Assessing outdoor leadership practice at university

Mr Peter Bovino1
1Victoria University, Footscray, Australia


Employees generally require an array of technical skills to work in the outdoor leadership industry. These include outdoor living and activity specific skills. As such, it is important that outdoor leadership training pathways include real practice and experience in relevant activities. It is also important that students are assessed on their practice to support the ongoing quality of education and provide feedback on how to improve/progress.

The assessment of practice in vocational education is governed by the national training package (NTP) under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The NTP sets out guidelines for how competencies should be assessed for AQF level one to five courses. Tertiary level outdoor leadership/education courses generally require AQF level seven or above to be achieved and are not governed by the NTP. How to assess outdoor leadership practice at university is an important question for tertiary educators.

Practical training is undertaken in a number of disciplines at university other than outdoor leadership/education. Fields such as nursing, paramedicine, osteopathy and sport science may be looked to for how practical skill can be assessed. A rubric has been developed to assess outdoor leadership practice which draws on these other fields. The nature and scope of this tool is discussed in this presentation.

Peter Bovino is a passionate educator working in the outdoor recreation, education and adventure sport discipline at Victoria University.

Peter became involved with the tertiary sector in 2015 after working in secondary outdoor education and commercial outdoor recreation. He takes a holistic approach to education drawing upon other disciplines to inform his practice. Peter designed parts of the outdoor degrees at Victoria University, including inquiry into natural environments, adventure theory, safe practice and leadership.

Peter can be found appreciating wild places through rockclimbing, swift water boating and bushwalking.

About OEA and Outdoors NSW

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA)  was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

Outdoors NSW is the go-to place for all things outdoors in NSW.

The peak body for the outdoors in NSW, the organisation, (formerly known as ORIC), represents the outdoor community, advances outdoor standards, safety and practices, and fosters greater participation in the outdoors.

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