Engaged Teaching and Learning

Community Engaged Learning (CEL)

Engaging students with Community partners in a mutually beneficial, mutually respected experience that aligns with curriculum. CEL sometimes called community service-learning, integrates service and volunteer experiences within academic courses or extra-curricular programs. With a strong emphasis on partnerships between Grenfell Campus and community organizations, clear objectives are set for both the student learning that occurs and the resulting benefits to the community.

We collaborate with students, staff, faculty and community partners to work through complex community-based issues. Our programs place students in community settings either as a required part of an academic course, or through voluntary co-curricular placements. We also provide resources and support to instructors, departments, and faculties, to enhance teaching and learning processes. We connect University research, learning and resources to the community in ways that support lasting relationships.

Through their involvement in Community Engagement activities, students enhance your personal growth, develop tangible skills, meet new people and create opportunities to explore regional perspectives! CEL provides students with the opportunity to au thentic ate their learning in real world situations; embeds learning activities; complements classroom instruction and encourages active participation. 

Benefits of CEL to Students

  • Brings learning to real life activities
  • Actively engaged
  • Manage their own learning
  • Relationships are developed and nurtured 
  • Context for learning is different (outside classroom) 

Benefits of CEL to Faculty

  • Ensuring students' deeper understanding
  • Integrating current issues into course
  • Engaging students as active learners
  • Fostering relationships with community
  • Providing opportunities for future research
  • Demonstrating teaching excellence
  • Incorporating Engaged Teaching and Learning 

Benefits of CEL to Community Partners

  • Completed projects
  • Relationships strengthened
  • Volunteers, board members, potential hires
  • Community partners inform the curriculum
  • Coaching and mentoring skills developed
  • Voices from the community to the classroom


Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is a teaching philosophy and methodology by which educators purposely engage with learners in direct experience, focused reflection, and authentic assessment in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and strategies, and clarify values which all contribute to people's capacity to be engaged citizens (adapted from Association of Experiential Education, https://aee.org/about).


Principles of EL Practice

  • EL occurs when carefully chosen experiences are supported by reflection, critical analysis and synthesis.
  • Experiences are structured to require the learner to take initiative, make decisions and be accountable for results.
  • Throughout the experiential learning process, the learner is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, experimenting, being curious, solving problems, assuming responsibility, being creative, and constructing meaning.
  • The results of the learning are personal and form the basis for future experience and learning.
  • Opportunities are nurtured for learners and educators to explore and examine their own values.
  • The educator's primary roles include setting suitable experiences, posing problems, setting boundaries, supporting learners, insuring physical and emotional safety, and facilitating the learning process.
  • The educator recognizes and encourages spontaneous opportunities for learning. (adapted from Association of Experiential Education, https://aee.org/about)



CityStudio, Grenfell applies experiential learning techniques all the while creating opportunities for collaboration with the City of Corner Brook.

Following on the Vancouver model, Grenfell's CityStudio program has actualized the following approaches:

  • Students develop projects that are focused on municipal issues;
  • Students receive on-campus lectures on urban planning theory and practice, and applied training through studio sessions held at City Hall;
  • Projects are presented to city council and city staff on completion;
  • Students work in group, and the course follows an experiential learning format with reflections, peer reviews, written assignments, and no exams/midterms

Topics for each CityStudio course are set in collaboration with the City of Corner Brook. Themes for CityStudio GEOG 3350: Community and Regional Planning and Development:

  • Fall 2016 - Downtown Public Space Animation 
  • Fall 2017 - Sustainable Waterfront Redevelopment 
  • Fall 2018 - Winter Outdoor Recreation Hubs
  • Winter 2019 - Potential Development of Bartlett Point Park/ the Yacht Club
  • Fall 2019 - Support the Vitality of West Street 
  • Fall 2020 - The Great Trail, and multi-modal transport planning

In the Winter of 2020, CityStudio at Grenfell Campus expanded to include the ENVP 6001, a graduate level course taught within the Masters of Arts in Environmental Policy (MAEP) program. This course looks at sustainability policy questions and provides the City of Corner Brook with policy suggestions and recommendations that are able to be implemented by the City. In the Winter of 2020, the groups presented on their topics and a winning group was selected to propose their policy to the Corner Brook City Council during a scheduled council meeting.

The CityStudio component of the ENVP 6001 is one part of the experiential learning in the course - the second component features a partnership with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador where students produce cabinet papers.