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Summer Outdoor & Alternative Environment Physical Education

Course Code: SPSC 1318
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: Number of weeks vary depending on condensed format
Learning Format: Seminar, Field Experience
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this applied course, students participate in, plan and implement a variety of aquatic and land activities appropriate for elementary and high school students during late spring, summer, and early fall. Topics include risk assessment and management, organizational factors, environmental ethics, outdoor aquatic and land-based activities, and use of different pedagogical strategies. The students will utilize experiential education processes to link alternative environments to other curricular areas. An overnight trip is planned for this class. This course satisfies the Alternative Environment Applied Methods BPEC graduation requirement.

Course Content

1. Outdoor and alternative environment settings

1.1 aquatic settings

1.2 land-based settings

1.3 seasonal considerations

1.4 school-based alternatives

2. Risk management

3. Physical literacy and dynamic system considerations in alternative environments

3.1 individual dimensions: affective, cognitive and psychomotor

3.2 task and complexity structure

3.3 environmental considerations

4. Lesson and unit planning for outdoor and alternative environment settings

4.1 safety considerations

4.2 transportation planning

4.3 learning outcomes

4.4 equipment needs

4.5 planned activities

4.6 linking outcomes to BC Ministry of Education’s core competencies and other curricular areas

4.7 assessment and evaluation strategies

4.8 budgeting

5. Practical topic selection will depend on instructor experience, student experience, and availability of resources. The following list is a sample of possible alternative environment activities wherein students will participate as teachers and students with the aim of implementing the knowledge and skills of effective outdoor education in a safe and exciting context.

5.1 Land-based examples

5.1.1 hiking

5.1.2 backpacking

5.1.3 rock climbing

5.1.4 camping

5.1.5 orienteering

5.1.6 outdoor cycling

5.1.7 high/low ropes course

5.1.8 horseback riding

5.1.9 caving

5.2 Water-based examples

5.2.1 windsurfing

5.2.2 rowing

5.2.3 kayaking

5.2.4 sailing

5.2.5 waterskiing

5.2.6 canoeing

5.2.7 survival techniques

5.2.8 snorkeling

5.2.9 rafting

5.3 Culturally relevant activities

5.3.1 historical significance

5.3.2 related to “Place”

6. Instructional Strategies

6.1 alternative teaching approaches

6.2 incorporation of cooperative, inquiry, personal and social responsibility models of instruction

6.3 class management strategies

6.4 developmentally appropriate technical progressions

6.5 principles of effectively planning curriculum for classes according to seasonal activities

Methods of Instruction

  • Experiential learning
  • Discussion Groups 
  • Practical applications and experiences
  • Field observation
  • Peer-led / Peer Teaching
  • Problem-based
  • Place-based

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will include the following:

  1. Professionalism and Personal Movement Competence (10% to 20%)
    • observation, demonstration, preparatory and in-class work.
  2. Activity  Knowledge (15% to 30%)
    • quizzes, midterm, report, or presentation.
  3. Risk Management and Planning ability (25 to 40%)
    • quizzes, final exam, report, or presentation.
  4. Instructional Knowledge and Skill (15 to 25%)
    • creation of resource manual, lesson plan, activity outline, demonstration of instructional skills.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Design an outdoor activity lesson including the following components:

1.1       risk management and safety considerations

1.2       learning outcomes

1.3       equipment needs

1.4       planned activities

1.5      assessment and evaluation considerations

2. Analyze and observe outdoor or alternative environment plan/organization with regard to:

2.1       risk management and safety considerations

2.2       learning outcomes

2.3       equipment needs

2.4       planned activities

2.5       assessment and evaluation options

2.6       participant affective domain

3. Demonstrate satisfactory supervisory skills during outdoor and alternative environment activities

3.1       utilize teaching models related to personal and social responsibility, cooperative learning and inquiry-based learning. 

4. Identify a number of relevant outdoor and alternative environment locations and organizational resources available for the relevant age group of teacher’s students.

5. Demonstrate basic personal movement competence in the chosen activities

6. Identify through an “ethics of care” appropriate environmental concerns and demonstrate low environmental impact strategies

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.