Applied learning refers to an educational approach where students learn by engaging in direct application of skills, theories and models. Students apply knowledge and skills gained from traditional classroom learning to hands-on and/or real-world settings, creative projects or independent or directed research, and in turn apply what is gained from the applied experience to academic learning. The applied learning activity can occur outside of the traditional classroom experience and/or be embedded as part of a course.
When applied learning is embedded in a course, these criteria refer to the activity rather than the course as a whole. Regardless of the activity, both the experience and the learning are fundamental. All manner of experiences including high-impact practices and traditional applied learning education can be considered approved applied learning activities if, and only if, they meet the criteria listed.
- The Activity is Structured, Intentional, and Authentic
- The Activity Requires Preparation, Orientation, and Training
- The Activity Must Include Monitoring and Continuous Improvement
- The Activity Requires Structured Reflection and Acknowledgment
- The Activity Must be Assessed and Evaluated
*Modified from Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities, National Society of Experiential Education (http://www.nsee.org/8-principles).
Types of Applied Learning Experiences
- Cooperative Education
- Internship (credit or non-credit bearing)
- Community Service
- Civic Engagement
- Creative Works
- Undergraduate Research
- Entrepreneurship (program, class, project)
- Field Study
- International and Domestic Travel/Exchange
Visit the Applied Learning at SUNY website for more detailed information and definitions of the types of Applied Learning experiences.