Program evaluation in adventure therapy/Introduction

Introduction to Program Evaluation in Adventure Therapy

Workshop presented to Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy (AABAT) National Forum: 'Widening the Lens'
22–25 March, 2013, Grantville, Victoria, Australia

Type classification: this is a workshop resource.

Presenter information Edit

James Neill is a lecturer in the Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra. James' research examines processes and outcomes of outdoor, experiential, and nature-based programs. Website:

Daniel Bowen has a 1st class Honours degree in Psychology and is currently in the second year of a Clinical Psychology PhD in the Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra. Daniels’ research focuses on the effectiveness of adventure therapy programs in Australia. Website:

Key words Edit

Program evaluation, Program development, Bush adventure therapy hellooooo

Abstract Edit

Program evaluation is often used as a means of examining program effectiveness, staff competence, and demonstrating specific outcomes to funding agencies and program clients. But a lot of time programs have difficulty achieving such evaluation processes due to vague outcomes, inappropriate measurement tools, and a lack of support in areas that fall outside of personal expertise. This workshop will engage participants in a series of processes that will help them design effective program evaluation methods for their specific programs, as well as alert program staff to resources for accessible tools that can aid in program evaluation processes and outcomes. Along with this content and methodology, resources for the establishment of informal and formal ongoing support services will be provided to continue the learning and growth of participants in various areas of program evaluation of bush adventure therapy programs.

Resources Edit

  1. Program evaluation (Wilderdom)
  2. Program evaluation in adventure therapy (Workshop materials - Google docs)
  3. Evaluation Support Scotland - Support guides
  4. Outcomes star
  5. Program evaluation guide (Carter MacNamara)

Outline Edit

  1. Introduction to program evaluation in BAT (45 mins):
    1. What is it?
    2. Why do it?
    3. What methods are there?
    4. How can data be analysed?
    5. How can results be used?

Examples Edit

  1. Consider example program evaluation studies and available tools and resources. (45 mins) e.g.,
    1. Tumbelin
    2. PCYC Bornhoffen

Workshop needs Edit

  1. Opportunity to workshop your own program evaluation needs. (30 mins)