Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Residential week enhances learning experience



UCLan Outdoors students enjoy a range of activities designed to underpin their academic studies.

Through our link up with the Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre in North Wales, these activities provide practical, coaching and leadership skills which are designed to develop highly employable outdoor practitioners.

Jack Ricketts was one of a group of students who recently completed their second residential week at Plas y Brenin. Canoeing sessions were the focus of the trip, with the students having the opportunity to develop personal and technical skills such as perfecting different canoeing strokes. The group were also able to apply their academic learning in a real world environment.

Jack commented: "While these residential weeks are extremely fun and physically demanding, the hardest part is integrating the theory learned in lectures to the decision making processes and methods of teaching used by the instructors.

"The emphasis was placed on problem-based teaching. While the instructors gave us tasks to do without much explanation, we had to come up with a solution to solve the problem. An example of this was performing rescues.

"The instructors chose a safe spot for us to practise with little consequence in case anything went wrong, and as we progressed they changed one of three things - the environment, the individual or the task.

"As each of these things changed the other two became increasingly difficult and more problems were encountered. This is an example of the theory developed by Newell and Simon in their 1972 book 'Human Problem Solving', and is used by outdoor instructors on a daily basis."

To find out more about our partnership with Plas y Brenin please click here.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

UCLan Outdoors research included in national study

Research conducted by the UCLan Outdoors team has been used in a major national study.

'Getting Active Outdoors: A Study of Demography, Motivation, Participation and Provision in Outdoor Sport and Recreation in England' was commissioned by Sport England and produced in partnership with the Outdoor Industries Association.

It examines the demand and supply of outdoor provision and takes an in-depth look at the profile of the outdoor consumer.

The UCLan research, led by Dr Loel Collins, demonstrates how service providers operate across a range of delivery styles. The model demonstrates the relationship between coaching, instructing and guiding – and how a provider may deliver a blend of all three.

To view the study please click here.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

UCLan extends Plas y Brenin partnership

Students on our programmes will continue to enjoy practical sessions with the UK's top provider of outdoor adventure activities, following confirmation of an exciting partnership between UCLan and Plas y Brenin.

After a successful trial period the University has teamed up with the National Mountain Sports Centre in North Wales, where they will help deliver selected courses over the next three years.

Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Coaching students will benefit from the expertise of UCLan and Plas y Brenin staff as they undertake a diverse range of modules.

These will develop their practical, coaching and leadership skills via a range of activities including mountaineering, rock climbing, white water kayaking, sea kayaking, mountain biking and canoeing.

UCLan's Institute of Coaching and Performance will also work closely with Plas y Brenin on research projects, including understanding the judgement and decision making processes of experts in adventure sports that will help to influence the future development of the outdoor profession over the next decade.

UCLan Outdoors Senior Lecturer Loel Collins said: "We're very excited be in a position to maintain our relationship with the National Mountain Sports Centre. It's a partnership that reinforces UCLan and Plas y Brenin as leaders in the field of development in this sector.

Dave Cheetham, Marketing Manager for Plas y Brenin, added: "We're over the moon to be working with UCLan's students and their staff, and we hope it will be a relationship that extends long into the future.

"UCLan is committed to helping its students achieve and surpass their goals, and to helping them convert their learning into rewarding careers in the outdoors. We're convinced Plas y Brenin can play a significant part in helping them do that.

"Alongside top-class coaching, world-class facilities and state-of-the-art-equipment, the students will also have the benefit of being immersed in the exciting and inspiring world of a National Sports Centre, surrounded by high performance athletes, coaches and enthusiasts all eager to help.

"They'll share time with many of the country's most successful climbers, paddlers and riders, and have the opportunity to communicate directly with decision makers from the governing bodies of those sports.

"With input from the best in the business at UCLan and Plas y Brenin, these students will enjoy the best foundation for a career in the outdoor industry."