OUTDOOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
and endurance produces character
and character produces steadfastness.
Western countries have long ago realised
the value of OUTDOOR
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING and more recently Asian educational institutions
have taken this as part of an alternative and complementary education
and training through the means of outdoor adventure activities. It has
also been suggested that modern traditional education was too concerned
with delivering knowledge, and not enough with understanding students'
outdoor experiential learning provides physical, emotional and spiritual
challenges that result in the betterment of the learner individually and
also as a member of a team.
is a learning process that draws upon experiences encountered during
outdoor activities. The learner is equipped with foundation skills such
as hiking, kayaking and cooking and decision-making (in the outdoor
context), and is then presented with opportunities to utilise these
primary skills during a challenging experience.
Learning in the outdoor provides conditions away from the distractions
of modern civilisation and fosters self-reliance, judgment, respect, and
a sense of responsibility for all your actions. It can also be a
profoundly moving experience that leads to inspiration, joy and
commitment to an environmental ethic.
Learning by Learners
Outdoor education follows the experiential
philosophy of learning by doing. It takes place primarily, but not
exclusively, through involvement with the natural environment. In
outdoor education, the emphasis for a subject of learning is placed on
relationships concerning people and natural resources. (Priest and Gass,
1997, p. 17)
Personal growth comes through the experiential learning cycle.
Courses can be tailored to meet specific objectives and needs, e.g., for
personal excellence, for enduring challenges, moral, spiritual, team
bonding and building and athletic goals.
Malaysian education context, outdoor experiential programme puts moral
studies in clearer perspective as it addressed respect, compassion,
cooperation, teamwork, consideration and relationships at the same time
using feedback, reflection, imagination and creativity. Safety, risk
taking, and personal challenges are other aspects that would also be
Programmes may be residential or none-residential and may very from a
single day to multi-day. Residential program accommodations may include
camping, hostel and guest house.
Expand your comfort zone by pushing beyond the norm.
Examples and OEL
group hikes from one point to another. Along the way, there is a
thunder storm and it rains heavily. Besides, some of the people in
the group are walking slower than expected. The group have to trek
in the dark to reach the campsite. In this scenario, there are many
lessons to be learned when the group review this activity.
individual reaches the top point of the abseil and fear comes upon
him. He knows that the activity is safe and others have safely gone
down the abseil line but he is having difficulties himself. The
facilitator helps him through the thinking process of overcoming his
fear. He abseil down and becomes victorious over his inhibitions.
Example of 3 day programme:
Day 1 – arrival and briefing, ice breaker, activity 1 – hiking to
camp site. Day’s review and journaling.
Day 2 – morning exercise, activity 2, lunch followed by activity 3
in the afternoon. In the evening, farewell dinner and night activity
3. Day’s review and journaling.
Day 3 – morning exercise and activity 4. Final review, certificate
presentation and journaling. Trainees return.
Activities may include:
Raft building and pedaling
Jungle survival challenge
Many different themes may be highlighted in the learning programme and
some are: Culture, Local History, Environmental awareness, Flora and
fauna, and Outdoor adventure skills.
Be like a martial arts expert and be able to deal with surprises in all
Service learning where trainees carry out community and environmental
work may be incorporated in some programmes to reach desired objectives.
Outdoor Treks is a local Sarawak based adventure company that is in the
business of running outdoor recreation,
and experiential learning is one of its extensions. Our personnel have
been trained overseas in running outdoor experiential learning and have
successfully conducted them.
to Trainee Ratios
Our facilitators are trained to provide a highly stimulating and
interactive environment to engage trainees of all learning styles. They
are also skilled in observing group processes and place emphasis on team
building with the importance of having roles for all members of a team.
Our programmes are highly diverse to suit all ages and levels of ability
where trainees are encouraged to challenge themselves, learn the value
of risk taking, and thinking laterally.
Critical to the success of outdoor experiential learning is the
facilitator to trainee ratios. For active adventure activities, the
ratio would be less to ensure safety to meet desired objectives.
and Risk Management
All adventure activities are carried in accordance to international
safety standards. Risk assessment management would be first carried out
for all activities and locations, prior to running any programme and our
staff are trained in First Aid and will be sufficiently equipped.
Communication protocols would be set-up between the client and our key
Outdoor Treks would be very interested in a free none-committal
presentation for more information on outdoor experiential learning.