Designing Effective Experiential Curriculum: The Experiential Learning Map


  • Maya Saggar University of Calgary
  • John McArdle Salem State University
  • Alice de Koning University of Calgary
  • Anjali Choudhary University of Calgary



Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, experiential learning, professional development, instructional design


Designing experiential student exercises or course modules can be a daunting task for faculty members. Often, not knowing where to begin is a barrier that causes instructors to avoid developing meaningful, high-impact student exercises grounded in experience. Yet, we know that these can be incredibly powerful and transformative pedagogies.

The Experiential Learning Map (ELM) is a curricular planning tool that instructors, learning consultants, or students can use to storyboard and develop an experiential lesson. Modelled after best practices in business model ideation, and informed by research about experiential learning, the ELM provides instructors with an easy-to-use curriculum planning tool. The ELM is designed to be flexible. Instructors can scale the pedagogy from a single-class interaction to a multi-session pedagogical arc. The ELM's value is that it provides instructors with a simple, iterative planning tool that can be used to scope and scale a learning experience.


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Author Biographies

Maya Saggar, University of Calgary

Maya Saggar is a Curriculum and Learning Specialist and owner of Impact Learning. Maya is currently pursuing an Ed.D at the University of Calgary, specializing in Curriculum and Learning. Her research interests are in the areas of experiential learning, learning environments, interdisciplinary studies, and curriculum development.

John McArdle, Salem State University

John is an Associate Professor at Salem State University, a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, and a Fulbright specialist. He researches how regulatory environments impact business strategy, housing equity, how regulation and the built environment shape social and firm behaviour, and place-based and constructivist pedagogy.

Alice de Koning, University of Calgary

Alice de Koning is a Teaching Professor at the Haskayne School of Business, Academic Director of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, and an RBC Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurial Thinking. Her research interests include metaphors for entrepreneurship in public discourse, opportunity identification in entrepreneurial teams, social impact business models, and experiential learning methodologies.

Anjali Choudhary, University of Calgary

Anjali Choudhary is an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society. Her experience and research interests center on civic education, social justice, and public policy. Outside of academia, Anjali advocates for underrepresented voices through journalism and social justice organizations.