Community Connections

Applied Health Sciences - Recreation & Leisure Studies

Community Connections

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.

- Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield

Janet Zanutto, Coordinator of Experiential Learning

Janet joined the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in 2005 after a successful career in the field of addictions and mental health. Because of her strong relationship with community service stakeholders on a local, provincial and national level, Janet was the ideal candidate to take on the task of establishing sustainable affiliations and partnerships with organizations interested in nurturing emerging professionals in the recreation field through on site supervision and mentorship. Janet’s background in community development and firm commitment to service learning has resulted in the successful placement of our students with over one hundred incredible community partners in Niagara, Canada and the United States.

Office: STH 353
T 905-688-5550 x4531
F 905 984 4843

Are you a community partner or interesting in becoming one? Click here!

Click to view a list of our partners in experiential learning

What do we mean by “experiential learning”?

Experiential Learning is exactly what it sounds like: learning through experience. In the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, we recognize that classroom-based instruction can only take a learner so far. While we place great value on the mastery of foundational and theoretical learning through literature-based study, we firmly believe that the next level of mastery can only be achieved through direct experience in the field. Our faculty and staff, in partnership with professionals in the field, have worked hard to create undergraduate learning opportunities that utilize the best of both worlds: putting the fundamentals learned in the classroom into practice in the real world. As a RECL student, you have multiple opportunities to “put your skills to the test” in partnership with leading innovators in the fields of Community, Outdoor and Therapeutic Recreation.

Recreation and Leisure Studies Experiential Learning Opportunities


Type of Fieldwork

Hours Required

Accompanying coursework

Methods of Assessment

Level of community agency involvement

Short Term 


Less than 20

(embedded in course)



Fieldwork is treated like an assignment


Majority of grade reflects classroom learning/assessment (i.e. essay, exam)


Varies depending on course:


Peer assessment


Community partner assessment


Professor Assessment based on a resulting project



Community partner required to commit to being available for requisite number of hours

Long Term



100 or more (over two semesters)

Mix of classroom, online and fieldwork


Fieldwork is an integral component of course and accounts for the majority of hours


Majority of grade reflects performance at fieldwork/on resulting project

Professional portfolio (in class)


Fieldwork project (vetted through but not graded by community partner)


Professional performance at fieldwork (assessed by community partner)


Reflective discussion (online)



Community partner required to commit to:


 being available for

requisite number of hours


 monitor/approve of major project at several stages


complete two performance assessments






RECL 4F02 




RECL 4F25 




RECL 4F26 


(one semester)

Mix of fieldwork and online


Fieldwork is the main focus of the course and accounts for almost all hours as student is immersed (full time positions)

Fieldwork project (vetted through and graded by community partner)


Professional performance at fieldwork (assessed by community partner)


Reflective discussion (online)


Biweekly reports (online)

Extremely High


Community partner required to commit to:


daily mentorship and provision of professional development opportunities


 being available for

requisite number of hours


 monitor/approve of major project


complete two performance assessments

Brock’s philosophy of experiential learning

 Brock’s philosophy of experiential learning
• We nurture both sides of the brain
• Our unique philosophy takes students beyond the pursuit of academic excellence.
• Brock is a place where left-brain and right-brain thinking come together. Students develop rational/analytical thinking in concert with their emotional/creative sides. We view community involvement as crucial to developing intelligent, well-rounded members of society.
• Our rigorous undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs include experiential learning opportunities and one of Canada’s largest co-op programs. Our cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs offer multi-faceted degrees that help students build careers and get jobs.
• Brock experiential learning page: Click here.