Nature Walks as a Tool for Stimulating Learning Outside of the Classroom

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Patrick C Owen

Abstract

I conducted a pilot study on college students taking an introductory biology course.  I explored the impact of instructing students about fungi and plant biology on a nature walk compared to teaching the same material in a classroom setting.  Despite associated challenges of an outdoor environment, nature walk-based instruction was as effective as classroom-based instruction in terms of content mastered by the students.  Additionally, the students receiving nature walk-based instruction reported more positive attitudes toward the material despite potential drawbacks such as distractions, temperature extremes, and disgust toward environmental stimuli.  Thus, outdoor instruction should be considered a viable alternative to classroom-based instruction for any topic that references the natural environment. 

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Section
Articles
Author Biography

Patrick C Owen, University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College

Biology Department

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