Assessing the Environmental Orientation: A Course-based Process

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Title: Assessing the Environmental Orientation: A Course-based Process
Author: Day, Tricia Marie
Advisors: Dr. Candace Goode Vick, Committee Chair
Dr. Doug Wellman, Committee Member
Dr. Deb Luckadoo, Committee Member
Dr. Janice Odom, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop a course-based learning environment assessment process to assist higher education faculty in the design or redesign of courses to provide a quality learning experience. Kolb's (1984) Experiential Learning Theory and Fry's (1978) Environmental Orientation Considerations provided the framework for this model. As a course development model, Kolb's (1984) Experiential Learning Theory has utility in ensuring that all learning modes are adequately and appropriately addressed by the considerations within a unit of analysis, in this case, course content objectives. As a result of this study, a Learning Environment Orientation (LEO) Assessment Process was established that could be employed by instructors to improve the learning environment of their course. The process was established as follows: 1. Identify an existing course to be revised using Kolb's (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle. 2. Identify the content objectives for the selected course. 3. Gather all written materials for the course experiences including lecture notes, discussion questions and assignments. 4. Map all documented experiences to the appropriate course content objective. 5. Apply the Learning Environment Orientation (LEO) assessment instrument to each course experience. 6. Create an experience profile for each course experience. Then develop a Learning Environment Profile by compiling the results from all the individual experiences by content objective to identify the environmental orientation of the content objective, using the purpose of the activity as the indicator for each objective. 7. Based on the results from the assessment, recommend adjustments to course experiences to reflect all learning modes included in Kolb's (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle. A major component of this study dealt with the creation and refinement of a reliable instrument to measure the environmental orientation of class experiences. The Learning Environment Orientation (LEO) Assessment Instrument was successfully created. To effectively assess a course?s environmental orientation, the instrument must be applied as part of the Learning Environment Orientation Assessment Process.
Date: 2005-10-28
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

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