will talk about the hands-on student projects and their role in introducing the students to undergraduate and graduate research in both fields.

Location: OM 1472

 April 17 - World Cafe: Teaching and Learning Successes and Challenges

Faciltator(s): Melissa Jakubec (OL and CSELI)

Melissa will lead a world cafe session to engage faculty in a discussion around the success and challenges of their semester

Location: HOL 210B

Video recording of this session is unavailable

Engagement Series Presentations from Fall 2014 can be found here.
Engagement Series Coordinator (2014-15)
Contact Information
Ginny Ratsoy
Associate Professor of English
Phone: 250-828-5238