Life Effectiveness Questionnaire


Neill, J. T. (2008). Enhancing life effectiveness: The Impacts of outdoor education programs. Volumes I & 2. (PhD Thesis). University of Western Sydney. 


The LEQ-H was developed by James T. Neill as part of his thesis submitted for a degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Westner Sydney in May 2008. His thesis synthesizes the literature regarding outdoor education and includes the development of the LEQ to measure life effectiveness outcomes seen in outdoor education programs. He developed two versions of the questionnaire, the LEQ-G and the LEQ-H. The LEQ-H, which is the shorter version of the , is featured here.  


Survey. The LEQ-H survey includes 24 questions utilizing an 8-point scale, asking respondents to rate a series of statements on a scale of 1 (False/Not like me) to 8 (True/Like me).


The LEQ-H can be used with adolescents, young adults and adults. 

When and how to use the tool 

This survey can be administered before and after a program to understand how the program impacts participants’ personal development over time. Alternatively, it can be administered at one point in time to gather a snapshot of participants’ self-perceptions in each outcome area. 

How to analyze 

We recommend entering survey responses into a spreadsheet using a program such as Microsoft Excel. Create a spreadsheet with 24 columns for the 24 statements and a row for each individual. Assign

each survey a , and enter each individual’s responses (ranging from 1 to 8) across the corresponding row. Enter a dot if the response was skipped.

Create an average score for each of the outcome areas for each individual.  The author has provided a table, which displays the survey that can be combined to collectively measure each of the eight key outcome areas (such as emotional control or self confidence). To do this, add up all of an individual’s responses for the set of questions in an outcome area and divide by the number of questions answered. Do not include skipped questions for which you entered a dot. The average will be between 1 and 8.

When administering the pre-experience survey and post-experience , you can conduct higher-level statistics on your data to understand if participants had significant changes in the outcome areas after their participation in the program. 

What to do next 

Once you’ve administered your survey and analyzed the data, consider the following suggestions about what to do next: 

  • If a baseline assessment shows that your audience has low scores for certain outcome areas, you might want to determine how or if to improve programing for those outcomes.
  • You could compare populations to determine if members have different scores than other groups, or if one geographic area of your is different from another. This could also provide justification for program development, marketing, or funding proposals.
  • If you used the LEQ-H to measure changes in personal development by administering it to participants before and after programming, do you see a change in scores between the and ? Keep in mind that you may not see a change, particularly if your program is short in duration or is not designed to influence each of the outcomes areas. 
  • Invite program staff or other partners to look over the data. Together you might consider:
    • What do these results tell us about our programming? Why do we think we got these results?
    • What results did we think we would get? And did these data support our goals?
    • If our results did not support our goals, can we brainstorm on areas within the programming or delivery to influence the specific outcome area? What changes should be made to programming, or how should new programs be designed?
    • What stakeholders should we reach out to for collaboratively discussing program design?
    • Who or what organizations can we share our learning with?

How to see if this tool would work with your program 

The LEQ-H can be used to measure the impact of an outdoor education program on participants’ personal development in several areas, such as time management, social competence, achievement motivation, intellectual flexibility, task leadership, emotional control, active initiative, and self confidence. 

If you seek to measure these outcomes in your program participants, we recommend reviewing each statement in the tool to determine if it is relevant. Discuss with staff to decide if the results will be useful to you, and the scale with youth ages 11 and older who represent your audience.

To pilot test, ask a small group of willing participants who are part of your target audience to talk to you as they complete the tool. What are they thinking when they read each item? What experiences come to mind when they respond? As long as this is what you expect and you will gain relevant information from your , you are on the right track! If the answers are different for each person, and they should be more similar given their experiences, you may need to look at other tools. 

Tool Tips 

  • Assess whether each of the 24 questions and eight outcome areas apply to your program. If you think only specific outcome areas apply, utilize only those questions that are included in the subscale. (See Table with questions by outcome area.)