Research in Outdoor Education


The purpose of this study was to examine some of the potential mechanistic variables related to participant growth and development on courses at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The NOLS Outcome Instrument (NOI) was a retrospective pretest posttest created to measure perceived gains in six universal course outcomes targeted by NOLS courses: Communication Skills, Leadership, Expedition Behavior, Judgment in the Outdoors, Outdoor Skills, and Environmental Awareness. Participant level predictors included age, sex, previous expedition experience, and sense of personal empowerment. Course level predictors included were course length, challenge level of the course terrain, group's level of functioning, and the instructors' rapport with the group. Data were analyzed using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM 6.0).