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How to Support Student Participation in Extracurricular Experiential Learning

Presented by Christina Manceor, MM



Positionality & Context

Experiential Learning in the Arts

Literature Review

Mixed Methods Study

Takeaways for Educators

What's Next?

Freelance percussionist

Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

  • Assistant Director of LAUNCHPad (career services)
  • Adjunct Faculty of Professional Studies


Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University

  • Performing arts conservatory(music and dance)
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • 815 students (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral)
  • Breakthrough Plan

+ info

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (2014)

Image from the Institute for Experiential Learning. https://experientiallearninginstitute.org/resources/what-is-experiential-learning

Defining Experiential Learning

  • Educational technique that incorporates direct interaction with a scenario as opposed to more theoretical or hypothetical approaches (Keeton and Tate, 1978)
  • Ultimately adds “a direct experience component to [students’] traditional academic studies” (Kolb, 2014, p. xviii)

Slaughter & Springer (2015)

Kolb (2014)Slaughter & Springer (2015)

Bartleet et al. (2019)Frenette (2020)MIller et al. (2017)

Munnelly (2020)

Many institutions are launching experiential learning programs

Skill building, real world experience, and connections to close gaps

Artists lack non-artistic skills ( e.g. enetrepreneurship, business, etc.)




Rise of portfolio careers and freelancing in the 21st century arts industry


Experiential Learning: What We Know

How can we ensure experiential learning programs are structured to be equitable and accessible to all students?

Experiential Learning: What We Don't Know

There is much we don’t know. Since many programs are relatively new, minimal research exists relating to student participation and outcomes in the arts.


Limited arts-specific researchUtilized experiential learning research from a variety of fieldsReferenced music and arts-specific studies when availableDrew from research on participation/engagement in various extracurricular activities

Literature Review

Supports and Barriers to Extracurricular Experiential Learning Participation

Situated within a students' surrounding environmentand social systems (Bronfenbrenner, 1979)

Factors of Interest

What supports and barriers contribute to student participation in extracurricular experiential learning programs, particularly for different demographic groups?

Research Study: Questions and Framework

Mixed Methods Approach

with emphasis on qualitative data

Part I:Interviews

6 students

Part II:Focus Group

3 students

Demographic Survey

9 students


There are a variety of supports and barriers impacting students’ program knowledge, participation and likelihood or ability to apply to programs.


Learning About Programs


Discomfort asking questions


Curricular integration

Faculty & Peer Influence

Socioeconomic status and parental support

Proximity to the institution

Not applicable to student

Applicable to student



Prioritization & Incentive to Pursue Programs


Time and availability

Cultural values and beliefs


Applying to Programs

Short turnaround to apply

Prerequisites & self-efficacy

Curricular integration

Prior experience

Program Design
  • Maximize alignment with student motivations
    • Offer opportunities for all degree types and majors
    • Present chances to build relationships with peers and professionals
  • Minimize logistical challenges
    • Build engagements that are one-off or limited in time frame
    • Prioritize opportunities on or near campus to minimize transportation needs
    • Provide compensation
  • Support students' self-efficacy
    • Create scaffolded pipelines and clear pathways to build skills/experiences

Takeaways for Educators:

  • Promote early and often; use multiple online platforms (e.g. social media, email, newsletters, online job posting platforms, etc.)
  • Post paper flyers with QR code links in high traffic areas
  • Conduct catered outreach through faculty, staff, and student organizations to facilitate direct connections
    • Engage faculty and student advocates
    • Advertise through curricular courses
  • Include sufficient detail in promotional materials
    • Time commitment, location, networking opportunities

Takeaways for Educators:

Takeaways for Educators

Most importantly: Get to know your specific audience!This was a smaller scale study in a particular environment. While many ideas are probably transferable, different populations and schools with different programs may have different factors that impact their experience.

What's Next?

Creating and Validating the Experiential Learning Participation Survey

Industry Impacts

Interested to Learn More?

Scan the QR code and join my mailing list to:

  • Stay in touch
  • Learn more about the Experiential Learning Participation Survey
  • Recieve updates on findings!

View slides!Stay in touch: cmanceor@jhu.edu

Thank you!

Avis, R. (2020). Higher music education, India and ethnography: A case study of KM music conservatory students. Ethnomusicology Forum, 29(2), 230–249. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411912.2020.1850316 Bandura, A. (2012). On the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy revisited. Journal of Management, 38(1), 9–44. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206311410606 Bartleet, B-L., Ballico, C., Bennett, D., Bridgstock, R., Draper, P., Tomlinson, V., & Harrison, S. (2019). Building sustainable portfolio careers in music: insights and implications for higher education. Music Education Research, 21(3), 282–294. https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2019.1598348Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Harvard University Press. Choi, J. (2013). Attitudes of international music students from East Asia toward US higher education institutions. International Journal of Music Education, 31(3), 346–358. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0255761411433719 Coker, J. S. & Porter, D. J. (2015). Maximizing experiential learning for student success. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47(1), 66–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2015.996101Colucci, E. (2007). “Focus groups can be fun:” The use of activity-oriented questions in focus group discussions. Qualitative Health Research, 17(10), 1422–1433. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732307308129Creech, A., Papageorgi, I., Duffy, C., Morton, F., Haddon, E., Potter, J., de Bezenac, C., Whyton, T., Himonides, E., & Welch, G. (2008). From music student to professional: The process of transition. British Journal of Music Education, 25(3), 315–331. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0265051708008127Dickinson, J., Griffiths, T., & Bredice, A. (2021). “It’s just another thing to think about:” Encouraging students’ engagement in extracurricular activities. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45(6), 744–757. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2020.1813263


Duo Sila. (2022, March 11). Clair de lune (arr. for flute and vibraphone) [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/JX2Dl-SnlCoFrenette, A. (2020). SNAAP DataBrief: Which skills do founders and freelancers need? Unpacking the entrepreneurial skills gap (Vol. 8, No. 1). Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. https://mailchi.mp/7b1b1cb9b32e/snaap-databrief-august-12511464?e=bbecf41af2Gaunt, H. (2011). Understanding the one-to-one relationship in instrumental/vocal tuition in higher education: Comparing student and teacher perceptions. British Journal of Music Education, 28(2), 159–179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0265051711000052 Gonzalez-Moreno, P. (2012). Student motivation in graduate music programmes: An examination of personal and environmental factors. Music Education Research, 14(1), 79–102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2012.657168 Griffiths, T., Dickinson, J., & Day, C. J. (2021). Exploring the relationship between extracurricular activities and student self-efficacy within university. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45(9), 1294–1309. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2021.1951687Hamilton, L., Roksa, J., & Nielsen, K. (2018). Providing a "leg up”: Parental involvement and opportunity hoarding in college. Sociology of Education, 91(2), 111–131. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038040718759557 Hinkin, T. R., Tracey, J. B., & Enz, C. A. (1997). Scale construction: Developing reliable and valid measurement instruments. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 21(1), 100–120. https://doi.org/10.1177/109634809702100108 Hughes, J. L., Camden, A. A., & Yangchen, T. (2016). Rethinking and updating demographic questions: Guidance to improve descriptions of research samples. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 21(3), 138–151.Johns Hopkins University. (n.d.-a). Academic catalog, 2021-22 edition: Peabody Institute. Retrieved March 19, 2022, from https://e-catalogue.jhu.edu/peabodyKolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Pearson FT Press.

References (cont.)

Martin et al. (2023)Miller (2016)Miller, A. L., Dumford, A. D., & Johnson, W. R. (2017). Music alumni play a different tune: Reflections on acquired skills and career outcomes. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 18(29), 1–21. http://www.ijea.org/v18n29Munnelly, K. P. (2020). The undergraduate music degree: Artistry or employability? Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society, 50(4/5), 234–248. https://doi.org/10.1080/10632921.2020.1756549Peabody Institute. (2023). Breakthrough plan. https://peabody.jhu.edu/explore-peabody/breakthrough-planPeabody LAUNCHPad. (2021). Peabody LAUNCHPad annual report – FY 2021. Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.Roksa, J., & Silver, B. R. (2019). "Do-It-Yourself" University: Institutional and family support in the transition out of college. The Review of Higher Education 42(3), 1051–1071. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2019.0029Slaughter, J., & Springer, D. G. (2015). What they didn’t teach me in my undergraduate degree: An exploratory study of graduate student musicians’ expressed opinions of career development opportunities. College Music Symposium, 55. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26574402Turner, D. W. (2010). Qualitative interview design: A practical guide for novice investigators. The Qualitative Report, 15(3), 754-760. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2010.1178Wasserman, I. C., & Kram, K. E. (2009). Enacting the scholar-practitioner role: An exploration of narratives. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 45(1), 12–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886308327238

References (cont.)

Benefits of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning in arts higher education helps students develop key skills and gain tangible experiences that may prepare them for their future careers.(Kindelan, 2010; Slaughter & Springer, 2015)

  • Learning transfer – taking curricular learning to new settings(Eyler, 2009; Beckman, 2007)
  • Building skills critical to portfolio careers(Beckman, 2007; Gallagher & McGorry, 2015)
  • Forming industry connections and mentor relationships(Myers, 2006; Frenette et al., 2015)
  • Finding jobs more quickly after graduation(Martin & Frenette, 2018)

Roksa & Silver (2019); Turner (2010)

Part I: Interviews

30-45 minute semi-structured interviews (qualitative)
  • 3 undergraduate students
  • 3 graduate students
  • Audio-recorded Zoom interviews

Higher Education Arts Institutions Begin to Launch Experiential Learning Programs

Maintaining tradition and excellence while adapting to changes across the arts industry to prepare students for 21st century arts careers

Breakthrough Plan

Hughes et al. (2016); Johns Hopkins University (n.d.-a)

Demographic Survey

Brief online survey (quantitative)
  • Administered to each interview and focus group participant post-session
  • 7 multiple choice and text response questions
  • Conducted via Qualtrics
  • Connected to interview/focus group data for analysis

Colucci (2007); Dickinson et al. (2021)

Part II: Focus Group

1-hour focus group (qualitative)Further exploring interview findings
  • 1 undergraduate student
  • 2 graduate students
  • Audio-recorded in-person session