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Introduction to the Special Issue: Global Perspectives in Sport Management Education

Carrie LeCrom and Michael Naylor

There is no doubt that sport has become a global industry. Therefore, it is crucial that global perspectives be integrated into sport management education, which is no doubt occurring. However, little has been published to date on the impact and effectiveness of curricular strategies aimed at internationalizing sport management education. This special issue provides sport management faculty with thoughtful dialogue on how they can educate their students for what has become an ever-changing global landscape. The articles in this issue capture global perspectives representing the breadth of activity across a burgeoning dimension of sport management education. The authors have used a variety of research designs that, taken together, provide a wide-angle lens on the nature of global sport management education and how effective it can be.

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Internationalizing Sport Management Programs: No Longer a Luxury, But a Necessity

W. James (Jim) Weese

Sport participation, consumption, and management are internationally focused, and the popularity of sport on an international scale shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, there is evidence that the internationalization of sport is rapidly increasing. Most North American institutions of higher learning are similarly focused and have internationalization as a high strategic priority. One could argue that sport management academic programs have not kept pace with these developments that have influenced our field and environment. While progress has been made, there is more to be done. The author chronicles the developments in the internationalization of both sport and higher education and offers eight suggestions to help sport management academicians effectively and efficiently internationalize their programs. Implementing some or all of these suggestions may better prepare graduates in their future endeavors and more effectively align sport management programs with the goals of their respective institution. Internationalization of the discipline would hold useful and practical applications for sport management students and programs.

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Volume 14 (2020): Issue 2 (Oct 2020): Special Issue: Global Perspectives in Sport Management Education

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Internationalization of the Sport Management Labor Market and Curriculum Perspectives: Insights From Germany, Norway, and Spain

Olivia Wohlfart, Sandy Adam, Jorge García-Unanue, Gregor Hovemann, Berit Skirstad, and Anna-Maria Strittmatter

This study applies “Europeanness” to the analysis of internationalization in the sport management labor market and which changes this trend necessitates for sport management curricula. The authors employed an analysis of 30 semistructured interviews with key informants from Germany, Norway, and Spain. The results reveal various effects of internationalization on the sport sector and highlight the richness and diversity in the three countries. Sport management graduates need to possess a diverse set of competencies for successfully starting their careers. In addition to subject-specific knowledge, generic competencies such as the ability to work in a team, being able to communicate in diverse languages, and having intercultural skills are important. The article discusses knowledge of international sport organizations, their governance, global trends, and intercultural and language competencies, as well as international sport event management as identified themes and proposes specific curriculum changes to promote educational outcomes of sport management programs.

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Enhancing Holistic Learning Through a Sport Management Short-Term Study Abroad

Daniel L. Springer, Arden J. Anderson, Stuart M. Dixon, Stacy M. Warner, and Marlene A. Dixon

Sport management scholars have called for educators and students to increase their global perspectives to better reflect the globalization of the industry. Short-term study abroad trips represent an alternative to long-term study abroad trips and help address financial and temporal barriers associated with longer trips. Based on a holistic model of study abroad, the current study examined the associated outcomes of an intentional pretrip and in-trip design for sport management undergraduate students in a short-term study abroad program. Utilizing a mixed-methods design, the researchers asked students on a short-term trip to complete journals and an online survey regarding their cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal outcomes and corresponding experiences. Results indicate that students demonstrated learning in all three areas and highlight the importance for educators to identify opportunities to assist students in making meaning of their experiences and the corresponding lessons associated with those experiences. These findings provide guidance for educators on how intentionally planning pretrip and in-trip lessons can enhance holistic learning for short-term study abroad students.

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Comparing Elements of Study Abroad Among Sport Management Students

Carrie LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer, Gregory Greenhalgh, Chad Goebert, and Jennifer Gellock

A globalized curriculum has the potential to prepare students in a way that equips them for whatever sport looks like in the future. Study abroad programs are one way to achieve this. The current study looked at two short-term study abroad programs (one to western Europe, one to South Africa), offered during the same semester at the same institution, comparing learning outcomes between students on the two trips. Utilizing a mixed methods design, students completed quantitative pre/post surveys and responded to qualitative, open-ended daily prompts while on the trips. Findings indicate that knowledge acquisition occurs in both programs; however, students traveling on a sport-focused service-based trip to South Africa had a more transformational learning experience than those traveling on a sport-business-focused trip to western Europe.

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Experiential Learning of University Students Delivering a Coaching Workshop in Belize

Jennifer M. Jacobs, Karisa L. Kuipers, K. Andrew R. Richards, and Paul M. Wright

Prior research has demonstrated the importance of engaging college students in a global curriculum that prepares them for the everchanging landscape of the sports industry. International learning experiences are one way to facilitate this type of professional preparation and often include the added benefit of having a deep personal impact. The purpose of this study was to understand university students’ experiences leading sessions for Belizean coaches as part of an international teaching experience. Participants were four university students pursuing interdisciplinary sport majors. Data sources included recorded interviews and daily group debrief sessions, reflective journals, social media-based photo journals, and observational fieldnotes. Qualitative data analysis resulted in the construction of three themes that described the participants’ experiences and learning outcomes: (a) personal and professional growth, (b) developing and maintaining relationships, and (c) engaging with culture. Results suggest that an international program designed to foster experiential, global learning was enhanced by the opportunity to teach in a new context, foster relationships with local stakeholders, and participate in pre- and posttrip training.

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Experiential Learning From a Classroom Desk: Exploring Student Perceptions of Applied Coursework

Jaime R. DeLuca and Emily Fornatora

Experiential learning promotes the development of a variety of skill competencies that will better prepare sport management students to enter the industry. In order to maximize opportunities for experiential learning, many sport management curricula incorporate applied coursework options in addition to internships, because the classroom serves as an important conduit for preprofessional learning in which faculty can both supervise and mentor students. It has become increasingly important to delineate the pedagogical and professional value of students’ experience of applied learning, because more programs have integrated these types of experiences into coursework; however, there has been limited research exploring this topic. Anchored in qualitative-data collection with students enrolled in four different applied courses, this research identifies three themes—curricular freedom, skill development, and relationship building—that highlight the categorical benefits and nuanced mechanisms through which knowledge is transferred in and through applied coursework.

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Enhancing the Student Experience in Online Sport Management Programs: A Review of the Community of Inquiry Framework

J. Michael Martinez and Christopher R. Barnhill

Although scholars have explored sense of community in both online and face-to-face education, there has been little research of this topic in online sport management education. The community of inquiry (CoI) framework focuses on three aspects of overall student engagement in online education: social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. It is through the interaction of these areas that a community of learning can be developed in online courses, and effective higher levels of learning can be implemented. The purpose of this review is to provide an overall perspective of the CoI framework as a means to enhance the student experience through discussion of social, cognitive, and teaching presence. In addition, implications for practical application in sport management programs and directions for future research of the CoI framework within sport management education will be provided, and related outcomes will be explored.

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Online Learning in Sport Management Education: Guest Editors’ Introduction

John Miller and David Pierce