Groundbreaking research on adventure learning is being conducted by Dr. Aaron Doering within the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Minnesota, leading to the following three papers:
Abstract: Adventure learning is an educational approach that provides learners with opportunities to explore real-world issues through authentic learning experiences within collaborative online learning environments. This paper clearly defines this online educational approach by identifying six principles in the instructional design process that are needed to create an effective adventure learning environment. Also examined is how adventure learning can lead to meaningful learning in the K-12 classroom. Lastly, the adventure learning web site, PolarHusky.com, is showcased, noting the features of its online curriculum and learning environment.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the classroom use of an adventure learning site in K-12 classrooms. Surveys of 228 respondents who used the online curriculum in 300 separate courses, 21 interviews, and three classroom observations were analyzed. Who integrated the online curriculum and learning environment, how it was integrated, and the features of the online classroom that were integrated most frequently and why are reported. Results illustrate the adventure learning project appeared to have a special appeal and applicability to elementary and exceptional classrooms. The majority of classes either used it as an enrichment opportunity for students (47.3% of classes) or a supplement to current course material (37.0% of classes) and the majority of the classes (56.7%) used it at least once or twice per week. Media and text about the polarhuskies and weekly updates were utilized most frequently with at least 48.5% of the classes reporting doing each four or more times per week.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the adventure learning (AL) project, PolarHusky, which used motivational factors such as the polarhuskies (the sled dogs), the real-time delivery of far-away places, and the collaboration with educators, experts, and other students. The instructional designers of PolarHusky designed their AL project with Kellerís motivational principles in mind. This study reports 1) how student motivation is related to the student and teacher characteristics of those who used this online adventure learning environment and 2) how motivation is related to the ways in which the adventure learning environment was used within the classroom. Surveys of 228 respondents who used the online curriculum in 300 separate courses, 21 interviews, and three classroom observations were analyzed.