This paper reports on the development of an online toolkit of resources to support the use and assessment of experiential learning (EL) across planning programs. Planning graduates face diverse workplace demands with expectations to address the local and regional implications of global trends, integrate technological advances with existing planning processes, as well as interpret and integrate changing legislative and institutional arrangements. Planning education is about educators, practitioners and students coming together. Equipping students for increasing complexity and change requires planning educators to design programs that facilitate the learning of personal and professional skills and both broad and specialised planning knowledge. Planning practitioners, in partnership with educators, make further valuable contributions by providing a range of ‘real world’ learning experiences where students can directly develop new skills, knowledge and qualities. Experiential learning allows students to develop confidence within a safe environment through a series of activities and reflection that link theory to practice. However, developing EL learning outcomes, teaching activities and assessment can be demanding and time consuming for planning educators. In response, the Experiential Learning in Planning Education: Resources and Tools for Good Practice research project developed an online toolkit of case studies and associated resources to assist planning educators and practitioners in their application of EL. These case studies, developed by the partners in the project, explain the rationale of using particular EL activities based on a set of EL principles; how these activities are assessed; and reflections on how they could be improved for future use. The case studies also include numerous ‘how to’ resources, such as checklists and handy hints for organising activities, evaluation tools and examples of students’ work. Furthermore, the toolkit website is an interactive and ‘living’ repository where additional case studies by other EL users can be included to enhance the diversity and richness of the resources available. The toolkit is expected to particularly benefit new planning educators but should also be of interest to planning schools and practitioners around the globe who are endeavouring to facilitate students’ education in a rapidly changing world.
2014 Australia and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools (ANZAPS) Conference: Planning, Politics and People, Palmerston North, New Zealand 3-5 October 2014
Proceedings of the 2014 Australia and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools Conference / Imran, M, Ross, J, Luxmoore, I (eds): pp.45-52