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The Impact of Low Ropes Course Training on Team Development.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
A low ropes course is one type of facility used in conducting experiential education. Experiential education is similar to andor synonymous with experiential learning, action learning, outdoor training, and adventure based learning. For the purposes of this study, they will be used interchangeably. Experiential learning is a powerful and exciting methodology used in education, counseling, training, therapy, and team development by organizations ranging from elementary schools to Fortune 100 companies. Providers and participants alike feel good about what they experience in experiential education. Testimonial and anecdotal evidence claim that experiential training is valid and reliable Priest, Aftarian, and Schubert, 1993. However, this is not enough to sustain and improve on the methodology. Much greater insight is needed to determine the best approaches to use and how much and often it should be used. The present study investigates how experiential team building conducted on a low ropes course affects team development. It was hypothesized that a 3 hour experiential training exercise would affect team development as measured by both the Horizontal Team Member Exchange II HMX-2 and Team Development Inventory TDI instruments. The subjects were 127 undergraduate students assigned to either a control or experimental group. The experimental group received a 3 hour experiential training curriculum designed to enhance their teamwork skills. Results showed significantly positive increases in team development for the experimental group on both instruments. The control group results showed no significant change in team development on either instrument. These results and suggestions for future research on team development are discussed.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE