Outdoor orientation programs created for incoming freshmen in a collegiate setting have the potential to aid with the current social risks and inadequate level of preparedness students are faced with when entering university. The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact outdoor orientation programming had on a group of students who voluntarily attended the Bowling Green State University Outdoor Program Freshman Wilderness Experience. A questionnaire containing five sections of questions (activity comfort level; impact knowledge; technical skills and knowledge; group development; leader evaluation) for a total of 22 questions was given to the participants (N = 40) before and after the trip occurred. Each section of questions was rated on a seven-point Likert scale, with one being the lowest score, and seven being the highest. Data was analyzed for statistical significance by a dependent t-test for all quantitative measures to obtain an overall measure of impact and effectiveness outdoor orientation programs has on students. In addition, separate t-tests were conducted for each category of question to analyze and evaluate the specific differences within each category. The means and standard deviations were calculated to analyze if there was an overall increase in scores pre and post trip, and comparing the overall mean scores for each category of questions. Significant effects were ground after evaluating all five categories of questions (activity knowledge, impact knowledge, technical skills and knowledge, group development, and leader evaluation); (t(39) = 0.011, p < .05). Significant effects were additionally established for the “Technical Skills and Knowledge” (t(39) = 0.047, p < .05), and “Leader Evaluation” categories (t(39) = 0.001, p < .05). There was not a significant effect found in the “Activity Comfort Level”, (t(39) = 0.159, p < .05), “Impact Knowledge”, (t(39) = 0.237, p < .05), or the “Group Development” categories (t(39) = 0.136, p < .05). The mean scores for each group of questions increased post-trip; in conclusion students attending the Freshman Wilderness Experience had an increase in their level of confidence and preparedness for attending college, and benefit from program participation.
Stephen J. Langendorfer
LaFave, Jacquelyn R., "Benefits of Outdoor Orientation Programs on Incoming Freshman" (2016). Masters of Education in Human Movement Sport and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects. 39.
Leisure & Tourism