EXERCISE AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Research article
Volume 3, No. 2, 2011, 67-77
UDC
378.016:796.5
316.644-057.875:796.5
INTERACTIVE APPROACH TO CONCEPTUALISATION OF THE
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES COURSE
Saöa Radosav*
Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Abstract
The Outdoor activities course is an important and very specific segment of study programs
which prepare future teachers of physical education and recreation, instructors and similar
professional profiles. With the purpose of creating a new concept of course or improve the
existing one according to the attitude college students have to the Outdoor activities course,
students of the Faculty and Sport and Physical Education were surveyed. The sample consisted
of 191 college students of both gender who attended the Outdoor activities courses during the
academic years 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003. The sample was evaluated by the Likert scale
and the following aspects were included: attitude towards the conditions of course delivery,
content, organisation and implementation of the lessons of skiing and camping. Majority of
students expressed the affirmative attitudes towards skiing and camping. The obtained results
were used in a new conceptualisation of the Outdoor activities course.
Keywords: outdoor activities, teaching, college students, attitudes
Introduction
Even though outdoor activities, in the form if camping and skiing, are an obligatory
course in the curriculum of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, there has been no
unique understanding, opinion and attitudes on behalf of professors, teacher assistants and
students with respect to conceptualisation, organisation and course delivery. There is no enough
agreement on behalf of all participants when it comes to expected learning outcomes of the
course (knowledge, skills, values which will be acquired after successful fulfillment of all duties
related to the course), selection of relevant course content, as well as direct organisation and
delivery of camping and skiing.
A special practical significance belongs to the choice of location suitable for summer and
winter outdoor activities and fulfillment of optimal conditions for the implementation of all
* Corresponding author. Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Lov„enska 16, 21000
Novi Sad, Serbia, e-mail: jazzer66@gmail.com
© 2010 Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
S. Radosav
planned activities, together with the price of accommodation and food, which, in the existing
economic situation in the society, has to be adjusted to the abilities of the students and their
parents.
The programmed and applied course content should have, first of all, the function of
acquiring the necessary expert knowledge and competences. Besides, it should be interesting and
applicable in educational institutions, and adjustable to various age groups and levels of students.
Apart from the educational content, the classes of camping and skiing also include a recreational
part aiming at developing studentsí interests in those types of activities. Outdoor activities are an
integral part of the school curriculum, not only of the compulsory, but also of the optional
classes.
Many scientific studies, over a hundred of them, have proved that spending time outdoors
and many recreational activities in the natural surroundings create peopleís positive
physiological and psychological reactions, including stress reduction and general well-being
(Thompson Coon et al., 2011; Lewis, 1996).
First-hand experience of the nature and living in accordance with it cannot be replaced
with either the best educational means or sports equipment used for education and trainings in
gyms or other indoor spaces, not even if it is performed by the best teachers or trainers. They
cannot replace those sensory moments when a personís or a childís attention is focused on the
natural occurrences, sunrays emerging through leaves, sounds and movements of plants in the
wind, experiencing sand, soil, water, flora and fauna, endless views of the nature (Moor, 1996).
That is especially important for the people and children living in cramped spaces.
Taking into account not only the importance of outdoor activities, but also the necessity
of good conceptualisation of the Outdoor activities course as a very important segment of the
education at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, as well as the fact that opening the
educational process at the university involves students in all areas to a higher degree, the attitude
of the students from the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Novi Sad was examined,
with the purpose of taking their attitudes into account during making new or modifying the
existing concepts of the course, practical organisation and implementation.
Method
Participants
The empirical research was made on the adequate sample including three generations of
students of the 3rd and 4th year of studies (total of 191 students) who attended the Outdoor
activities courses in the period 2000-2003 at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Novi
Sad. The students filled in a questionnaire after attending both theoretical and practical lessons
(skiing and camping) of the Outdoor activities course.
Measures
The evaluation of studentsí attitudes towards outdoor activities was done by using a
special questionnaire (see the Appendix). Apart from this demographic variable (gender, way of
financing the studies), the questionnaire consisted of 22 items which included different aspects
of the Outdoor activities course, from satisfaction with the choice of location and lasting of the
course, to the attitudes towards the implemented educational program. 18 items were positively
oriented, in other words agreeing with the claim involved a positive attitude, while 15 items were
negatively oriented (agreeing with the claim involved a positive attitude). Out of 33 items, 21
included summer camping, while 12 included skiing. The questionnaire consisted of four
segments: Place and conditions of camping (VAR1-VAR6), Applied program and gained
70
Conceptualisation of Outdoor activities course
knowledge about camping (VAR7-13), Organisation and implementation of camping (VAR14-
21) and Organisation and implementation of skiing (VAR22-33). The attitudes were evaluated
by implementing the Likert scale which included
5 verbal categories with the following
meaning: I totally disagree with the claim (1); I partially disagree with the claim (2); I have no
attitude towards the claim (3); I partially agree with the claim (4); I totally agree with the claim
(5). Taking into account a lot of claims in the questionnaire, they are marked by the ordinal
number of the items (see the Appendix).
Data processing
The obtained data were processed by using parametrical procedures. Parametrical
statistical procedures were used for establishing the central (arithmetic mean) and dispersive
parameters (minimal value (min), maximal value (max) and standard deviation - S). The
Multivariate (MANOVA) and Univariate (ANOVA) Analysis of Variance were used to establish
the multivariate and univariate statistical significance between the arithmetic means in the
system of all applied variables of the attitudes,according to activities and putting the attitudes in
groups.
Results
Central and dispersive statistical parameters on the level of the whole sample are showed
in the table 1. According to the average scores of certain items, it can be concluded that the
examinees expressed a high degree of agreeing (score 4.0 and higher) for all 18 positively
formulated items. When the negative items are taken into account, a high degree of disagreement
(score 2.0 and less) was expressed for 18 out of 15 items. The highest disagreement (4.80) was
expressed for the claim ìSkiing is nice and interestingî (VAR24), while extremely positive
attitudes are expressed for three more items belonging to the segment organisation and
implementation of skiing: VAR31 (4.79), VAR22 (4.75), VAR27 (4.72). Very high scores also
included the items VAR15 and VAR 22, which referred to the organisation and implementation
of camping. High average scores were also obtained for the claims VAR10 and VAR8 which
belonged to the segment Applied programs and obtained knowledge about camping (4.71, or
4.67). Arithmetic means around the average value of the scale, which indicated a neutral attitude,
were obtained for the items VAR23 (2.93) and VAR25 (2.72) which included the price and how
long the course was. Items VAR2 (the price of camping) and VAR5 (camping at the seaside)
showed arithmetic means close to the average value from the scale.
Dispersive measuring showed that the sample was rather heterogeneous with respect to
agreement with the offered claims; the maximum range of results (from 1.00 to 5.00) was
obtained for all items, while the values of the coefficient of variations varied from 12.58%
(VAR15: I had a chance to get to know my colleagues while camping) to 70.65% (VAR4:
Regardless of the price, Iíd rather go camping at the seaside).
71
S. Radosav
Table 1
Central and dispersive statistical parametres
VARIABLES
M SD
CV%
min
max
VARl (-)
1.68
1.17
69.64
1.00
5.00
VAR2 (+)
3.59
1.34
37.32
1.00
5.00
VAR3 (-)
2.38
1.54
64.70
1.00
5.00
VAR4 (-)
2.01
1.42
70.65
1.00
5.00
VAR5 (-)
2.55
1.50
58.82
1.00
5.00
VAR6 (+)
4.04
1.27
31.44
1.00
5.00
VAR7 (+)
4.51
.89
19.73
1.00
5.00
VAR8 (+)
4.67
.78
16.70
1.00
5.00
VAR9 (+)
4.49
.84
18.71
1.00
5.00
VARIO (+)
4.71
.70
14.86
1.00
5.00
VARll (-)
1.56
1.06
67.95
1.00
5.00
VAR12 (-)
1.46
1.02
69.86
1.00
5.00
VAR13 (+)
4.51
.80
17.74
1.00
5.00
VAR14 (+)
4.51
.92
20.40
1.00
5.00
VAR15 (+)
4.77
.60
12.58
1.00
5.00
VAR16 (-)
1.31
.71
54.20
1.00
5.00
VAR17 (+)
4.38
.93
21.23
1.00
5.00
VAR18 (-)
1.64
.98
59.76
1.00
5.00
VAR19 (+)
4.52
.92
20.35
1.00
5.00
VAR20 (-)
1.99
1.37
68.84
1.00
5.00
VAR21 (-)
1.32
.79
59.85
1.00
5.00
VAR22 (+)
4.75
.81
17.05
1.00
5.00
VAR23 (+)
2.93
1.39
47.44
1.00
5.00
VAR24 (+)
4.80
.71
14.79
1.00
5.00
VAR25 (-)
2.72
1.55
56.98
1.00
5.00
VAR26 (+)
4.35
.91
20.92
1.00
5.00
VAR27 (+)
4.72
.71
15.04
1.00
5.00
VAR28 (+)
4.58
.91
19.87
1.00
5.00
VAR29 (-)
1.80
1.24
68.89
1.00
5.00
VAR30 (-)
2.08
1.33
63.94
1.00
5.00
VAR31 (+)
4.79
.72
15.03
1.00
5.00
VAR32 (+)
4.39
1.00
22.78
1.00
5.00
VAR33 (-)
1.24
.78
62.90
1.00
5.00
M ñ Arithmetic Mean; SD ñ Standard Deviation; CV ñ Variability Coefficient; Min ñ minimum; Max ñ Maximum
In order to examine the agreement of students from different generations with respect to
their attitudes towards various aspects of the subject Outdoor activities, the analyses MANOVA
and ANOVA were used to examine the significance of the differences among three generations
of students at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Novi Sad (Tables 2-5).
Testing the significance of the differences in the whole system of variables (in total 33)
by MANOVA showed that among the three groups of students statistically significant
differences exist (Î=.47; p=.00).
In the subspace of the variables which refer to the location and conditions of camping
(Table 2) it was established that there were some statistically significant differences among the
72
Conceptualisation of Outdoor activities course
groups in two out of six variables (VAR5 and VAR6). These variables included the attitude
towards camping at the seaside, or the quality of food during camping, where the second
generation of students differed from the first and third generation according to their attitudes.
Table 2
Significance of differences between groups: Location and conditions of camping
Variables M1 M2 M3 F
p
VAR1 (-)
1.66
1.70
1.68
.01
.98
VAR2 (+)
3.67
3.72
3.45
.76
.46
VAR3 (-)
2.19
2.27
2.57
1.24
.28
VAR4 (-)
1.88
1.75
2.23
2.03
.13
VAR5 (-)
2.67
1.95
2.77
4.82
.00
VAR6 (+)
4.40
3.50
4.05
6.85
.00
M1 - Generation of students 2000/01, M2 ñ generation of students 2001/02, M3 ñ Generation of students 2002/03
When it comes to the applied programs and gained knowledge about camping (Table 3),
significant differences were detected for only two variables (VAR9 and VAR12) out of seven.
Those variables refer to the educational character of the programs and their applicability in
practice.
Table 3
Significance of differences between groups: Implemented programmes and gained knowledge
during camping
VARIABLES M1 M2 M3 F p
VAR7 (+)
4.45
4.54
4.55
.25
.77
VAR8 (+)
4.64
4.70
4.55
.07
.92
VAR9 (+)
4.46
4.22
4.64
3.71
.02
VAR10 (+)
4.58
4.65
4.84
2.79
.06
VAR11 (-)
1.80
1.54
1.38
2.80
.06
VAR12 (-)
1.75
1.27
1.35
3.89
.02
VAR13 (+)
4.37
4.47
4.63
2.00
.13
M1 - Generation of students 2000/01, M2 ñ generation of students 2001/02, M3 ñ Generation of students 2002/03
With reference to the attitudes which refer to the organisation and implementation of
camping (Table 4), it can be noticed that all three observed generations of students exprssed high
agreement on this subject, since significant differences are seen in only three variables, out of
eight which define this domain. Those are the variables: VAR16 (I did not find the activities
during camping interesting), VAR17 (The camping course was well-organized) and VAR21 (I
am not interested in camping).
73
S. Radosav
Table 4
Significance of differences between groups: Organisation and implementation of camping
VARIABLES M1 M2 M3 F p
VAR14 (+)
4.40
4.59
4.55
.66
.51
VAR15 (+)
4.80
4.79
4.74
.24
.78
VAR16(-)
1.50
1.34
1.17
3.78
.02
VAR17(+)
4.33
3.97
4.62
7.55
.00
VAR18(-)
1.67
1.70
1.58
.25
.77
VAR19(+)
4.59
4.52
4.48
.25
.77
VAR20(-)
2.00
1.72
2.12
1.24
.29
VAR21(-)
1.56
1.27
1.17
4.56
.01
M1 - Generation of students 2000/01, M2 ñ generation of students 2001/02, M3 ñ Generation of students 2002/03
The highest agreement among the students of three generations was showed for the
attitudes towards the organisation of skiing
(table
5). Namely, there were no statistically
significant differences for any out of 11 variables which define this area.
Table 6
Significance of differences among groups: Organisation and implementation of skiing
VARIABLES M1 M2 M3 F p
VAR22 (+)
4.72
4.88
4.71
.70
.49
VAR23 (+)
2.90
2.79
3.02
.40
.66
VAR24 (+)
4.83
4.79
4.78
.09
.91
VAR25 (-)
2.85
2.50
2.75
.69
.50
VAR26 (+)
4.46
4.25
4.31
.83
.43
VAR27 (+)
4.64
4.84
4.72
.97
.37
VAR28 (+)
4.46
4.72
4.58
1.03
.35
VAR29 (-)
2.08
1.63
1.69
2.29
.10
VAR30 (-)
2.06
2.18
2.04
.15
.85
VAR31 (+)
4.64
4.77
4.91
2.62
.07
VAR32 (+)
4.50
4.38
4.31
.58
.55
VAR33 (-)
1.43
1.15
1.15
2.71
.06
M1 - Generation of students 2000/01, M2 ñ generation of students 2001/02, M3 ñ Generation of students 2002/03
Discussion
The survey conducted at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Novi Sad which
included the examination of the studentsí attitudes towards the Outdoor activities course, took
place with the purpose of improving the existing concept of the course according to the results,
or creating a new concept which would be more suitable for the needs and attitudes of the
74
Conceptualisation of Outdoor activities course
students. This approach has its roots in an ever-present demand to include students as equal
participants in the life of the faculty by asking them the questions about the curriculum, even if
self-evaluation is included.
The obtained results show that the students have very positive attitudes towards different
aspects of the Outdoor activities course, even though dispersive measures show that the sample
was rather heterogeneous about agreeing with the offered claims.
In order to obtain as objective results as possible, the survey included three generations
(from 2000/01 to 2002/03). By testing the significance of the differences among those three
groups, we wanted to identify those aspects of the courses which cause the highest agreement of
the students (no matter which generation they belong to). The results of the multivariate and
univariate analysis confirmed that there is a high degree of agreement among the students of
different generations, taking their attitudes into account. The students expressed very positive
and the similar attitudes towards winter outdoor activities (skiing).
All results obtained in this research are practically applicable in the adequate organisation
and delivery of Outdoor activities on behalf of the teachers, as well as implanted in the
curriculum and organisation of camping, to the mutual satisfaction of both teachers and students.
The interaction in the relationship teachers-students is very important for the innovations
of the curriculum and organisation of practical lessons of the Outdoor activities course, the more
similar attitudes, interests, abilities and the system of values teachers and students have, the more
successful their relationship is (Jajatovi„, 2006).
References
Bartlett, S.
(1996). Access to outdoor play and its implications for healthy attachments.
unpublished article, Putney, Vermont, 1996.
Jajatovi„, A., (2006). Interaktivni rad: uspjeöna komunikacija izmeðu asistenata i studenata.
Prilozi za pedagoöko-andragoöku praksu na univerzitetu. Sarajevo, 63-70.
Moore, R. (1996). Compact nature: The role of playing and learning gardens on children's lives,
Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, 8, 72-82.
Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011).
Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater
effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic
review. Enviromental Science & Technology, 45(5), 1761-1772.
Zeljkovi„, M. (2008). Analiza stavova i interesa prema nastavi teljesne i zdravstvene kulture
studenata VeleuËiliöta ìLavoslav RuûiËkaî u Vukovaru. U Zbornik radova 17. teljesne
ökole kineziologa Republike Hrvatske
(446-450). Vukovar: VeleuËiliöte ìLavoslav
RuûiËkaî.
Submitted October 5, 2011
Accepted December 14, 2011
75
S. Radosav
APPENDIX
QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE EVALUATION OF STUDENTSí ATTITUDES TOWARDS
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Way of financing
1. self-financing
2. co-financing
3. from the state budget
Sex
M
F
I attended the camping course
YES
NO
I totally
I partially
I have no
I partially
I totally
disagree
disagree
attitude
agree with
agree with
with the
with the
towards
the claim
the claim
claim
claim
the claim
VAR1
I did not like BegeËka jama as a
1
2
3
4
5
choice for the camping location.
VAR2
The price of 3000 din was
1
2
3
4
5
adequate.
VAR3
I can pay the expenses of
camping at the seaside in
1
2
3
4
5
Montenegro (150 euro or 9000
din).
VAR4
No matter what the price is, Iíd
rather go camping at the seaside
1
2
3
4
5
in Montenegro.
VAR5
Iíd like to go camping at the
seaside since that would be my
1
2
3
4
5
summer holiday as well.
VAR6
The food at the location of
1
2
3
4
5
BegeËka jama was good.
VAR7
Camping at the location of
BegeËka jama was very useful
1
2
3
4
5
as a life experience.
VAR8
The events were interesting and
1
2
3
4
5
useful.
VAR9
The events were educational in
1
2
3
4
5
a professional sense.
VAR10
I gained new knowledge and
experience (putting up a tent,
organisation of a camp,
1
2
3
4
5
orientation in the nature, feeding
in the nature, rowingÖ).
VAR11
I am not satisfied with the newly
1
2
3
4
5
acquired experience.
VAR12
Newly acquired experience and
knowledge cannot be applied
1
2
3
4
5
practically.
VAR13
Newly acquired knowledge and
experience will be useful in my
1
2
3
4
5
further life.
VAR14
I liked staying in the nature and
1
2
3
4
5
sleeping in tents.
76
Conceptualisation of Outdoor activities course
VAR15
I had a chance to get to know
1
2
3
4
5
my colleagues during camping.
VAR16
I did not find the activities
1
2
3
4
5
during camping interesting.
VAR17
Camping course was well-
1
2
3
4
5
organized.
VAR18
I was looking forward to the end
1
2
3
4
5
of camping and going home.
VAR19
I would go camping again,
1
2
3
4
5
regardless of the subject.
VAR20
I wish we had gone to
Montenegro instead of BegeËka
1
2
3
4
5
jama.
VAR21
I am not interested in camping,
the only important thing is to do
1
2
3
4
5
the course and get the necessary
signature.
VAR22
I like skiing.
1
2
3
4
5
VAR23
I think that the price of 170 euro
1
2
3
4
5
for seven days is acceptable.
VAR24
Skiing is nice and interesting.
1
2
3
4
5
VAR25
I think that 2 seven-day skiing
1
2
3
4
5
courses are quite enough.
VAR26
I learned how to ski.
1
2
3
4
5
VAR27
I wish I could improve my
1
2
3
4
5
skiing technique.
VAR28
I think that two ten-day skiing
courses would be more effective
1
2
3
4
5
for improving my skiing
knowledge and techniques.
VAR29
I prefer two seven-day to two
ten-day courses.
1
2
3
4
5
VAR30
I think that one 14-day course is
1
2
3
4
5
an optimal solution.
VAR31
Without taking money into
1
2
3
4
5
account, Iíd go skiing again.
VAR32
Skiing lessons were well-
1
2
3
4
5
prepared.
VAR33
I am not interested in skiing, the
only important thing is to do the
1
2
3
4
5
course and get the necessary
signature
77