What to Do With 15 Years of Injury Data From a College Guide Training Diploma Program?
Keywords:risk management, outdoor leadership, safety, outdoor education, injury rates
The outdoor leadership field is maturing in its understanding of activity safety and objective measures of risk exposure. Patterns of injury, relative exposure between related activities, and risk profiles per user group are only just beginning to accumulate academic findings from which a collective understanding of managing adventure-based risk can grow. But how much relative understanding can be ascertained from a specific data set? This paper presents 15 years of injury data from a college guide training diploma program and examines the issues that arise when a researcher tries to compare one data set to another. This paper argues that any one data set is most valid when compared only to itself. The further a data set strays from its contextual factors, the less valid such comparisons become. Recommendations are offered to improve comparability of data.
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