EL and Assessment

EL activities must meet the six guiding principles, outlined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU). These principles are:

  1. The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
  2. The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their employability, interpersonal skills and transition to the workforce.
  3. The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
  4. The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
  5. The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student’s performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
  6. The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

If it is not possible to address these key components, reach out to the ctl [at] mohawkcollege.ca (Centre for Teaching & Learning) for support in the course development process.

In order to assess the personal reflection and/or self-assessment components of EL activities.  MTCU requirement that be included consider adding one or more of these elements to your assessment(s):

  • Summary of the EL experience
  • Connections to academic material/content
  • Critical analysis (e.g. who was there, how could perceptions differ pending person involved, context in which it occurred, consequences of actions, etc.)
  • Significance of the experience and related learning
  • Application of new knowledge in future (personal or professional)

The elements listed above can be applied in a variety of assessment types. Below are some assessment considerations.  

Assignment/Project (individual or group)

Using an assignment or project assessment allows learners to identify what they observed, experienced, and learned. When using this assessment type there should be an explicit connection or sub-section that specifically addresses the EL activity.

Presentation (individual or group)

Various reflections/applications of the experience can be presented in multiple, unique formats (e.g., video, song, dramatic presentation).


Using the method of their choice, students can record and submit observations of an EL activity. It is recommended that prompts or a guide is provided (e.g. chart form, fill-in-the-blank, etc.) to encourage the recording of appropriate observations. 


Debates can include application and/or discussion of what was experienced and/or observed, and application of these discussions to the academic content and/or relevant subject-related experience.

Open Discussion

Students can lead the conversation on key findings, the experience from multiple perspectives, address lingering questions, and apply findings to future employment-related roles and/or environments. This could be done in small or large groups, a sharing circle, etc.

Universal design for learning (UDL) is a curriculum design, development and delivery framework used to create accessible and inclusive learning environments. When considering assessments, it is important to note that multiple means of submission should always be considered unless there is a connection to an industry standard that requires students to demonstrate a specific communication/representation standard.

To learn more about UDL, please review the UDL webpages.

If you need support to design your assessment type, components and/or tools for evaluation, please contact the ctl [at] mohawkcollege.ca (Centre for Teaching & Learning).