Field-Based Learning


Field Experience exposes students to a real-world setting and enables students to integrate their learning in a holistic manner. They are structured to help students see the relationship of theory to practice. A key element of Field Experience is an opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in a real-world setting and reflect on their experiences. The setting/environment is essential to the intended learning outcomes. These experiences provide valuable opportunities for students to learn about themselves and others. Effective Field Experiences are significant and meaningful.

Learning Strategies this strategy can be confused with

  1. Experiential Learning is a broader strategy that may or may not align with Field Experince. Experiential Learning is not location dependent, but often the location enhances the experiential learning strategy.
  2. Immersion: While the location often contributes to or enhances the immersion experience, it is not a defining component to immersion.


  • Field Experiences MAY take place on campus
  • Not all off-campus experiences are field experiences

Resources for using this strategy

There are numerous theoretical models and ways to apply field learning. The following two links contain relevant articles on Experiential Learning as well as Service Learning.

The Five Stages of Service Learning by Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A.

Five Stages of Service Learning

Experiential Learning Model by David Kolb

Experiential Learning Model

Examples at USD

CASA's Youth Engagement Initiative
University Ministry's Tijuana Immersion
Changemaker Hub's Carlsbad Desalination Plant Tour
Outdoor Adventures' Environmental Justice Trips


Experiential Learning >> Center for Learning and Teaching | Boston University. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Five Stages of Service Learning: A Dynamic Process. Cathryn Berger Kaye. Retrieved from

Rev. 7/19/17

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