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The value of outdoor learning

30 September 2016

Cardiff academics launch new toolkit to evaluate outdoor learning experiences.

Dr Ria Dunkley from the Sustainable Places Research Institute and Dr Tom Smith from the School of Geography and Planning recently brought together outdoor learning practitioners at the Bute Park Education Centre in the centre of Cardiff, to discuss the evaluation of outdoor learning and interpretation. The event, held on Friday 23rd of September included keynote contributions from Professor Helen Lomax, University of Northampton; Dr Stuart Reeves, University of Nottingham and Dr Dawn Mannay, Cardiff University.

Speaking about the event Ria said: “The event was also a chance for us to share a new toolkit produced in collaboration with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the RSPB titled: Evaluating the Outdoor Learning Experience: A Toolkit for Practitioners. The toolkit is free and is available online through the University website.

“We hope that the toolkit will help outdoor education practitioners, to evaluate the outdoor learning experiences they offer. Whether they work for a botanical garden, national or city park, nature reserve, wetland, or arboretum, this resource will enable them to explore the impact of their outdoor learning programmes and interpretation efforts.”

The event and toolkit were both funded by an ESRC Impact Grant. Ria and Tom will also be presenting some of the evaluative research with the Brecon Beacons National Park at the Association of Heritage Interpretation Conference in Belfast in October 2016.

The toolkit “Evaluating the outdoor learning experience” is available to download here.