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Title: Developing groupwork through outdoor adventure education : a systematic evaluation of learning and transfer in higher education
Author: Cooley, Sam Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 4629
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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For the majority of students, the ability to work effectively with others is an important part of higher education and future employment. Outdoor adventure education (OAE) courses are therefore used in higher education to provide students with a unique and challenging environment for developing transferrable groupwork skills. Working in an action research setting and informed by the Kirkpatrick model of training evaluation, the aim of this thesis was to investigate students’ experiences of OAE and the processes that underpin learning and transfer. Following a review of existing literature (Study 1), four empirical studies were employed using mixed methods. Qualitative methods were used to explore students’ experiences whilst immersed in OAE (Study 2) and when returning to education and entering employment, from a student, alumni, academic staff, and instructor perspective (Study 3). Questionnaires were also implemented to measure changes before and after OAE (Study 4) and again at follow-up (Study 5). OAE was found to improve groupwork skills, attitudes, and self-efficacy, resulting in improved academic groupwork, greater confidence, satisfaction, integration, and employability. Transfer was not achieved in all students however, and the thesis introduces a model for optimising learning and transfer (MOLT), which outlines the personal and environmental processes through which learning and transfer was achieved. Support is provided for existing theories within the literature and practical recommendations are made to further develop OAE. Novel research methods are also introduced such as a semi-structured video diary room.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education ; LB2300 Higher Education