Exploring students experiences of learning in outdoor places on a university campus

Trudy Ambler, Rhian Webb, Eloise Hummell, Greg Robertson, Steve Bailey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


The creation and renovation of learning spaces is currently a priority for educators working in higher education. While indoor learning environments continue to develop, one place rarely considered as integral to learning, teaching and research is the outdoor campus. The research reported in this paper used photographic images and autobiographical stories to explore the contribution of the outdoor campus to student learning. The findings indicate that students, who frequented outdoor campus places and made use of the facilities and the landscape, were afforded opportunities for holistic and transformative learning that contributed to a sense of wellbeing and belonging. The outdoor campus is a precious resource because it influences the overall student learning experience and impacts on the quality of graduates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and development in higher education
Subtitle of host publicationthe place of learning and teaching
EditorsS. Frielick, N. Buissink-Smith, P. Wyse, J. Billot, J. Hallas, E. Whitehead
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherHigher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)0908557930
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventHERDSA Annual International Conference (36th : 2013) - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 1 Jul 20134 Jul 2013


ConferenceHERDSA Annual International Conference (36th : 2013)
CityAuckland, New Zealand


  • Outdoor places
  • higher education
  • student learning


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