Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Alternative Environment Physical Education

Course Code: SPSC 5396
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 2 weeks
Learning Format: Lab, Seminar, Field Experience
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this practical course, students participate in, plan, and implement a variety of alternative environment land and aquatic activities appropriate to elementary and secondary-aged students. Content areas include: risk management, organization, experiential education and environmental impact.

Course Content

1.     Outdoor and alternative environment settings

    1.1.   aquatic settings

    1.2.   land-based settings

            1.2.1.  natural

            1.2.2.  park

            1.2.3.  urban

    1.3.   seasonal considerations

    1.4.   school-based alternatives

            1.4.1.  indoor

            1.4.2.  outdoor

2.     Risk management

    2.1.   risk management process

    2.2.   standard of care

    2.3.   supervision – quality/quantity

    2.4.   risk transfer

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

    3.1.   safety considerations

    3.2.   transportation planning

    3.3.   learning outcomes

    3.4.   equipment needs

    3.5.   budgeting

    3.6.   assessment and evaluation strategies

4.     Practical topic selection will depend on instructor experience, student experience, and availability of resources. The following is a partial list 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.

    4.1.   Land-based

            4.1.1.  hiking

            4.1.2.  backpacking

            4.1.3.  rock climbing

            4.1.4.  camping

            4.1.5.  orienteering

            4.1.6.  skateboarding

            4.1.7.  rollerblading

            4.1.8.  cycling

            4.1.9.  snowshoeing

            4.1.10.    skiing

            4.1.11.    horseback riding

            4.1.12.    archery

     4.2.   Water-based

            4.2.1.  canoeing

            4.2.2.  rowing

            4.2.3.  kayaking

            4.2.4.  sailing

            4.2.5.  windsurfing

            4.2.6.  paddle boarding

    4.3.   Aquatic

            4.3.1.  survival techniques

            4.3.2.  snorkeling

            4.3.3.  water games

            4.3.4.  diving

            4.3.5.  underwater games

Methods of Instruction





Experiential learning

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 may include the following:

Practice teaching – mini lesson(s) 10-30%
Outdoor activity proposal 20-40%
Risk management assessment 15-25%
Preparation and participation 10-20%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify risk management and safety considerations while planning an outdoor activity,
  2. Align outdoor activity learning outcomes with BC Ministry of Education curricular competencies,
  3. Identify outdoor activity equipment needs for a planned activity,
  4. Match student motor-ability and the level of physical challenge for a planned activity,
  5. Match student fitness levels and the level of physical challenge for a planned activity,
  6. Plan for assessment and evaluation of an alternative environment activity,
  7. Identify possibilities for intergrating curricula (examples: math, science, arts, health, nutrition, etc.),
  8. Design an activity that integrates experiential learning theory and pedagogy,
  9. Demonstrate satisfactory supervisory skills during outdoor and alternative environment activities, and
  10. Identify a number of relevant outdoor and alternative environment locations and community resources.

course prerequisites

Enrolment in the Graduate Diploma in Physical and Health Education.

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.