Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Which NOLS learning objectives transfer to participants lives and how long do they last? (2008)

Sibthorp, J., Furman, N., Paisley, K, & Gookin, J.. Long-term impacts attributed to
participation in adventure education: Preliminary findings from NOLS. (DRAFT).

This study focused on identifying the long-term outcomes of adventure education
courses. NOLS participants were used as a basis for this study, which looked at what
participants learned during their NOLS courses that remained useful to them from one to
ten years after course completion. Of major interest in this study was determining which
learning objectives of NOLS courses are transferred to participants’ lives after their
NOLS experience, as well as how long this transfer of learning is maintained. Four types
of transfer of learning were considered in this study: 1) Self-Systems (self-esteem, selfawareness, etc.), 2) Group Dynamics & Development (communication, conflict
resolution, etc.), 3) Personal Values (ethics), and 4) Technical Skills. Participants’
responses to surveys identified five valuable outcomes that NOLS courses were
instrumental in developing: 1) the ability to function effectively under difficult
circumstances (Self-system); 2) the ability to serve in a leadership role (Group
Dynamics); 3) self-confidence (Self-system); 4) the ability to work as a team member
(Group Dynamics); and 5) the appreciation of nature (Personal Values). While this study
did not shed light on the factors responsible for producing these outcomes, it does
highlight the potential benefits of using a curriculum that is relevant and lasting with
regards to the five most important learning outcomes.

Full report synopsis: Sibthorp_F_P_G_draft_lonterm_impacts.pdf Sibthorp_F_P_G_draft_lonterm_impacts.pdf (80.54 KB)

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