Assessing High-Impact Practices: The Role of Triple Loop Learning in Fostering Future Conservation Leaders
Over the past two decades, higher education institutions have codified practices that increase the attainment of outcomes associated with a holistic college education and the preparation of students for the 21st century workforce (Beitman, Gahimer & Staples, 2015). Institutions regularly focus on providing opportunities for students to contribute to their communities through civic engagement or service-learning, known as “High-impact practices”, creating added value and augmenting traditional classroom curriculum (Campus Compact, 2016; Goff, Bower & Hill, 2014). The triple loop learning model outlines three feedback loops of learning that underpin how students can assess their actions and mental models. This model proposes that most actors in collaborative conservation planning are unaware of how their individual mental models effect collaborative decision-making (Biggs et al., 2011).
In this study, we explored student learning facilitated through HIPs – research, service-learning and internships – facilitated through interdisciplinary, conservation leadership coursework provided by a public institution in the southeastern U.S. Student learning was explored from participation in the Conservation Leadership minor. Specifically, we were curious whether HIP experiences within a classroom setting, service learning field work, and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service internships throughout the southeastern U.S. aided in students “triple loop learning” (Biggs et al., 2011). Results of this study show the Conservation Leadership minor achieves its goal of providing multiple learning pathways for budding conservationists, but could be enhanced through additional stakeholder outreach, training, and engagement.
Hill, E., Plag, H., Lobova, T., Zajchowski, C., & Desocio, A. (2020). Assessing high-impact practices: The Role of triple loop learning in fostering future conservation leaders. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Leadership, 12(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2020-V12-I2-9834