Transformation of KIN469: Exercise Prescription

TitleTransformation of KIN469: Exercise Prescription
Duration2 Year
Project Summary

KIN 469 sought to transform the traditional lecture format of course delivery by developing and incorporating online delivery of lecture material, demonstration videos, readings and resources, discussion activities, online quizzes, and reflective journals. The result was a partial flip of the classroom that enabled the instructor to spend greater amounts of class time fostering the use of problem- and team-based learning. The transformation of this program also helped students, alumni, and community service partners better share and leverage ongoing work and information within the course to develop and maintain an ongoing repository of educational material.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2013/2014
Year 1: Project TypeLarge TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorPaul Kennedy
Year 1: Funded Amount21,177
Year 1: Team Members

Paul Kennedy, Senior Instructor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Education
Sarah Koch, Course TA and Project Assistant, Kinesiology, Faculty of Education

Project ReportReport-2013-FL-Kennedy-WEB.pdf
Project Outcomes

Products & achievements: Five PowerPoint presentations with voice-over on: concepts around health and wellness; what it means to be physically active; process for conducting a physical fitness test; health issues that can arise during pregnancy; exercise prescription guidelines for individuals dealing with obesity.

Intended outcomes/themes:

  1. For students:

Application of material: The KIN 469 course examines how to design activity plans for individuals dealing with health issues.  First, we discuss how to assess an individual’s fitness using modified aerobic, strength and flexibility protocols. Then, we try and define what safe and effective exercise is for individuals dealing with an underlying health issue using available scientific data. Finally, we develop an exercise program with the aim of improving an individual’s physical, mental and social health. Instead of providing students with the material through a lecture format, students will discover the issues by asking questions and discovering the information in online presentations.

  1. For teaching assistant:

Counseling and supporting students: The TA would have a better sense of what was covered in class and this would enable the TA to be more effective when meeting with students to address specific questions about class content.

Getting involved in class discussions and activities: by switching the focus of each class away from a lecture-style format and moving towards whole class discussions and small group activities.

  1. For the instructor:

The focus of the class: No longer is the instructor at the center of it all.  Instead of being the “sage on the stage” the instructor is more of a “guide on the side”.  The flip will allow a more student-centered approach to be applied to the KIN 469 course.

Evaluation approach: A survey was completed by the students enrolled in the courses impacted by this project. The survey instrument included Likert scales on student perceptions and attitudes towards the new materials and class activities. The survey also included a few open ended for deeper exploration of student perceptions and experiences.

Findings: Students generally agreed that the flipped class style made it easier to understand the course content, but it was evidenced that rather than the online presentations, it was the in-class discussions that were the most effective in helping students apply the course concepts. Students also felt challenged by the course, but there was not to agreement among students about a flipped class being more work than other classes that use a traditional, lecture-style approach. There was a slight agreement that the flipped approach helped students learn more than they would normally do with lecture methods only, and agreement was strong about this course actively involving students in what they were learning.

Many of the students commented on the increased interaction in class and the frequency of the discussions. There seemed to be a split between those students that found the online lectures to be pointless versus those that would like to see more videos uploaded to Connect. Many students appeared to really like the inclusion of the online lectures are would like to see more of them. Additionally, a number of students suggested incorporating quizzes to encourage the class to watch the lectures before class.

The PI’s teaching practices have changed as a result of this experience.  After a few years struggling to connect with KIN 469 and trying several different approaches to reach out to the students, finally things changed this past year. The student feedback received at the end of the year was overwhelmingly positive. This flipped approach seemed to excite the students and create a level of engagement and energy in the classroom. The PI feels quite confident using the same approach in years to come only making minor adjustments to the delivery (and updating the activities). This approach is sustainable for several reasons. First, the students enjoy it, appear to be learning the material, and are challenged more by the class. Lastly, the PI has developed expertise with screen capture technology, so it will be easy to put something together again. The instructor is also spending less time building lecture slides and have more time to dedicate elsewhere (i.e. marking, student meetings, etc.).

Dissemination: There are no current plans to disseminate the outcomes of this project.

Sustainability: KIN 469 will continue to be taught using a flipped classroom approach. Also, this term the PI is teaching a first year course in biomechanics.  While the class has not yet been totally flipped, the PI has created online presentations to help students review the material on their own, and plan to do a partial flip with the KIN 151 course. The PI will also be developing a new course for next year and plan to incorporate flexible learning in that course. The PI is planning on conducting formal evaluation of the project so that results of this transformation can be shared with others.