How can current and new assessment tools be used to measure the attainment of threshold concepts in university outdoor education programs?

Mr Scott Polley1, Dr Beth McLeod2, Dr Brendon Munge3, Mr Joss Rankin4, Dr Brian Wattchow5, Mr Peter Bovina6, Dr Duncan Picknoll7, Mr Josh Ambrosy8, Mr Nicholas Glover1
1University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; 2Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Australia; 3University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia; 4Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia; 5Federation University, Churchill, Australia; 6Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia; 7Notre Dame University, Fremantle, Australia; 8Federation University, Ballarat, Australia


Following an initial scoping paper (Polley and Thomas, 2017) a small team from the Australian Tertiary Outdoor Education network conducted a Delphi Study with other representatives to establish 7 threshold concepts that articulated what an Australian University Outdoor Education graduate knows and is able to do (Thomas, Grenon, Morse, Allen-Craig, Mangelsdorf and Polley, 2019). This presentation presents initial findings from a study conducted with representatives from the Australian Tertiary Outdoor Education network examining assessment tools and strategies that could be adapted for use to assess the seven threshold concepts identified in the aforementioned study. Assessment tool exemplars will be shared in the presentation demonstrating how they effectively measure what university graduates know and can do.

Scott Polley is Senior Lecturer in Outdoor Education at University of South Australia, ATOEN Deputy Chair, OEA representative for OEASA.

Beth McLeod is Lecturer in Exercise Science and Outdoor Leadership at Australian Catholic University.
Brian Wattchow is Senior Lecturer in Sport and Outdoor Education at Federation University.
Josh Ambrosy is a Lecture of Outdoor Education at Federation University. He is also a late phase doctoral candidate with Deakin University. Josh’s research draws upon arts-based methodologies to explore both middle years and outdoor curriculum structures.

Brendon Munge is Associate Lecturer in Outdoor Environmental Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He is currently undertaking his PhD focused on a cross discipline analysis of fieldwork pedagogies in higher education.

Joss Rankin is a lecturer At Flinders University. Joss coordinates and teaches in Foundations of Physical Education, School Health Promotion: Nutrition and Physical Activity and Introduction to Education in Outdoor Environments.

Dr Duncan Picknoll is Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation at University of Notre Dame.

Nicholas Glover is a sessional lecturer in Outdoor Education and Human Movement at University of South Australia.

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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