Faculty Research

Faculty Research

Faculty Applied Research Projects are completed by the Recreation Studies faculty to undertake research within the recreation field that will:

  • Design new innovative, engaging recreation courses for students in the Recreation Diploma and Degree Programs. 
  • Generate connection to the recreation field for continued professional development, to enhance community relations and share research findings. 
  • Provide opportunities to co-author with partners in the field of recreation strengthening connections to the field and increased dissemination of research.
  • Connect to the Langara academic plan. 

Below are the applied research reports and proposals:

In recent years, there have been rapid advancements in the field of Artificial intelligence, including the development of Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, Articoolo, Wordsmith, Jarvis, DALL-E, Jasper, CopyAI, Rytr and others. LLMs are artificial intelligence tools that can read, summarize and translate texts and predict future words in a sentence, letting them generate sentences similar to how humans talk and write. The implications of these AI content generators for higher education are vast and can leave instructors feeling overwhelmed. This research project aims to explore the conversation around using LLMs in higher education, and whether we as instructors can or should use them in our courses.

Access the Research Project Paper here.

This is an interesting moment in time for us globally and within the recreation discipline and post-secondary institution sector. How we learn as humans is becoming more clearly understood, from neuroscience, to a renewed focus on Indigenous ways. Structures and traditional ways of teaching within post-secondary institutions are adapting in foundational ways responding to how we understand and treat the learner as well as what is possible in how we deliver opportunities to learn. Technology continues to advance and create bigger possibilities for engaging learners within on-line environments. Learning management software that dictates the structure of how instructors and students interact is evolving to offer more options for on-line learners and teachers.

Access the Research Project here.

There is not one knowledge. This work recognizes that our current understanding of recreation is deeply rooted in a narrow western colonized worldview. It advocates the value of exploring another worldview in recreation – Indigenous perspectives. And how we can incorporate that learning into our teaching in recreation. It is an invitation to a deeper exploration of how we understand recreation and the opportunity to understand recreation in a fuller way. 


Access the Research Project here.

Recreation: A Career with Purpose Joanne Edey-Nicoll


Recreation, as a field of study and career is a relatively new concept, only being in existence in British Columbia for mere decades in comparison to more established professions such as medical, education, engineering or public safety that have been around for centuries. In the early 1960’s Community Recreation 12 was established in secondary schools and the first college two-year career diploma program called the Recreation Leadership Diploma was offered to people who wanted gain certification in organized recreation. Since then, Recreation post-secondary diploma, degree and post- graduate degree programs have been developed in all the areas of the province. Recreation, as a career choice has many appealing aspects. People that work in the sector point to the flexibility and variety of jobs that are available, the meaningful work and the positive impact Recreation has on individuals and the community as a whole. They are passionate about creating healthy communities and connecting and serving diverse populations, and they thrive in work environments that are evolving and changing. They relish a challenge and enjoy jobs that are
hands-on and intrenched in the action.

With Recreation as a career choice being a relatively new concept, many people do not consider it a viable career. They do not realize that people who work in recreation save lives daily, by teaching important life skills such as swimming to children and adults, they build healthy communities by providing programs and services in beautiful parks spaces and quality recreation facilities for people to be physically active and socially connected, and they are accountable for multi-million dollar budgets, managing state of the art recreation facilities, world class park spaces and hundreds of employees. The range and variety of career options and the benefits of working in sport, recreation and event planning are endless. The question is how to educate people, who are not associated with the Recreation sector about this important work.

Changing people’s perceptions about Recreation being merely fun and games, to being a serious profession is an uphill challenge. In a recent survey, 93% of the people who work in Recreation, learned about career opportunities from a Recreation professional, or through previous work or personal experience. People currently working in the Recreation sector, Recreation educators and professional Recreation associations all have a role to play to inform those that are not familiar with the endless and rewarding career  pportunities in Recreation.


Access the Research Project here. 

The methodology we outline in this document invites creativity by providing guidelines and principles for the design of creative activities for people of all ages and levels of ability. Designing the activities is a creative process in itself and you will find your imagination engaged as you embark on the process, implementing the principles as you move forward. Spiraling both inward and outward we can attest to the effectiveness of this methodology as it has emerged directly from the processes we’ve developed and used within our practice as artists and educators.

The activities that emerge from this methodology invite participants to access their imagination and be creative through engagement within a process. These processes encourage them to explore through the use of materials, the repetition of the process, interactions with others, problem-solving and the opportunity to be fully immersed and present in the experience.

We’ve seen time and time again the benefits of being engaged in a creative process. Participants tell us how surprised they are by their level of participation and enjoyment. In spite of their initial doubts and fears that
they weren’t “good enough,” they come to a new understanding of their creative capacity through their participation.


Access the full Research Project here. 

Recreation Competencies and Learning Outcomes Joanne Edey-Nicoll & Janet Ready


In this Applied Research Project, two researchers from Langara College Recreation Studies Department worked with North Vancouver Recreation Commission (NVRC) to see how competencies required in Recreation Programming and Supervisory Positions in NVRC align with learning outcomes in Recreation Leadership Diploma /Bachelor of Recreation Management Program.

Two Frameworks were created by Researchers to explore the alignment between Competencies and Learning Outcomes. The first framework or matrix was based on a review of the current literature to see what competencies are required for recreation professionals. This matrix provided a bigger view of the recreation field and provided an opportunity to see where NVRC’s competencies for their positions fit and connect to Learning Outcomes from Langara Recreation Programs within the larger view of what could or should be required in the recreation field. The second set of matrixes were a direct comparison between competencies
in three job postings from NVRC and the Learning Outcomes from the Recreation programs at Langara.

Five interviews were conducted with Senior Managers and Directors in the Recreation Field to gain perspective on the information and the value in the Matrixes and see if there were other factors that should be considered in looking at this issue. The interviews provided support for the matrix information and gave information about “soft skills” the interviewees felt were required in the jobs that weren’t reflected in the competencies – but should be considered in hiring and teaching recreation.


Access the Full Research Project here. 

Connecting People to Nature Janet Ready


Connecting People and Nature is identified as one of the five goals in the National Recreation Framework. This is an area that is starting to grow within Community Recreation as this excerpt from the National Recreation Framework points out:

People have an inherent need to connect with the natural world and the recreation field plays a vital role in meeting that need. Connecting with nature is associated with improved cognitive, mental, and physical health, enhanced creativity and positive social behaviours. Traditionally, recreation has contributed to this goal through the provision and stewardship of outdoor places and spaces, and the development of enabling policies, programs and services related to natural environments. These activities continue to be essential components of recreation‘s role.

More recently, the need to increase appreciation of and exposure to nature through participation in the community design process has become increasingly important. Recreation contributes to creating walkable, safe, livable communities through the provision of parks, trails, waterways, community gardens and landscaped areas. Recreation supports policies, which ensure that neighbourhoods are designed to maximize opportunities for healthy, active living and exposure to nature. (National Recreation Framework p. 24)

This Applied Research Project partnered with the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) to explore what is currently happening in the BC recreation field to connect people and nature with the intention of growing knowledge, understanding and momentum within the community recreation field in this area. A secondary purpose of this research project was to provide an opportunity to share knowledge and promising practices between Parks and Recreation within the Municipal sector.


Access the full Research Project here. 


This Applied Research Project explores the productive intersections of thought and practice linking community-engaged arts, leisure and recreation in the context of municipal recreation programming. Cyndy Chwelos, Recreation Studies Faculty at Langara College and Marie Lopes, Programmer in Arts, Culture and Engagement at Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, worked together to explore current critical writings in these fields and to link theory and practice in a discussion of current artists’ projects taking place in Vancouver Park Board community centres. They present case studies examining community-engaged dance in Vancouver community centres, consider opportunities, barriers and tensions in making space for community-engaged arts in recreation, and offer recreation programmers guidelines and support in taking the first steps to work with artists on community-engaged arts projects. This research paper supports a professional development workshop at the 2016 British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association
Conference (BCRPA), and a major and conference on community-engaged dance at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in September 2016, presented in collaboration with Made in BC: Dance on Tour. The September conference, titled Leading from Beside: Community-Engaged Dance in Vancouver includes panel discussions, community dialogue and participatory workshops for recreation practitioners, community members, students, and artists. 


Access the complete Research Project here. 

The purpose of this Applied Research Project was to support the Physical Literacy Community Health Initiative in Burnaby, British Columbia. Janet Ready, Faculty and Department Chair, Recreation Studies Department, Langara College worked with the Physical Activity and Literacy Working Committee of the Burnaby Healthy Community Partnership to provide research and support for the Professional Development Day Physical Literacy Education session for Burnaby School District teachers and Recreation Practitioners from Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services on February 20, 2015.

This event marked the first time Burnaby teachers and Recreation Practitioners had worked together to look at how the concept of physical literacy could be implemented in the Burnaby Community through a multi-sector approach that included the Fraser Health Authority. For this Applied Research Project the researcher:

  •  Used the academic literature to assist in creating a definition of physical literacy that fit the scope of what the Healthy Community Partnership wanted to achieve within their community
  • Used the academic literature to create a backgrounder document that supported the concept of physical literacy in connection to recreation, health and education in the community. This was used by the committee, the panel speakers in the main PRO D session and the breakout sessions, and was posted on the conference website.
  • Coordinated the Main Physical Literacy session for the Feb. 20, 2015 PRO D day for Burnaby District School teachers (Elementary and Secondary) and Recreation Professionals from Burnaby, Parks Recreation and Cultural Services.
  • Keynote speaker for the Physical Literacy Session
  • Created and co-led the breakout session on Facilitating Play with 2 staff from Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services
  • Created and Coordinated PAL PRO D resource sheet for Physical Literacy session participants

The following document outlines the research findings and proposed recommendations based on the Applied Research Project, approved September 2014 through the Recreation Studies Department. The project researches and recommends Experiential Education opportunities for Langara Recreation Studies students. The Recreation Faculty will review the research and recommendations in April 2015; feasible initiatives will be approved and implemented 2015 onward.

It has been established that experiential and international learning experiences are pillars in the Langara College Academic Plan. This document is not rationalizing these pillars but providing research on how other institutions are providing experiential and international learning opportunities, and how the Langara College Recreation Studies Department can align with Academic Plan, become competitive in the industry, and be the College of choice for students interested in studying community recreation.

External research was collected based on program-offerings from 13 Colleges/Universities across Canada delivering Recreation Diplomas and Degrees.


College wide internal research was collected via the International Education department, Co-Op Department, Study Abroad, Langara School of Management, Recreation Studies Department, Recreation Studies Advisory Group, Faculty and Administration. Interviews and focus groups with students from the Recreation Studies Program were also conducted.


Access the complete Research Project here. 

The purpose of BCRPA Performance Measurement Project is to develop accountable and compelling measures to support the outcomes and benefits of parks, recreation and cultural services and facilities.

The initial BCRPA Performance Measurement report (H. Krueger & Associates, 2013) was presented to Parks, Culture and Recreation Directors and Senior Staff in a Forum in Whistler, BC in April 2013. The participants saw value in the project and the initial report and suggested that BCRPA demonstrate how the data could be used.

They recommended that the evidence-based data be used to advocate, inform, and educate political leaders, community members and other organizations about the value and impact that Parks, Culture and Recreation services has on communities. It was also recommended that the data could be used to engage other sectors to work in partnership with the Parks, Culture and Recreation sector to realize common goals. The participants
further suggested that BCRPA partner with post-secondary institutions for future phases of the Performance Measurement Project.

The initial BCRPA Performance Measurement report (H. Krueger & Associates, 2013) identified three primary benefits associated with parks, culture and recreation services:

  1. enhanced mental and physical health and wellbeing
  2. families and communities that are healthy, inclusive, welcoming, resilient and
    well planned
  3. a relationship with the natural environment in which nature is protected, nurtured,
    understood, and appreciated

Access the complete Research Project here.