“Hitting the Ground Running”: Preparing Groups for Outdoor Learning using a Theoretically-Based Video

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Our thoughts and feelings towards groupwork and outdoor learning impact our subsequent engagement and learning. This study explores the impact of a pre-course video when used to prepare attendees’ for an outdoor learning experience. The video was designed according to the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and was shown to university students at the beginning of a 3-day outdoor residential course to develop their groupwork skills (N = 173). At course induction, participants were assigned to either video-only, video with a goal setting worksheet, or control conditions. Their thoughts and feelings towards the course were measured pre- and post-induction and their groupwork skills were measured pre- and post-course. In line with the TPB, participants’ attitudes and self-efficacy towards the course were significant and meaningful predictors of their learning intention and subsequent behaviour change. These pre-course beliefs towards groupwork and outdoor learning were significantly improved by the video, despite learners already holding favourable beliefs at baseline. However, these high baseline scores meant that the improvements in attitudes resulting from the video were small, and not enough to enhance the subsequent learning outcomes. The potential mechanisms of the pre-course video are discussed along with practical implications.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Early online date20 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2018