Leisure, Recreation, and Health

Course Description

This course will stimulate your thinking about the meaning of leisure in your life. Leisure today and historically has been central to the human experience. It is an elemental experience, essential to the total well-being of every person; it is a reflection and expression of the cultural values of a society; it is an important vehicle for medical treatment. Leisure and recreation services are also essential for healthy communities in terms of social climate, environmental quality, and economic stability. Leisure services comprise one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world, whether measured in dollars spent, persons served, hours of time devoted, or resources used. The study of leisure and recreation is a broad discipline, combining diverse fields of study and professional practice.

Note: This course can be taken by SCPS students for two of the following SCPS competences: A3D; H3F; H4; S1X. For information on these SCPS competences and how they are addressed in this course, click here.

The course can also be taken by non-SCPS students for credit in the Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI) domain of DePaul's Liberal Studies Program. For information on the SCBI domain and how its learning outcomes will be addressed in this course, click here.

Course Learning Goals

This course intends to provide students opportunities to develop learning outcomes associated with the Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI) Liberal Studies requirements (formerly Self, Society, and Modern World, SSMW), SCPS liberal learning competencies, and core skills in communication, inquiry, experiential learning, and decision-making. This course particularly emphasizes development of persuasive writing and critical thinking skills. 

After completing this course, you will be able to:

SCPS Course Competencies

SCPS Students will develop up to two of the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can assess the assumptions and implications of a significant thinker's ideas about work or leisure.

Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the multiple meanings of leisure as they relate to work in contemporary society 

Demonstrates a conceptual understanding of leisure theory and the implication to practice in the learners' life


Can understand the interrelationship among intellectual, psychological, spiritual, and physical health in one's own life.

Demonstrates a conceptual understanding of the importance of leisure in shaping who we are as human beings

Demonstrates the ability to apply the constructs of leisure to developing ones' sense of wellness


Can analyze power relations among racial, social, cultural, or economic groups in the United States.

Demonstrates an understanding of how leisure can be a source for power differentials and social injustice

Demonstrates an understanding of how higher education contributes to power differentials in leisure behavior and administration throughout society


To be written by the student and the faculty.

This competence allows students to create statements that meet their specific learning needs. Specific facets will be determined once the competence statement has been agreed upon.

Following are sample statements which can be used but are not required:

Can use the scientific method to investigate the impact of leisure on operational systems or organic relationships

Can analyze and describe the environmental impact of leisure activities using scientific principles

Can analyze and describe the health implications of leisure engagement using scientific methods

How the Competencies will be Demonstrated in this Course

In keeping with SCPS's Lifelong Learning and Liberal Learning framework, you will engage in College Writing, Critical Thinking, Collaborative Learning and Inquiry/Research, incorporating concepts from Arts and Ideas (philosophies of work and leisure), Human Community (social science, history, power and justice) and Scientific World (scientific investigation) domains.

Competence-based assignments in this course are of four types:

Liberal Studies Learning Outcomes (for Liberal Studies Program Students)

This course may be taken by non-SCPS students for 4 hours credit in the Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI) domain of DePaul’s Liberal Studies Program.

Courses in the Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry domain focus on the mutual impact of society and culture on individuals, and of individuals on society and culture. Particular attention is given to human relationships and behavior as they are influenced by social, economic and political institutions, spatial and geographical factors, and the events and social and cultural forces at play in the contemporary world. The domain emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge through the development of theory and empirical investigation of the contemporary world. Courses in the domain explore such particular issues as poverty and economic opportunity, the environment, nationalism, racism, individual alienation, gender differences, and the bases of conflict and consensus in complex, urban societies and in global relations.

SCBI Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

The achievement of SCBI learning outcome will be though critical reflection assignments, completion all course modules, participation in course discussions, written assignments, a final project, and self and peer evaluations. For assessment criteria click here.

SCBI Written Expectations

Students in the SCBI Learning Domain courses will demonstrate that they have mastered one or more of the learning outcomes through writing, of which a minimum of ten pages is required.

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to http://depaul-loop.bncollege.com

Required Reading

Ruth V. Russell, (2012). Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, 5th Ed. Sagamore Publishing: Champaign, IL.

The book below is available through a course e-reserves link located in Module 7 Required Readings, you do NOT need to purchase this book.

Dan K. Hibbler, (2002). Unsilencing the Dialogue: Voices of Minority Faculty. Miami: Florida International University Center for Urban Education & Innovation Press.

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Course Structure

Week, Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1:

Establish Baseline Knowledge for Significance of Leisure

1.1 Personal Introduction Discussion

1.1 Discovery Event and Worksheet

1.2 Discovery Event Discussion

Week 2, Module 2:

The Meanings of Leisure & The Value of Having Fun

Read Russell, Ruth V. Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapters 1 & 2

2.1 Reflect on Meaning of Leisure in Society and to the Individual Discussion

2.2 Discuss some of the benefits of leisure including happiness, freedom, pleasure, and spirituality (Chapter 2)

Week 3, Module 3:

Leisure Explanations

Read Russell, Ruth V. Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapters 3 & 4

Watch the TED talk discussed in Box 4.5 (p. 81 in Pastimes)

3.1 Leisure Activity Description

3.2 Discussion Take the VALS survey discussed in Box 3.2 (p. 55 of Pastimes)

3.3 Leisure Theories and Applications Discussion
Begin Assignment 8.1 Leisure Activity Reflection Paper

Begin Assignment 9.1 Final Project

Week 4, Module 4:

Leisure as a Cultural Mirror

Read Russell, Ruth V. Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapters 5 & 6

4.1 Final Project Proposal

4.2 Leisure's Significance

4.3 Leisure Activity Class Discussion

Week 5, Module 5:
Popular Culture and Taboo Recreation

Read Russell, Ruth V. Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapters 8 & 9

View The Lost Children of Rockdale County. (Please note: that there are 20 seconds of dead air before the program begins)

5.1 Popular Culture

5.2 Common Taboo Leisure Activities & Impact Discussion

5.3 Leisure Activity Class Discussion

Week 6, Module 6:
Leisure as Instrument

Read Russell, Ruth V. Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapters 10 & 11

Read Recreation Programming, Chapter 4

6.1 Leisure and Career Assessment Discussion

6.2 Multitasking Leisure

Week 7, Module 7:
Leisure Systems

Read Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapter 13

Read Unsilencing the Dialogue: Voices of Minority Faculty

7.3 Leisure Activity Entire Class Discussion

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 1 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 2 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 3 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 4 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 5 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Group 6 Activity

7.3 Benefits-Based Programming Entire Class Discussion

Week 8, Module 8:
Leisure and Equity

Read Pastimes: The Context of Contemporary Leisure, Chapter 12

8.1 Reflection Paper

8.2 Leisure and Equity Discussion

8.3 Author Discussion

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Maria T. Allison

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Carlos Ivan Ramos

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Corliss Wilson Outley

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Ladd G. Colston

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Rene Fukuhara Dahl

8.3 Author Group Discussion - Myron F. Floyd

Week 9, Module 9

9.1 Peer Evaluation for Group Work

Week 10, Module 10:
Life Satisfaction and Overall Well-being

10.1 Final Project

10.2 Final Project Discussion

To see course due dates, click on the Checklist link on the top navigation bar.  This page contains module-specific checklists and due dates for the work due in the course.


The course is designed to be participatory and interactive. A variety of instructional methods will be used in the course, including class discussions, case studies, group activities, videos, and presentations.
You will be asked to:

  1. Complete the reading assignments and submit reaction papers as assigned
  2. Participate in a new leisure activity
  3. Actively participate in class discussions and projects
  4. Complete a final project and discussion.

Students will be given credit for participation in class discussions. Each student has a professional obligation to participate in discussions unless prevented from doing so because of an illness or extenuating personal circumstances. Failure to complete all assignments and discussions will compromise the student's mastery of the material, and adversely affect his or her performance in the course. Announcements may include changes in assignment dates and/or content, changes in reading assignments or other important material. Unawareness of an announcement posted on the Desire2Learn course site will not be an acceptable excuse for any failure to meet course requirements.

Grading Policies and Practices

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline.  In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.
Points are deducted for late work.

Assessment Criteria for Class Assignments and Activities:

1. Leisure Activity Reflection Paper (25 points)

Students will be required to research leisure activities that meet their interest. They will then be asked to participate for a minimum of 10 hours in a leisure pursuit that they have not previously experienced. Students will then write a 3 page reflection paper with emphasis on the learning experience and its contribution to their well-being. Further information on the assignment will be provided.

2. Final Project/Discussion (50 points)

Students will complete a 5 page research paper and discussion related to their registered competencies. The project and discussion will be customized by each student in consultation with the instructor. Each student will submit to the instructor a project proposal that will be negotiated and agreed upon given the students interest and registered competencies. Each student will prepare a 5 page paper and discussion explaining the research process and results findings of the project. Further information on the project will be provided.

3. Class Exercises, Reaction Papers and Discussion (25 points)

Class exercises, discussions and reaction papers will require ongoing online participation. Most papers and discussions will be related to the content covered during that module including material covered in the readings.

Assessment Criteria for Each Competence (Liberal Studies Students Will be Assessed on A3D and H4)

If you opt to address A3D:

If you opt to address H3F:

if you opt to address H4:

If you opt to address S1X:

Grading Plan



Leisure Activity Reflection  Paper


Final Project & Discussion


Class Exercises, Reaction Papers and Discussion




General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as–needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback–by–Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email.

Obviously, the tutors won’t necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you’ll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit http://condor.depaul.edu/writing/.

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week. For requirements on your participation in the Discussion Forums, please see "Course Expectations" in the syllabus.
A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask 'process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. Please feel free to answer any question if you feel you know the answer; this sharing of information is valuable to other students.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

In online discussions, you will clearly and consistently link what you are learning in the course, including course readings, to your real life experiences. These discussions are a place for you to exchange reflections with others in the class.

Specifically, in order to receive credit for participation in the online discussion parts of the course it is important that:

Online Participation Guidelines

The class Discussion is the forum for your participation, analysis and application of information in this class. It is the equivalent of our classroom.

Three discussions will help you get off to a good start on the course:

Helpful Hints for Successful and Insightful Online Discussions

Course Expectations

Time Management and Attenance

SCPS's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SCPS involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SCPS welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SCPS's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SCPS can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online Courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SCPS Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:


Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.


Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SCPS undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SCPS students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:
There are three SCPS courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SCPS courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SCPS's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SCPS offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002

Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see: http://research.depaul.edu/

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for Continuing and Professional Studies Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SCPS Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.


This course was designed and produced by Dr. Dan Hibbler and staff at SCPS of the Schoolfor Continuing and Professional Studiesof DePaul University.

©2014 School for Continuing and Professional Studies, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SCPS during contractual interval with the Author.

Printed in the USA.