A Pre-Post Analysis of Participant Learning and Growth Using a New Outward Bound Outcomes Instrument


  • Andrew J. Bobilya Western Carolina University
  • W. Brad Faircloth UNC- Asheville
  • Betsy R. Lindley Utah Valley University
  • Tom Holman Southeast Missouri State University
  • Leo H. McAvoy University of Minnesota




Outward Bound, outdoor adventure programming, NCOBSCIS


This study examined differences in participants’ perceptions of their Character Development, Leadership, and Environmental Service prior to and immediately following participation in a North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) course using the NCOBS Course Impression Survey (NCOBCIS). The three-fold purpose of this study was to confirm the a priori factor structure of the NCOBSCIS, assess true change in participants’ scores following completion of an NCOBS course, and to investigate questions that emerged in the quantitative data that could be better explained by qualitative analysis. Quantitative results indicated improvements in Character Development and Environmental Service. This study furthers our understanding of the NCOBSCIS using a true pre-post design, provides further evidence of the validity and reliability of the NCOBSCIS and its factor structure, and the qualitative inquiry enhances our understanding of the potential influence of program participation.

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Author Biographies

Andrew J. Bobilya, Western Carolina University

Professor and Program Director of Experiential and Outdoor Education at Western Carolina University and Professor of Parks and Recreation Management

W. Brad Faircloth, UNC- Asheville

Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology

Betsy R. Lindley, Utah Valley University

Professor of Exercise Science and Outdoor Recreation

Tom Holman, Southeast Missouri State University

Professor of Park and Recreation Administration

Leo H. McAvoy, University of Minnesota

Professor Emeritus of Recreation


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