Universities place great importance in developing the ‘whole student’. This means a student who not only has excellent knowledge of their subject matter, but also the social and emotional skills that will enable them to put this knowledge into practice and engage effectively in the real world.
“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.” Albert Einstein
To aid the development of the whole student, many degree programmes incorporate short, intense, outdoor residential courses into their curricula. These courses typically involve a series of outdoor pursuit activities that test and develop students’ ability to work together, overcome challenges, solve problems, reflect and communicate effectively.
The aim of this research project is to investigate this unique outdoor environment, answering questions such as:
- Do programmes result in transferrable outcomes with long-term benefits?
- How can we measure such outcomes?
- What are the personal and environmental processes that contribute towards learning and transfer?
Here are some of our publications so far:
- The role of outdoor education in facilitating groupwork in higher education (Cooley, Burns, & Cumming, 2015)
- Introducing the use of a semi-structured video diary room to investigate student learning during outdoor adventure education (Cooley, Holland, Cumming, Novakovic, & Burns, 2014)
- Developing the Model for Optimal Learning and Transfer (MOLT) following an evaluation of outdoor groupwork skills programmes (Cooley, Cumming, Holland, & Burns, 2015)
- Developing groupwork through outdoor adventure education: A systematic evaluation of learning and transfer in higher education (Cooley, 2015)
- The benefits of outdoor education for internationalisation in higher education: A mixed methods study (Cooley, Cumming, Holland, & Burns, 2013)