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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Community Connected Experiential Learning (CCEL)

Experiential Learning is an inquiry-based, pedagogical approach that provides opportunities for students to co-construct their learning by:

participating in rich experiences connected to a community outside of school;
​​ ​Community Connected Experiential Learning (CCEL)
reflecting on those experiences to derive meaning; and then,
3.​ applying their learning to influence their decisions and actions in various aspects of their lives.

The experience can involve local, national, or global communities and be on-site, virtual, or a combination of the two (blended).

Benefits of Experiential Learning

  • Community connected experiential learning increases student engagement,
  • student motivation to learn,
  • and student success by connecting the learning to situations students care about in their community and in the world.

These opportunities allow for development of 21st century competencies; collaboration, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, and entrepreneurship.

Assessment of Experiential Learning

The experiential learning cycle "participate-reflect-apply" is a dynamic one and the process is as important as the product.  There are guiding questions associated with each step of the process:

Participate: What?  Students are immersed in an experience and should be aware of 'what' they are doing and 'what' they are thinking and feeling during the experience.

Community Connected Experiential Learning (CCEL)
​ ​
Reflect: So what? Students think about their experience, guided by reflective questions. So what did you learn with respect to yourself, other people, your community, the world, your opportunities, etc.
Apply: Now what? Student describes how their learning stimulates further inquiry and new behaviours.  How has it influenced decisions, opinions, behaviours, goals, plans, etc.

Through experiential learning opportunities, students can develop skills and knowledge to make informed education and career/life planning choices; they will see connections between the learning in school and life beyond school.

CCEL Projects

Contact Us
For more information on DDSB CCEL initiatives, questions or comments please contact

Jennette Walton
Community Connected Experiential Learning Facilitator
p: 905-666-6910

Ontario Ministry of Education Experiential Learning


Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
© Durham District School Board, 2013