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A Psychometric Investigation of the North Carolina Outward Bound Student Course Impression Scale

W. Brad Faircloth, Andrew J. Bobilya

Abstract


There has been increased attention in recent years given to the need for robust outcomesbased research and evaluation in outdoor and adventure programs (Sibthorp, 2009) and the challenges that accompany this type of field-based research (Bialeschki, Henderson, Hickerson, & Browne, 2012). One such program is Outward Bound (OB) whose wilderness programs in the United States recently experienced a major shift when the organization was decentralized and returned to its original regional or branch school model (e.g. Colorado Outward Bound School, Voyageur Outward Bound and others). Because of this organizational change in October, 2011 Outward Bound's national efforts to design and implement an outcomes instrument linked directly to its educational framework were halted. Each school was now responsible for designing its own outcomes assessment. The North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) adapted the former OB Outcomes Instrument (OBOI) to match its educational framework. A psychometric analysis was a first step in understanding the usefulness of this instrument. Better understanding the utility of the NCOBS Course Impression Survey (NCOBSCIS) will help other OB schools and wilderness experience programs in their assessment and may serve as a model for conducting similar program evaluation.


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