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Turning Course Content into Real-World Impact

Lyndsay Hayhurst

Lyndsay Hayhurst


STUDENTS ARE EAGER to make connections in their field. For employers, the creative ideas and fresh energy that students bring can be a huge benefit to their organizations. Realizing these two perspectives, Kinesiology & Health Science Professor Lyndsay Hayhurst decided to bring both sides together in an experiential education collaboration for her International Development and Sport course. 

Over the past three years, Hayhurst and her students have collaborated with partners such as Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, Right to Play and Commonwealth Games Canada. Hayhurst identifies projects that fit the course modules, and then places students in small Community Service Learning (CSL) groups to tackle the issues and produce a final report and visual medium used to share knowledge and key findings gleaned through the CSL experience. A recent example was Commonwealth

Games Canada that challenged students to come up with more creative ways of monitoring and evaluating projects in its sport for development program. Initiatives included using sport as a tool to promote youth development, education and HIV/AIDS prevention strategies in Commonwealth countries in the global South, such as Swaziland.

“The students came up with some really interesting creative participatory approaches” says Hayhurst, and to accommodate the organizations’ tight budget for evaluations, students suggested feedback could come from soliciting program participants to share their feelings more informally through drawings or poetry, rather than hiring expensive outside consultants to assess program success through surveys and focus groups.