Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Scottish Winter Skills 2015

UCLan Outdoors undergraduates recently tackled the Scottish Winter Skills Enhancement course as part of their studies.

The group of 1st and 2nd year Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching students travelled to Scotland for a week of winter mountaineering.

To read their blog about the trip please click here. For images from the trip please click here.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Enhancement week develops practical knowledge

The UCLan Outdoors programme provides numerous opportunities to develop practical skills on top of our theoretical teaching.

Bex Farmer is currently in the second year of her Adventure Sports Coaching course, and recently enjoyed a variety of activities to help enhance her technical skills and leadership abilities.

This helps theory to inform practice and practice to inform research, which prepares students for their dissertations during year three.

Bex commented: "To continue our development we must get out there on our own, making our own decisions and mistakes. The enhancement weeks allow us to take advantage of a break in lectures to do this.

"I worked on my climbing skills at Stanage, logging the experience required for the Single Pitch Award. Taking the learning gained from instructional staff, meant I could safely go out in a peer group setting to develop decision making and practical skills, whilst ensuring good independent practice."

During the trip Bex practised setting up solid anchors, top belaying and lead climbing. She tested her knowledge against other students to share and develop ideas. Bex also visited UCLan Sports Arena to test her paddling skills and coaching capabilities ready for her Level 1 Coach Course.

"The canal provided us with a safe and appropriate environment to test my knowledge on several skills in both kayak and canoe and offer feedback to other students, so we met the pre-requisites required for Level 1," said Bex.

"This not only built our confidence, but gave us valuable preparation time for the course which I'm pleased to say I passed. This enhancement week allowed me to test my practical skills and knowledge in a range of different environments.

"These experiences aid my ability to gain industry-required National Governing Body qualifications that equip me to work as a professional in the outdoor sector, not only for when I graduate, but also for our summer breaks where we gain valuable experience in the sector."

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Outdoor Image module inspires students

A group of UCLan Outdoor students staged an exhibition of work from their final year 'Outdoor Image' module.

The event provided undergraduates with the opportunity to display and share their completed portfolios, final artworks and supporting chapters which showcased Pedagogies and Aesthetics in Outdoor Education.

Sculptures, paintings and a range of multi-media items were on show, all of which expressed forms of critical artistic comment.

The group explored topics including escapism and societal laziness, freedom and spirituality, and gender – perceptions of women in the outdoors.

Module leader Dr Clive Palmer said the students had produced some thought-provoking art about engagement, perception and identity with the Outdoors.

He commented: "Outdoor Image has been a tremendous success this year. The students relished opportunities to explain to other staff and students their philosophical ideas and what their comment to the world embodied in their tangible artist product.

"They've developed a high level of confidence and humility to question the rights and wrongs of society as they see it, achieved through the supportive stages of formative assessment towards the final presentation of their ideas.

"Process and product have married beautifully in this module and I'm very proud that their artistic and academic skills are a reflection of a pedagogy nurtured thinking, curiosity, but above all, enjoyment."

Student feedback for the module was extremely positive, with the group in agreement the assignment had allowed them to explore their creative sides.

Richard McCloy said: "I found the start of the module very challenging and difficult to understand, but once I found my way I soon became very passionate about my subject. It taught me to be prepared to think differently and not be afraid of any ideas you may have."

Abigail Law added: "Outdoor Image has given me the space and freedom to release and use my creativity where I wouldn't have otherwise been able to. I've been able to express myself through something different than just academic assignments – it has allowed me to shine."

To view a selection of images from the event please click here.