94111 - Experiential and Outdoor (Nature-Based) Education and Training

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Giannino Melotti (Modulo 1) Alessandra Gigli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Rimini
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Expert in Social and Cultural Education (cod. 5727)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - has acquired the following competences concerning educational and training interventions carried out with experiential and nature-based (outdoor) methodologies; - knows the psychological and pedagogical fundamentals of the aforementioned approaches; - knows the fundamentals of group psychology of the aforementioned approaches; - distinguishes the types of intervention that can be carried out in the different contexts of socio-educational work and in the field of training; - defines adequate project frameworks and knows the main methodological and relational aspects that distinguish these settings and both individual and group dimensions; - acquires basic notions to conduct, design and evaluate these activities; - is able to carry out critical reviews and self-assessment and self-monitoring activities.

Course contents

The course consists of two modules.


Module 1: The contribution of social psychology of groups in outdoor and adventure education projects (Prof. G. Melotti):

The following topics will be covered in the teaching:

  • rudiments of Social Psychology of Groups;
  • the group dynamics that are activated during experiential activities in nature: analogies and specificities in socio-educational, therapeutic and training projects;
  • il potenziale delle esperienze educative in natura: aspetti teorici e metodologiciadolescents (and their characteristics) as a privileged target for nature-based experiential projects;
  • outdoor training as an intervention tool in the field of vocational training: characteristics, different types, examples of intervention.


MODULE 2: Experiential and nature-based pedagogy and adventure education in extracurricular settings (Prof. A. Gigli).

The following topics will be addressed in the course of the course:

  • the pedagogical foundations of experiential and nature-based pedagogy and the ecological education approach
  • the different types of nature-based interventions in extracurricular settings and specific terminology
  • the potential of educational experiences in nature: theoretical and methodological aspects.
  • adventure education in extracurricular educational groups: planning, phases of work, professional skills, settings, evaluation.


In both modules, examples of nature based educational and/or therapeutic projects for vulnerable and non vulnerable groups (deviants, addicts, disabled, institutionalised etc.) will be presented;


Module 1 (Prof. G. Melotti)

Obligatory texts (for all students: attending, non-attending, Erasmus):

    • Malaguti, D, (2018). Fare squadra. Psicologia dei gruppi di lavoro. Bologna: il Mulino.
    • Rotondi M. (2004). Formazione outdoor: apprendere dall'esperienza: teorie, modelli, tecniche, best practices. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Recommended reading:

  • Bortolotti, A. (2019) Outdoor Education Storia, ambiti, metodi. Guerini e Associati, Milano

  • Pandimiglio, M (2018). Modus navigandi. Per una pedagogia del mare. Hoepli, Milano

Additional material may be provided during the lectures and will also be made available on https://virtuale.unibo.it/ and may be examined.


Module 2 (Prof.ssa A. Gigli):

The teaching involves the study of all the following texts/materials (for all students: attending, non-attending, Erasmus):


  • Ferrante A., Galimberti A., Gambacorti Passerini M. (2022) ECOLOGIE DELLA FORMAZIONE, Franco Angeli (parte 1 da pag 9 a 91)
  • Gigli A. (2018), L' adventure education nel lavoro socio educativo: riflessioni pedagogiche ed esperienze, in: In Farné R., Boltolotti A., Terrusi M., (a cura di): Outdoor Education: prospettive teoriche e buone pratiche, Roma, Carocci Editore. (Da pagina 119 a pagina 138)
  • Gigli A., Melotti G., Borelli C., (2020) Lo stato dell’arte dei progetti nature-based in ambito educativo, formativo, terapeutico e ricreativo in Italia: quadro concettuale e una possibile categorizzazione dei settori/contesti. [https://cris.unibo.it/handle/11585/764750] In «FORMAZIONE & INSEGNAMENTO», 2020, XVIII – 1 – 2020. (articolo) (16 pagine)
  • other content and materials (e.g. handouts for further study) that are part of the syllabus, which will be uploaded to the virtual teaching space in the module 2 part).


Teaching methods

The presentation of content through lectures will be complemented by group work, presentations, film and video viewings, and further reading.
Methods used: lectures / interactive sessions / group work
Attendance and active participation in the lessons is highly recommended in order to facilitate the study of the examination texts and to take advantage of the opportunity for comparison and exchange among peers.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of a written test consisting of two separate parts (module 1 and module 2).

The examination for the two modules must always be taken at the same time (same call): the examination is a single examination (8cfu).

Please note that in the event of a partial pass in the test (e.g. Module 1 sufficient and Module 2 insufficient), it will not be possible to keep the mark obtained in the Module that was sufficient for the following roll call.

The examination will be held in person (in the classroom).

How to register for the examination

In order to sit the exam, it will be necessary to register in Alma Esami https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm . Please note that for written examinations registration closes one week before the date of the examination.

Examination procedure Module 1 (Prof. Melotti):

The examination involves a written paper/pencil test and consists of two open-ended questions. The time available to answer the two questions is 1 hour from the start of the Module 2 examination. Both answers will be marked in thirtieths and the final mark (partial because it relates to Module 2) will be the average of the two marks.

Examination Modalities Module 2 (Prof. Gigli):


The examination is a written test and consists of a test with 31 questions (multiple-choice, true-false, insertion of missing words, or short answer) to be completed within 35 minutes of the start of the Module 2 test.

Students* in the classroom must have a device (preferably a tablet or notebook, but also a smartphone) available to take the test on the Exams on Line platform (https://eol.unibo.it/ ). Those without a device for taking the exam are requested to write to the lecturer well in advance before the roll call.

Once the quiz has been completed, the student may still revise it before handing it in.

The Module 2 test lasts 35 minutes.

Grading criteria:

The grade will be given by the number of correct answers (all 31 correct answers equals 30 with honours; 18 correct answers equals 18). Missed answers are equivalent to incorrect answers (0 points).

Examination results

The exam result will be visible in Alma Esami within a few days of the end of the exam.


Please note that once the grades have been published in Alma Esami, once the deadline for acceptance and/or rejection has passed, the teacher will still record the unrejected grades (due to the rule of silent consent).

Attending and non-attending students

The course programme and examination procedures are the same for students and non-attending students.

Erasmus students:

 the course programme and examination procedures are the same as for other students (good knowledge of Italian is required).

Teaching tools

slides, videos and any supplementary material that will be uploaded on virtuale.unibo.it

Office hours

See the website of Giannino Melotti

See the website of Alessandra Gigli


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.