The effect of processed adventure-based experiential learning on personal effectiveness outcomes
Weilbach, Johannes Theron
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Limited scientific research regarding the effectiveness of Adventure-Based Experiential Learning (AEL) as an instrument to develop personal effectiveness exists. Furthermore, little attention have been given to factors that influence the effectiveness of these programmes. As a result the purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly the study aimed to determine whether AEL is effective in improving the personal effectiveness of participants scientifically. The Review of Personal Effectiveness with Locus of Control (Richards et al., 2002) was used to determine the personal effectiveness of participants. For the first article 23 adolescents currently enrolled in a post-matric development centre were studied. The study consisted of an experimental (n=12) and control group (n=11). The experimental group participated in a five day low risk AEL programme in an urban setting. Pre-post test effect sizes showed that the experimental group experienced significant (d=0.80) development in four areas and medium (d=0.50) development in nine areas of personal development, compared to one medium effect size for the control group. Secondly, the study investigated whether a processed AEL programme will produce higher short-term outcomes in terms of personal effectiveness than a non-processed programme. For the second article a processed experimental group (n=12), a non-processed experimental group (n=12) and a control group (n=11) were studied. The experimental groups participated in identical Jive day low risk AEL programmes, with one group receiving group processing after each activity while the other experimental group did not. Pre-post test effect sizes for the processed experimental group indicated significant improvements (d=0.80) in four constructs and medium improvements (d=0.50) in nine constructs. The non-processed experimental group achieved significant improvements (d=0.80) in one construct and medium improvements (d=0.50) in two constructs. Results indicate the importance of processing for the attainment of AEL programme outcomes. Research into the effect of AEL design and duration as well as the amount and type of processing on outcomes is recommended.
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