Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs)

In support of Yale University’s goals to create a culture of professional development and career mobility, this resource guide provides examples of experiential learning opportunities for managers to work with their staff and for staff to develop their careers. 

What is an experiential learning opportunity?

Experiential learning opportunities are an important tool to maximize an individual’s skill development. According to the 70/20/10 model (Michael M. Lombardo & Robert W. Eichinger), 70% of learning occurs on the job in challenging assignments outside of the routine. In order for development to happen, the element of risk and possible failure should be present. 20% of learning happens through developmental relationships like coaching and mentoring and 10% through other models such as classroom trainings, books or articles. Experiential learning opportunities are an effective way to tap into this 90% of learning outside of formal training and create a culture where experiences are part of the development process.

How does an experiential learning opportunity work?

The process of using experiential learning opportunities starts with a discussion between a staff member and his or her manager. The goal of this conversation is to promote open dialogue around how the employee can develop to grow his or her career at Yale. The staff member will then engage in the process of reflecting, setting goals, planning, and taking action. There should be regular check-ins with updates on progress and development.

How should I use the resource guide?

It is not intended that this guide be read cover to cover. It is meant to be a reference guide. After deciding which leadership expectation(s) you or your staff member would like to develop, go to the corresponding page to find ideas for experiential learning opportunities.  After reviewing the suggestions in this guide and thinking about a development plan, managers and staff should have a conversation to refine the ideas and discuss appropriate next steps.

Read a real-life example of how the ELO process helped a staff member to further her career at Yale.

For more information, and to access the guide, click here.