MSc Student Surveys for Outdoor Learning Success

Hi, I am a MSc  student studying Outdoor Environmental and sustainability education at Edinburgh University.

Firelighting in discover bushcraft class, Vogrie park.


For the past month I have had the pleasure of joining the Midlothian Outdoor learning service as a placement student gaining valuable experience working with a professional outfit. I have been hiking in the Pentland hills on the john Muir awards, Climbing at Ratho, and helped teach bush craft at Vogrie park.

I have had such a great time it hardly feels like work (cleaning all the gear after felt a little bit like work!). The team has really taken me under their collective wing and I have learned a great deal from these talented educators.

The large age range and learning abilities the service teaches has given me a great deal of valuable experience.

As part of my placement work I was asked to create a feedback system to help the service ensure they are continuing to deliver the best of educational outcomes and create the friendly atmosphere they are famous for. The system uses an Ipad connected  to an online quiz/survey website . We created a virtual classroom which is accessed by a code the student types in. The questions are designed to check that the service is achieving the learning outcomes that connect to what the students are learning in the school’s curriculum.

John Muir Award -Penicuik High School S1 class at Bonaly reservoir
John Muir Award -Penicuik High School S1 class at Bonaly reservoir

This connection of the two styles of learning is the huge difference between outdoor learning and a nice day out. it is very important to the service that they can monitor outcomes.

So if you see an Ipad passed around after a day out, it is just an anonymous feedback system which helps the service provide the best service they can.

kids! –  Cheers – Steve Allen