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Implications of Shortening Outdoor Adventure Education Courses: Identifying Prioritized Outcomes and Effective Processes

Nick Rushford, Amy DiRenzo, Nate Furman, Jim Sibthorp


Across the nation, many outdoor adventure education programs are becoming shorter in duration. The purpose of this study was to determine if instructors alter targeted course outcomes and course processes because of shorter amounts of student field time. Data collection involved interviews with staff from the Colorado Outward Bound School. Results of this study identify the course outcomes and processes instructors reported to be most affected by course length, as well as the processes instructors identified as most important to best achieve desired course outcomes. This study concludes with a discussion for integration of results into current course design models and offers a revised model for maximizing short course program design.

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adventure education; Outward Bound; learning outcomes; course duration; instructor processes

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