Understanding the Impact of an Online Level 1 Coach Education Award on Dodgeball Coaches’ Learning and Practice

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Thomas M. Leeder School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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Lee C. Beaumont School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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Ciaran M.C. Maloney School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

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Improved internet access and technological advancements have significantly influenced coaches’ learning opportunities, with numerous online coach education courses now available. Despite this, we know little about coaches’ experiences of such provision and how it shapes coach learning. Consequently, the aim of this research is to understand the impact of an online Level 1 coach education award on dodgeball coaches’ learning and practice. Data were collected via an online qualitative survey involving 57 dodgeball coaches who had completed the award, alongside follow-up virtual semistructured interviews with eight coaches. Following a reflexive thematic analysis process drawing upon the theoretical framework of Jennifer Moon, three themes were generated: (a) a surface or deep approach? Understanding dodgeball coaches’ experiences of the Level 1 award, (b) coaches’ preferences and learning styles: a barrier for online coach education, and (c) enhancing the impact of online coach education: assessment and postaward support. Findings indicate that the award’s impact on learning and practice varied depending upon coaches’ cognitive structures, which influenced their perceptions toward the value of online provision. Although coaches’ experiences were generally positive, authentic assessment(s) and mentoring opportunities were proposed to further enhance the award’s impact.

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