2015 International Experiential Learning Institute

July 12-15, 2015 • Boston, Massachusetts

In partnership with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA),
and Memorial University of  Newfoundland

2015 International Experiential Learning Institute is now over.

NIRSA is excited to partner with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), Memorial University (Canada), and Suffolk University in Boston to offer the third annual International Experiential Learning Institute!

NIRSA professional members who have been looking for a great opportunity to extend their global perspective as they strengthen their leadership skills will not want to miss this event! Scheduled for July 12-15, in Boston, this unique experience will utilize the profound culture of New England; Institute attendees will hone their leadership skills by focusing on experiential learning.

Register by PDF
This IELI was a wonderful experience! The conference was extremely well organized and ran efficiently. The presenters were knowledgeable and flexible (took questions) and inclusive. The culture was conductive to powerful learning.
I have had so many “a-ha” moments this week and must have taken about 40 pages of notes that I look forward to pouring over and over again to keep the spark alight. I am feeling re-energized and rejuvenated from this experience and ready to take not only visionary, but also concrete and practical ideas back to my department and our programs.
Great institute! Well planned and executed. Presenters were very well informed.
This was a great professional and personal development experience. I will sing the praises of the institute to everyone I know.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend this to others in my field. The information was all relevant and presented in a way that reached all of the professional areas represented at IELI. The hospitality was AMAZING!
I learned much more than I expected and have made invaluable connections with like – minded colleagues.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will engage in hands-on experiential learning activities with the culture of New England. By attending the 2015 International Experiential Learning Institute, you can expect to:

  • Meet professionals from other institutions internationally that are engaging students with experiential learning
  • Learn how student engagement can be supported thorough experiential learning
  • Gain skills to develop effective experiential learning practices on their campuses


Prospective topics for sessions include:

  • Developing learning outcomes
  • Experiential leadership training
  • Effective reflection techniques
  • Assessment practices

Lodging & Travel Information

We are excited for you to join us in Boston for the 2015 International Experiential Learning Institute. Whether you decide to stay at The Constitution Inn, or you are a local and plan to commute to the event, the Institute is sure to be an unforgettable experience historic Boston.

Local Information

For those coming in to Boston a little early who are interested in exploring the local area there is much to see and do. Check out the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information.


Registration Fees After June 11, 2015
Commuter Rate (for Boston Locals $665
Registration & Hotel (Single occupancy) Cannot Guarantee room rate after 6/3/15
Registration & Hotel (Double occupancy) Cannot Guarantee room rate after 6/3/15

Early Bird Rates

Don’t miss out on early bird registration rates, which are offered until June 11, 2015. After June 11, registration will be $665 per person, Without hotel.

Registration includes lunch, light refreshments, and dinner for all attendees. This event will be limited to 60 participants, with a balanced blend of international delegates.


Pre-Conference registration required for this event

9:30am Depart hotel lobby for BU

Noon-5:00pm Tour of the USS Constitution (On the Hour/Self-Guided)

10:00-10:30am Introduction/Framing

6:00pm-7:30pm Welcome Reception at Constitution Marina

10:30-11:50am Sailing Land Instruction

11:50am-12:30pm Lunch

12:30-3:00pm Sailing Water Instruction

3:00-3:30pm Debrief Sailing

3:30-4:30pm Regatta

4:30-5:00pm Reflection

5:00pm Return to hotel

Noon-5:30pm Registration (Constitution Inn – Tolerico Room – 3rd Floor)

Noon-5:00pm Tour of the USS Constitution (On the Hour/Self-Guided)

5:30pm Meet in Constitution Inn lobby to walk over to marina

6:00pm-7:30pm Welcome Reception at Constitution Marina

7:30pm Dinner on your own & night out (Charlestown or North End)

8:00am Vans depart Constitution Inn for Suffolk University

8:30am-9:00am Registration

8:30am-9:00am Welcome and Introductions

Opening Session: The Frame: Experiential Education Essentials and Updates

Dr. Laura Osteen
Donahue Building D403 – Suffolk University

Structuring our time together, we will begin with a review and update of the essential components of effective experiential education. Focusing on design, outcomes, and facilitation the review will actively engage us in core concepts for the Institute. Within this frame, we will explore modern realities of complexity, diversity, and uncertainty; changes that shape the picture of experiential education on our campuses today.

11:30am-12:30pm Lunch

12:30pm-1:00pm Travel to Boston Food Bank

1:00-4:00pm Boston Food Bank – Community Engagement

4:15-5:00pm Travel to Marina Bay in Quincy

6:00pm Board Vessel

6:30pm-9:30pm Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise & Dinner on the Boston Belle

9:30am Vans depart for Suffolk University

10:00am-10:30am Reflection Exercise Donahue Building D403

Educational Session: Selfies: Designing Relevant Reflection

Dr. Laura Osteen
Donahue Building D403

As educators we know reflection is essential to learning, and yet it is often the least examined and underutilized component in the design of experiential education. In order to extend our practice and knowledge, this session will dig deeper into creative, student-based, outcome-designed reflection and provide new tools for this core concept of experiential education.

12:00-1:00pm Lunch – Taste of Boston, Donahue Lounge

Educational Session: Out of Focus: Finding Clarity through Assessment

Dr. Laura Osteen
Donahue Building D403

Beyond the realities of our data based environments where resources and budgets are tied to our ability to demonstrate impact and learning, assessment should actually help us shape our programs and services because we care about the student experience. From a student learning approach, we must move beyond satisfaction-based surveys in order to capture rich qualitative and quantitative narratives of our work. This session will explore behavioral based outcomes and evaluation. In addition, participants will have time to develop a pilot assessment project based on a program of their choice.

2:00-3:00pm Break

3:15pm-5:00pm Iron Chef Challenge (Dinner) Law School Dining Commons

5:00pm-6:30pm Guided Freedom Trail Tour with Bob Allison, History Department Chair Author: A Short History of Boston

6:30p-9:00pm Optional Tour of Harvard Yard (Traveling via MBTA)

Reflection Exercise
Jennifer Browne
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

Developing Effective and Measurable Learning Outcomes

Kathleen Hatch & Don Stenta
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

Closing the Loop: Best Practices in Program Development

Don Stenta
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

11:30am-12:30pm Lunch

Developing Strong Partnerships with Community and Faculty

Ken Brill & Dave DeAngelis
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

1:30pm-1:45pm Break

Experiential Learning Competencies

Jennifer Browne
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

Personal Action Plan & Wrap Up

Ken Brill & Dave DeAngelis
Constitution Inn – Dave Powers Room – 5th Floor

Continuing Education Units

NIRSA offers Continuing Education Units to participants of this event. To receive CEU credit for this Institute a participant must:

  • Attend and participate in the International Experiential Learning Institute.
  • Complete and sign session evaluations, demonstrating successful achievement of the session’s learning objectives.
  • Keep your CEU Participation Form for your records.

IELI Sailing Pre-Conference Workshop

 Date: July 12, 9:30am-5pm
Program hosted by: Boston University – Fitness & Recreation Center
Cost: $59, must pre-register to attend.

The sailing pre-conference program is a one-day experiential education experience. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to sail one-design sailboats on the historic Charles River, utilize sailing as a team development initiative and design hands-on experiential learning opportunities.

Photos on this page courtesy Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau


Feel free to contact NIRSA.