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Perceived Learning, Critical Elements, and Lasting Impacts on University based Wilderness Educational Expeditions.

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This study examined participants' perceptions of learning, critical elements, and lasting impacts of their wilderness expeditions. Fifty-seven students, who completed a for-credit wilderness canoe expedition between 1993 and 2007 at the Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, participated in the investigation. Perceived learning most commonly related to nature and place appreciation, outdoor skills, group living, and self-awareness. Critical elements for learning were the experiential approach, group living, and nature and place immersion. In terms of lasting impacts of the expedition, perceived learning had changed since the expedition for 88% of students, especially in the areas of self-awareness, group living, and greater appreciation of the experience, due to reflection and the passage of time. Furthermore, the expedition had a lasting impact on students' personal and professional lives, especially related to life experience, nature appreciation, confidence, and skill development. The findings support the notion that wilderness educational expeditions can provide significant and long-lasting learning (uniquely in the area of nature and place appreciation). Finally, because of the nature of educational expeditions, they lend themselves to the implementation of sound experiential pedagogical practices that promote active, engaged, and relevant learning.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Asfeldt, M., and G. Hvenegaard. 2014. Perceived learning, critical elements, and lasting impacts on university based wilderness educational expeditions. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 14(2): 132-152.