Historically, adventure-based research and models have inadequately described the role of the instructor in the process of student learning of transferable outcomes. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the influence of instructors from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) on learning perceived to be transferable. Qualitative data indicated students perceive instructors to influence learning through two major categories: instructor traits and instructor behaviors. Data analysis yielded 12 sub-themes describing the influence of the instructor. Salient instructor traits included being patient, knowledgeable, empathetic, inspiring, and fun/entertaining. Influential instructor behaviors included role modeling, providing feedback, providing formal curriculum, creating a supportive learning environment, managing risk, direct instruction/coaching, and using a “pet” quote or phrase. Variables identified in the present study are compared to existing models of student learning in adventure education. Implications and considerations for instructor practice, hiring practices, and staff development are discussed. Key words: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Adventure Education, behaviors, traits, student learning
Schumann, S. A.,
& Gookin, J.
Instructor Influences on Student Learning at NOLS.
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 1(1).