Approved by Faculty Senate.

University Studies Course Approval

Department of Physical Education and Recreation

PER Course Number: 239

Semester Hours: 3 SH

Frequency of Offering: Every semester

Course Title: Outdoor Pursuits

Catalog Description: An overview of the theory and practice of

adventure/challenge education. Classroom as well as experiential


YES, this is an existing course previously approved by A2C2.

NO, this is not a new course proposal.

University Studies Approval is requested under Physical Development and Wellness in the BASIC SKILLS area.

General Course Information:

Outdoor Pursuits is a three-credit course which fulfills the Physical

Development and Wellness requirement in the WSU University Studies Program.


Through the introduction of safe but challenging outdoor activities (e.g. rock climbing, ropes courses, rappelling, kayaking, scuba, snow shoeing, orienteering, etc.), this course provides students with the opportunities to grow intra- and interpersonally while simultaneously enhancing their physical fitness and repertoire of leisure activities.

In addition to the experiential aspects of this class students are exposed to the foundational and theoretical aspects of adventure education.

As required by the WSU University Studies approval process, all accepted Physical Development and Wellness courses must lead to a set of pre-determined outcomes. Further, the Department must specify the means through which these outcomes will be obtained (see below).


Outcome #1: learn skills that will improve the quality and length of their lives

Through hands-on participation in Outdoor Pursuits (OP), students are exposed to a variety of Outdoor Activities with fitness/wellness enhancing potential. The instructors of OP classes have noted that students frequently elect to continue participation in one or more of the OP activities introduced long after the course has ended. This indicates a

shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation. When a movement-based activity becomes intrinsically rewarding for an individual, he/she is much more likely to participate in that activity on a regular and consistent basis. Regular and consistent participation in a movement-based activity can improve one's general level of fitness which in turn, contributes to the quality and length of one's life.

In OP students are exposed to, and participate in "initiative programming." Simply stated, initiatives are problem solving activities or games that require communication, cooperation, compromise and trust. Students who become proficient in the skills of communication, cooperation, compromise and trust are likely to experience greater levels of social interaction success. This in turn enhances one's quality of life.


Outcome #2: make proactive choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle

As a result of a recent WSU Outdoor Adventure Center feasibility study conducted by Dr. Smith's marketing class, it was discovered that students perceive a lack of weekend recreational opportunities in the Winona area. For many, "hanging out at the bars" has become a weekend tradition. Through the introduction of an array of stimulating adventure based alternatives to "hanging out at the bars" students will begin to perceive a greater number of weekend options and selecting these options will contribute to the development of a healthier leisure lifestyle.


Outcome #5: understanding health as multidimensional involving the whole person's relationship to the total environment

Group processing, individualized reflection and a synthesis of readings and personal experiences with, the adventure based activities introduced are components of every OP class. These activities assist the student in exploring the interrelationships between physical and emotional health and the environment.


Outcome #6: utilize physical activity to reduce risk of illness and injury

and provide relaxation, socialization and balance their lives

The text and lecture materials utilized in this class acquaint students with the means through which adventure education can provide stress reduction, socialization, and other leisure and wellness related objectives. Additionally safety lectures and demonstrations pertaining to the outdoor skills introduced, mock court trials, and case studies are utilized to encourage a safety consciousness among the OP participants.


Outcome #8: enhance creative use of leisure time

The skills introduced in OP could be thought of as "non-traditional" activities. The vast majority of students who enroll in OP classes have had no previous experience with more than one or two of the Outdoor skills introduced in class. Whenever a student is introduced to a new activity skill area, his/her repertoire of leisure opportunities is enhanced. Having a larger repertoire of leisure activities from which to select may well

serve to enhance the student's creative use of leisure time.



Outcome #9: develop skills consistent with efficient levels of human movement

The outdoor activity skills introduced in OP place physical demands upon the individual. Through course participation and practice, students will gain increased proficiencies in the various outdoor skill areas and these increased proficiencies will lead to more efficient levels of human movement.


Outcome #10: become accountable for their health and leisure choices and

the impact of those choices on self, others and the environment.

In Outdoor Pursuits, the "Challenge by Choice" philosophy is both discussed in detail and applied in the hands-on sessions. Challenge by choice infers that as long as other individuals and/or the environment are not harmed through the choices one makes, an individual has the personal right and responsibility to determine his/her own levels or intensity of involvement in the activities and/or challenges introduced.


This is a 3 credit University Studies course that satisfies the "Physical Development and Wellness" component of the student's Basic Studies program. Designated U Studies outcomes for this course are listed below. Additionally, the U. Studies outcome-related, learning activities/topics/objectives are referenced within the text of the


Outcome #1: learn skills that will improve the quality and length of their lives

Outcome #2: make proactive choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle

Outcome #5: understanding health as multidimensional involving the whole person's relationship to the

total environment

Outcome #6: utilize physical activity to reduce risk of illness and injury and provide relaxation,

socialization and balance their lives

Outcome #8: enhance creative use of leisure time

Outcome #9: develop skills consistent with efficient levels of human movement

Outcome #10: become accountable for their health and leisure choices and the impact of those choices

on self, others and the environment.




College of Education

Department of Physical Education & Recreation

PER 239 Outdoor Pursuits

Instructor: Lorene Olson - 125 Memorial Hall

Telephone: 457-5499



Course Description

1. Catalog Description

An overview of theory and practice of adventure/challenge education.

Classroom as well as experiential involvement.

2. Course Objectives

(Note: The three digit numbers after some objectives refer to related NRPA

standards and the single digit numbers refer to the University Studies


As a result of readings, class discussion and participation in Outdoor

Pursuits (PER 239) students will: bulletExperience personal challenges (challenge by choice) and acknowledge

and discuss such experiences as a metaphor for other personal

challenges ones faces in life. (Outcome # 10) bulletBe able to discuss the concepts of real vs. perceived risk taking in

adventure/challenge programs and apply knowledge of these concepts to

other areas of one's life. (Outcomes #2 & 6) bulletBe able to discuss applications of challenge/adventure education activities

in managerial training, team building and therapy. bulletGain first hand experience in, and be able to discuss the role of "process-

ing" as part of the adventure/challenge education experience and as a

necessary ingredient to the enhancement of group dynamics. (Outcome

#5) bulletBe able to discuss the history and development of adventure/challenge

education and adventure therapy (8.06) (Outcome #5) bulletBe able to discuss theories related to the concept of adventure/challenge

education/therapy bulletBe able to discuss ethical principles as applied to the delivery of

adventure /challenge education and adventure therapy( 8.09) bulletBe able to describe the role and content of adventure/challenge education

and adventure therapy programs and services (8.15) bulletBe able to demonstrate the ability to organize and conduct initiative

programs and services in a variety of settings for a variety of populations,

including those with special needs. (8.18) (Outcome #1) bulletBe able to effectively synthesize lecture, experiential and reading

components of the class in an insightful reaction paper which, in turn,

demonstrates an understanding of the use of adventure based activities

as a means to facilitate participant inter- and intrapersonal growth. (8.17,

8.19) bulletBe able to describe principles and procedures for planning safe and

effective adventure based programs appropriate to the needs of a

selected client group. bulletBe able to describe and implement procedures related to the operation

and care of adventure program equipment and supplies and areas. (8.31) bulletBe able to discuss legal concepts as related to the provision of

adventure activities (8.37) bulletBe able to describe the principles of risk management planning as it

pertains to adventure programming . (8.38) (Outcome #6) bulletGain first hand knowledge of, and experience in the basics of rock

climbing, rappelling, orienteering, ropes courses, and kayaking. Be able to

describe appropriate equipment selection and safety and maintenance

procedures for the same. (Outcome #1) bulletStudents will be able to demonstrate awareness of safety concerns

Inherent in outdoor pursuits. (Outcome #6) bulletBe able to discuss trends in the provision of adventure education/therapy. bulletHave a repertoire of initiative (team and trust building) activities that

can be used with a variety of groups in a variety of settings. (Outcome #1) bulletGain practical experience in the basic skills of various outdoor pursuits bulletLearn new leisure skills to enhance the quality of one's leisure time

(Outcome #8) bulletBe exposed to new leisure skills that may become intrinsically rewarding

and promote life long involvement and long term health benefits.

(Outcome # 2)

    1. Course Outline

A. Adventure Education - Readings and Discussion areas: (Outcomes #


(1) What is it?

(a) How does Ad. Ed compare/contrast with traditional education

(b) How does Ad. Ed compare/contrast with experiential education

(c) Historical Roots

(d) Methodology

(2) Goals & Objectives & Benefits of Adventure/Challenge Education

(Outcome #2)

(3) Challenge by Choice Philosophy (Outcome #10)

(4) Trends in the provision of services

    1. Adventure/Challenge Education Activities as Metaphors (Outcome #5)
    1. Adventure Education -Related Theories - Intra and Interpersonal Growth

(Outcome #5 & #10)

(1) Self-concept

(2) Self-efficacy

(3) Optimal Arousal

(4) Flow

(5) Self-actualization

C. Risk and Liability Issues (Outcome #6)

(1) Real vs. perceived risk - a discussion - case studies

(2) Sample court case - role playing exercise

(3) Risk management plan development

(4) Legal issues related to the provision of adventure/challenge

education experiences

D. The Adventure Education Leader - required competencies

(1) Technical

(2) People

E. Adventure Activity Basic Life Skills Development - The Basics of

Orienteering, Rappelling, Rock climbing, Kayaking, Scuba, Snow Shoeing.

(Outcomes #1 & 2 & 8 & 9)

(1) Equipment

(a) Design

(b) Selection

(c) Care

(d) Use and safety matters

(e) Maintenance

(f) Replacement Need Indicators

(2) Techniques

(a) Demonstration

(b) Experiential Involvement

(3) Processing and evaluation of experiences based upon a

synthesis of readings and experiential involvement.

(4) Experiential Involvement

F. Initiative Programming (Outcome #1)

(1) Purpose

(2) Methods

(3) Group Participation

G. An introduction to Interpretative Technique for Outdoor Programmers

Tildens 7 Principles



4. Basic Instructional Plan and Methods Utilized to Meet Course Objectives

and Outcomes # 1,2,5,6,8,9 & 10:

Experiential Involvement (basic skills introduction and initiatives)

Readings (assigned text and supportive articles and information)

Videos (kayaking, rock climbing, risk management, interpretation)

Role Playing (mock court case)

Processing and Synthesis Exercises (group discussions, processing, paper)


5. Text

Wurdinger. (1997) Philosophical Issues in Adventure Education-3rd

Edition Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

Supplemental Texts & Journals:

Basic Essentials Series Booklets

(WSU library has complete set)

Darst & Armstrong. (1980). Outdoor adventure activities for

school programs. Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press.

Ford. (1993). Leadership and administration of outdoor

pursuits. State College PA: Venture Publishing.

Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance

Journal of Experiential Education

Miles & Priest. (1990). Adventure education. State College PA:

Venture Publishing

Schlein, McAvoy, Lais & Rynders. (1993). Integrated outdoor

education and adventure programs. Champaign Ill:

Sagamore Publishing.

Smith, Roland, Havens & Hoyt. (1992). The theory and practice

of challenge education. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt

Publishing. Therapeutic Recreation Journal

(For initiative ideas, students are encouraged to review a number of

books by Carl Rhonke in the WSU library)


6. Course Requirements & Grading Criteria

"C" criteria:

1. Except in unforeseen, approved emergency situations, full participation

(under the Challenge by Choice guidelines) in all class sessions is

expected. (Students who have commitments that interfere with a portion of

their Outdoor Pursuit class schedule should consider dropping the course.

Excused absences require a doctors written excuse or other documented


2. Proper demonstration of all the knots introduced.

3. Demonstration of proper belaying techniques and signals.

4. Successful pool demonstration of kayak roll and navigation.

5. Successful completion of an orienteering exercise.

6. Participation in processing, role playing and case study exercises

(Outcome #5)

7. Demonstration of safe and proper use and care of equipment (Outcome


8. Demonstration of being able to pass the Prairie Walls belay and knot test

9. Selection and leadership of one initiative and/or campfire activity.

10. Active Participation in, and creative contribution to, Initiatives

program (Outcome #1)

11. Attendance at lab sessions on knots and belaying (Check off sheets

will be evidence)

12. Satisfactory completion of textbook questions provided by instructor.

13. Satisfactory demonstration of skills involved in scuba and/or snow


"B" criteria

Completion of 1-12 in an above average fashion PLUS a score of 80% or

better on a class exam

"A" criteria

Completion of 1-12 in an above average fashion PLUS a score of 90% or

better on a class exam. Students seeking an "A" grade are also required to

locate, read, and reflect in print, upon at least 6 articles or chapters

of texts related to how adventure education can contribute to personal

growth and development. On or before May 1st, students contracting for an

"A" are required to turn in a well written, grammatically correct

"synthesis paper" (which includes full bibliographical information.)

This "synthesis paper" must tie together:

1) your selected readings and 2) your insights gained through class

observations of your own, as well as your classmate's, inter- and

intrapersonal growth through adventure experiences. The paper should be 4-


pages in length and be entitled: "How Adventure Education/Recreation

Activities Contribute to Inter and Intrapersonal Growth." Examples and/or

quotes from your readings as well as examples from your personal

experiences, conversations with classmates, and unobtrusive observations of

classmates must be included and the paper.



"A" AND "B" OR



Prepare a quality 15-30 minute videotaped or live "interpretive"

presentation (Note: Course-related topics are to be addressed in the

presentation and must be cleared in advance by the instructor.) This

project may be completed individually or in small groups of 2, 3 or 4

people. Interpretative technique and Tilden's Principles of Interpretation

will be presented in class. Students wishing to present this project "live"

may do so during the Devils Lake OR Weekend or last day of class. Students

desiring to do a videotape presentation must turn in their videotapes on or

before the first day of finals.

Scoring of Interpretive presentations will be based upon:

1) Originality/ Creativity of presentation 2) Use of interesting props

3) Flow 4) Extent of new and interesting information provided the audience

and 5) Students overall demonstrated ability to grasp and apply the

principles of interpretation technique as discussed in class.

To videotape, you may secure the WSU PER video recorder for a 2 hour

Time slot or you may sign up for use of the video room in the AV lab in the

basement of Phelps.