Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Teamwork, communication and leadership are important life skills that individuals and organisations, including schools, corporate groups and sporting teams, require and aim to improve. A meaningful way to do this is through outdoor adventure and education programs. To successfully lead groups in outdoor and adventure activities and programs you need to know essential leadership, facilitation and communication skills. In this unit you will build on your leadership knowledge and skills, by exploring personal leadership behavioural styles. You will then learn how to facilitate meaningful and rewarding experiential group activities and programs, which are suitable for working with a variety of groups. You will engage in practical fieldwork designed to further develop your skills so that you leave with the skills, knowledge and awareness to be able to assist individuals and groups to achieve positive outcomes from outdoor adventure and education activities and programs. This unit aims to provide you with skills that not only form part of the professional standards expected of all outdoor educators and leaders but are also important for helping you, and those you work with, to demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Compare and contrast leadership styles and understand explore how they may be applied in different outdoor programs and settings. (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO2 - Facilitate an experiential learning opportunity, which considers and focuses on personal and/or  group development (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7)  

LO3 - Create an outdoor adventure and education activities resource, that could be used with a variety of groups, to achieve positive outcomes. (GA7, GA9, GA10)  

LO4 - Perform and evaluate key skills and competencies while participating and leading outdoor adventure and education activities. (GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


  • Self-awareness and leadership potential 
  • Leadership skills such as communication, conflict resolution, ethical decision making and critical reflection 
  • Leadership styles and different ways to lead  
  • Facilitation, including ways to assist individuals and groups to achieve positive outcomes from outdoor adventure and education activities and programs 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active, collaborative, cooperative and enquiry-based learning; just-in-time teaching; inquiry, peer, case and problem-based learning; formative feedback; reflective learning activities; along with project, small group and team-based learning strategies, which are delivered over the semester. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of competency in the practical skills of outdoor leadership. These strategies aim to provide students with an opportunity to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, as well as the industry professional practice standards. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and are required to actively participate in all classes, field trips, online modules and out-of-class tasks.  


To achieve the learning outcomes, this unit requires face-to-face attendance in specific physical locations with engagement between peers, the lecturer and industry practitioners. To complement the face-to-face interactions, the unit will be blended with self-directed and self-paced online learning activities, which require the use of online communication and collaboration tools. The proportion of face-to-face and online time will vary based on student characteristics, local resources, active learning approaches and technology support; however, interactions amongst students, the lecturer and industry experts will be on a regular basis. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to allow students to demonstrate the learning outcomes, develop ACU graduate attributes and meet outdoor industry expectations, standards-based assessment is utilised in this unit, which is consistent with University assessment requirements. In this unit a range of assessment strategies are used including: (i) Individual reflective report, to enable synthesis of what has been learnt over a number of leadership topics; through critical evaluation and creative communication  (ii) a group facilitation project to demonstrate understanding of the application and implementation learnings about leading, sequencing, facilitating and debriefing a group activity; (iii) creation of an individual activities resources; and  (iv) experiential learning activities, to allow students to demonstrate the skills and competencies required for professional practice and accreditation (hurdle task).  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Therefore, in order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all assessment tasks. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual Reflective Report: 

Enables students to think critically and reflectively about leadership skills, and the development of their leadership skills.


LO1, LO4 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9 

Group Facilitation Project:  

Enables students to present their learnings about leading, sequencing, facilitating and debriefing a group activity. 


LO1, LO2, LO4 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5 GA7, GA9, GA10 

Individual Resource Creation:  

Enables students to work autonomously to demonstrate effective communication and technology skills in the creation of an outdoor adventure and education activities resource that could be used in the future. 


LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10 

Experiential Learning Activities: 

Enables students to demonstrate competency, a culture of respect and professionalism in all experiential learning activities. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Albert, M. B. (2019). The Relationship Between Leadership Style and Group Cohesion in Outdoor Education. Research in Outdoor Education17(1), 38-58. 

Graham, J. (1997). Outdoor Leadership: Technique, common sense & self-confidence. Seattle, WA: Mountaineers.  

Johnson, D. & Johnson, F. (2017). Joining Together: Group theory and group skills. (12th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.  

Luckner, J & Nadler, R. (1997) Processing the Experience: Strategies to enhance and generalise learning. (2nd ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt.  

Martin, Wagstaff, Breunig, Goldenburg. (2017). Outdoor Leadership: Theory and practice. (2nd Ed)Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 

Priest, S. & Gass, M. (2017). Effective Leadership in Adventure Programming. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 

Rogers, E. B., & Rose, J. (2019). A critical exploration of women’s gendered experiences in outdoor leadership. Journal of Experiential Education42(1), 37-50. 

Schoel, J., Prouty, D. & Radcliffe, P. (1989). Islands of Healing: A guide to adventure-based counselling. Hamilton, MA: Project Adventure. 

Stanchfield, J. (2014). Inspired Educator Inspired Learner: Experiential, brain-based activities and strategies to engage, motivate, build community and create lasting lessons. Bethany, OK: Wood N Barnes. 

Thomas, G. J. (2019). Learning to be a group facilitator in outdoor education: using self-awareness to overcome fears and be fully present. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning19(4), 287-300. 


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