Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit will develop skills in a variety of outdoor education settings. Outdoor activities will be undertaken both from a problem-solving and an interactive perspective. In addition, students will survey curriculum materials and resources in recreation and outdoor education for primary school children. The development of school-based outdoor education programs and appropriate evaluation procedures will be a feature of this unit.

This unit aims to provide pre-service teachers with the knowledge and skills to develop school-based outdoor education programs and appropriate evaluation procedures.

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 - Understand the potential of the outdoor classroom, the Outdoor Education Movement and experiential learning (GA4) 

LO2 - Utilise skills and shared ideas for worthwhile outdoor experiential learning (GA6) 

LO3 - Appreciate the contribution of the outdoor experience in the development of human potential and healthy living and the role it can play in personal development issues (GA5) 

LO4 - Encompass the environmental aspects of the outdoor classroom into the planning process (GA7) 

LO5 - Understand the strategies for processing the experiences (GA4, GA8). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:  

  • Introduction to recreation and outdoor education 
  • CSF, recreation and outdoor education: learning outcomes and assessment 
  • Recreation planning and programming  
  • Legal liability and outdoor education  
  • Initiative activities and problem solving  
  • Art and craft activities utilising the environment 
  • Outdoor education and nature activities  
  • Environmental studies  
  • Wilderness and minimal impact 
  • Nature and camp-craft games  
  • Recreation opportunities for the disabled  
  • Major game activities, for example, archery, golf, lawn bowls. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. These will include lectures, individual and group work, workshops, problem solving as well as the use of a wide range of technologies, both from a school and university perspective. Off-campus activities will be a feature of this unit (3 Day camp) whereby students will be able to put into practice outdoor education philosophies that they have learnt on campus.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private study.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes and demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

A range of assessment procedures will be used including, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to participate in and submit all assessment tasks.

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

60 min session in the outdoor environment essay (*common assessment task) 


LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7 

Assessment Task 2 

Summary handout of lesson presentation (2 pages) 


LO1, LO5 

GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 3 

1500-2000 word  


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA5, GA6, GA7 

Representative texts and references

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for primary school students. 

Broda, H. (2007). Schoolyard enhanced learning. Portland, ME.: Stenhouse Publishers 

Filer, J. (2008). Healthy, active and outside!: Running an outdoor programme in the early years. New York: Routledge. 

Lavin, J. (2008). Creative approaches to physical education: Helping children to achieve their true potential. London: Routledge. 

White, J. (2008). Playing and learning outdoors: Making provision for high quality experiences in the outdoor environment. New York: Routledge. 

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