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Community Engagement

CE Education Resources

One of the most important goals of The CONNECTION is tools focused on online community engagement education and practice.

The fall semester will be online which presents many challenges, but also opportunities in education and community engagement.

McMaster Resources

Adapting Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning for the Remote Context Workshop Video Watch the Video

This November 17, 2020 Workshop was presented by:

  • Cathy Grisé, Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities
  • Beth Levinson, Educational Developer, Office of Community Engagement, MacPherson Institute
  • Margaret Secord, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences

Workshop Roadmap

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Presentation: Reassessing EE and Exploring our Options
  • Breakout Rooms: Adapting Our Options for the Online Context (Discussion)
  • Wrap-Up

Created by the ExCEL Working Group, led by Dr. Kim Dej, Acting Vice-Provost, and Sheila Sammon, Director, Office of Community Engagement. 

Adapting Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning to the Online Context Download PDF

A guide for conducting experiential education and community-engaged learning in an online environment, Adapting Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning includes four parts:

Part 1: Guide Overview and Introduction to Concepts

Part 2: Essentials of Experiential Education (EE) and Principles of Community Engagement

Part 3: Reflection as a necessary component of EE

Part 4: Adapting EE for the online context

Online Community Engagement – Best Practices and Key Considerations Download PDF

Best practices and key considerations for courses facilitating community engagement courses online, or extreme e-learning. The review consisted of a scan of existing literature, articles and other post-secondary institutions in Canada and beyond.

Developed by The Office of Community Engagement. 

Community Engagement & Research Guide Learn More

Looking for information, data, and resources about Hamilton and beyond?

This interdisciplinary guide offers a strong, relevant evidence base on the issues faced by our community in Hamilton and beyond. Find data sets, reports, and other resources for use by students, staff, and faculty members.

Developed by McMaster Libraries, MacPherson Institute, and the Office of Community Engagement.

Guide to Experiential and Community Engaged Education at McMaster University Download PDF

The Ad Hoc Experiential Learning and Community Engagement Working Group, representing all six Faculties met during the spring of 2020 to identify key questions and resources to support faculty as they add Experiential Education courses and course components or adapt EE for the online context.

We have developed a series of guides that present information and resources based on McMaster’s expertise, scholarly research and resources from other Canadian institutions.

While designed to be read sequentially, this series can be easily accessed according to the most relevant portions based on needs.

Created by: Cathy Grise, Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Beth Levinson, Educational Developer, Office of Community Engagement & MacPherson Institute, Margaret Secord, Assistant Professor Faculty of Health Sciences.

The Ad Hoc Experiential Learning and Community Engagement Working Group was led by Dr. Kim Dej, Acting Vice-Provost and Professor Sheila Sammon, Director, Office of Community Engagement.

The CONNECTION COVID-19 Related Resources Learn More

Developed by the Office of Community Engagement, this resource roundup includes resources for anyone in the McMaster or Hamilton community.

Includes local Hamilton and community resources, McMaster resources, policies, programs, virtual events, and more!

MacPherson's Online Instruction Training & Development Events Learn More

MacPherson Institute and their campus partners have a variety of virtual training supports and sessions to assist instructors with the transition to online teaching.

Presentations/Webinars on Experiential Learning

Going Remote with EL and WIL: A Practical Approach to Outcome-Based Experiential Learning Learn More

What is Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) when workplaces are remote?  What is front-line experience when locations are essential staff only?  What hands-on experiences can be feasible when capacity is halved, or it must be online?  How to host a placement student in these times?  These are the questions we are facing.  This practical session is about getting to “this is a possible option” by identifying priority outcomes, the design options that remain, and assessment/feedback and activities that could align.

Slides from the webinar.

Presenters: Lorraine Godden, Instructor II, Carleton University & Carolyn Hoessler, Founder, Higher Education & Beyond

AAC&U: Community in Times of Crisis: Perspectives from Anchor Institutions during COVID-19 Learn More

The bold and timely measures taken by colleges and universities to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak reflected deep commitments to student well-being and also to serving the communities in which they are situated. As higher education continues to grapple with a new normal, campus engagement with local, national, and global communities will be crucial to determining the path forward. Moderated by AAC&U president, Lynn Pasquerella, this webinar will engage campus and national leaders in a virtual roundtable discussion around what it means to be an anchor institution in challenging times.

The panel was followed by a post-webinar discussion with higher education experts and leaders of the Rah Rah team exploring the use of technology to enhance, measure, and scale campus community and engagement in order to enable colleges and universities to navigate and ultimately thrive in a period of heightened uncertainty.

Articles and Resources from Other Institutions

How to adapt experiential learning activities in the time of COVID-19 Learn More

We searched the literature and consulted our colleagues from across the country for innovative approaches and resources.


Continuing community engaged teaching during COVID-19 Learn More

Many ideas and links to resources for teaching and learning activities that can be completed when in person community engagement is suspended.

By: Indiana University Center for Service and Learning

University of Calgary Taylor Institute EL articles and Resources Learn More

A curated list of helpful resources, articles, toolkits and more.

These toolkits and modules are available for free online. Those that are licensed under the Creative Commons may be shared as their own short-course or be used to supplement curriculum materials in other courses.

Experiential Education Reflection Frameworks

Generating, Deepening, and Documenting Learning: The Power of Critical Reflection in Applied Learning Download PDF

Sarah L. Ash, North Carolina State University

Patti H. Clayton, PHC Ventures/Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Applied learning pedagogies—including service-learning, internships/practica, study abroad, and undergraduate research—have in common both the potential for significant student learning and the challenges of facilitating and assessing that learning, often in non-traditional ways that involve experiential strategies outside the classroom as well as individualized outcomes. Critical reflection oriented toward well-articulated learning outcomes is key to generating, deepening, and documenting student learning in applied learning.

Reflection Assignment: Generating, Deepening, and Documenting Learning: The Power of Critical Reflection in Applied Learning Download PDF

Reflection Assignment from: Generating, Deepening, and Documenting Learning: The Power of Critical Reflection in Applied Learning

DEAL Model for Critical Reflection Download PDF

Critical Reflection Assignment (structured with DEAL) for Academic Learning

Sarah L. Ash, North Carolina State University

Patti H. Clayton, PHC Ventures/Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Scaffolding student reflection for experience based learning: a framework Download PDF

Debra Coulson & Marina Harvey, Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University

Reflection is widely posited as a professional practice and process that supports students to learn through experience. Effective reflection for learning through experience requires a high level of introspection and open-minded self-analysis, a capacity for abstract learning, and self-regulation and agency that few students in higher education innately possess. Reflection can, however, be learnt and taught through strategic interventions and careful scaffolding.

The pedagogical balancing act: teaching reflection in higher education Download PDF

Mary Ryan, Centre for Learning Innovation, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology

Despite the common use of the term reflection in higher education assessment tasks, learners are not often taught how to communicate their disciplinary knowledge through reflection. This paper argues that students can and should be taught how to reflect in deep and transformative ways. It highlights the reflexive pedagogical balancing act of attending to different levels of reflection as a way to stimulate focused, thoughtful and reasoned reflections that show evidence of new ways of thinking and doing.

Reflection Prompts: The pedagogical balancing act Download Word Doc

Reflection Prompts for: The pedagogical balancing act: teaching reflection in higher education

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle Download PDF

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle was developed by Graham Gibbs in 1988 to give structure to learning from experiences.  It offers a framework for examining experiences, and given its cyclic nature lends itself particularly well to repeated experiences, allowing you to learn and plan from things that either went well or didn’t go well. It covers 6 stages:

  • Description of the experience
  • Feelings and thoughts about the experience
  • Evaluation of the experience, both good and bad
  • Analysis to make sense of the situation
  • Conclusion about what you learned and what you could have done differently
  • Action plan for how you would deal with similar situations in the future, or general changes you might find appropriate.

Knowing, Doing and Being in Context: A Praxis-oriented Approach to Child and Youth Care Download PDF

Jennifer White

Engaging with youth and families in collaborative and respectful ways; taking practical actions to create the conditions for young people to experience meaning, worth and connection; supporting them to imagine hopeful futures for themselves; and bringing oneself fully to the therapeutic relationship are all hallmark characteristics of child and youth care (CYC) practice. Those who do this work and those who prepare practitioners for the field recognize the need for conceptual frameworks that can adequately represent the complexities of everyday CYC practice. By taking up the notion of praxis as knowing, doing and being in context, I hope to plant some fresh seeds to animate and extend current conceptualizations of everyday CYC practice.