Examining an Interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Program for Doctoral Students Expanding our conception of the advanced degree

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Michael Holden
Paisley Worthington
Michelle Searle
Cheryl Mak


Educators, researchers, and institutions have long recognized the value of experiential learning as a way of fostering students’ ongoing learning and skill development. In recent years, experiential learning has gained increased traction in higher education institutions, as there is recognized need for graduates to engage in and actively reflect on lived experiences in various disciplines. Yet, much of the research in graduate-level experiential learning focuses on discipline-specific experiential learning opportunities, often within the context of a single graduate program where students’ career outcomes and program pathways are narrowly defined. Through qualitative analysis of interview, focus group, and program data collected as part of a collaborative evaluation, we respond to a gap in existing research to examine the diverse perspectives of doctoral students engaged in an interdisciplinary experiential learning program. The study’s findings contribute to a more robust understanding of the potential for experiential learning as an interdisciplinary practice, with direct examples of how doctoral students and higher education institutions are moving this work forward in this context.

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How to Cite
Holden, M., Worthington, P., Searle, M., & Mak, C. (2024). Examining an Interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Program for Doctoral Students: Expanding our conception of the advanced degree. Experiential Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.46787/elthe.v7i2.3854
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Author Biography

Michael Holden, Queen's University

Michael Holden is a PhD Candidate at Queen’s University and the Conference Manager for the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). His SSHRC-funded research examines principles of classroom assessment for emergent learning, with a focus on collaborating with teachers as they work to provoke and support emergent learning that stems from formative classroom assessment in complex spaces. His professional interests include classroom assessment, engaging students and teachers in meaningful learning, and developing stronger collaborative networks in education.