The Adventure Learning framework is being implemented in a variety of exciting projects at the University of Idaho, ranging from wilderness field science to climate change education. AL@UI expeditions began in 2011, with several sites scheduled to come online for 2012.
The AL framework has nine principles. They are:
- Identification of a location and issue to explore (including investigation of the contextual factors surrounding the location and issue;
- A researched curriculum that is inquiry-based;
- Opportunities for collaboration and interaction between learners, instructors, and experts;
- Use of the Internet to facilitate the learning experience, including the delivery of the curriculum, delivery of the media, and interaction between the individuals partaking in the experience;
- Timely delivery of media and text from the field to enhance the curriculum;
- Synchronized learning opportunities;
- The provision of pedagogical guidelines to guide curricular and online learning environment use for the instructor to effectively implement an Adventure Learning project;
- Adventure-based education to elicit excitement through uncertainty and risk; and
- Authentic narratives where the learning experience is based on an authentic story/narrative that (a) unifies the expedition, curriculum, student activities, media, and learning experience under a common purpose and theme, and (b) serves to encourage creativity and enjoyable learning experiences (The Learning Technologies Collaborative, 2010).
When each of these principles is designed for, the learner experience has the potential to be transformative.
AL@ has partnered with multiple Idaho companies, including Core Concepts
, an outdoor clothing company based in Boise; Northwest River Supply
, Orchard Farm Soap
and Mountain Blue Eye Jewelry
all based in Moscow. Each company has supported important aspects of the AL@ mission, from keeping expedition team members warm and moving down the river to providing a token of appreciation to Main Salmon River residents who have shared their experiences during expeditions.