High-quality mentoring is a vital component of graduate education that leads to degree completion. For many students and faculty members, the traditional model of mentorship based on a fixed hierarchy is no longer viable because of the increasing complexity of higher education, diversification of graduate student career paths, and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the success of our students and graduate programs, it is essential that kinesiology leaders place renewed effort on supporting the mentoring relationship through departmental strategies. Effective mentoring can assist students in feeling competent, autonomous, and connected with others. The purpose of this paper is to explore the three components of a contemporary model of mentorship—transparent socialization, mutually shared expectations, and the student as a whole individual.
Institutional Strategies to Enhance Graduate Student Success Through Mentoring
Jennifer J. Waldron
Lessons Learned During the Pandemic: Recommendations for Kinesiology Programs’ Emerging Future
Miriam E. Leary, Randy W. Bryner, and Oladipo O. Eddo
In response to the pandemic, kinesiology programs rose to the challenge of remote teaching by incorporating novel teaching and classroom approaches to ensure students continued to receive excellent instruction. This review identifies remote and hybrid teaching elements, many used by our two kinesiology programs, which showed promise during the pandemic. Using evidence and best practices, we argue for kinesiology programs to include these teaching strategies moving forward. Discussions focus on improving students’ success, learning, and matriculation into the vulnerable first year of college; rigorous teaching and assessment practices for laboratory and lecture classes in core curriculum; and remote capstone opportunities to prepare graduates for a postpandemic workforce. As we anticipate a physical return to campus, the strategies described here show promise for keeping kinesiology programs innovative and competitive in the emerging future of hybrid teaching in higher education.
Recruiting and Retaining Graduate Students in Kinesiology at a Hispanic-Serving Institution
Ting Liu, Michelle Hamilton, YuChun Chen, Katie Harris, and Rushali Pandya
Over the past decade, there has been a notable increase in interest in master’s education in the United States. However, not much attention has been paid to recruiting and retaining master’s students in the field of kinesiology. This article describes recruitment and retention strategies that have been successfully implemented in a kinesiology graduate program at a Hispanic-serving institution. Recruiting from undergraduate programs, removing use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in graduate admissions, awarding graduate teaching assistantships, creating new programs that flow with the evolving workforce, actively promoting the program at other universities and conferences, and building partnership with other universities are described for recruiting quality master’s students. Establishing a peer/faculty mentorship program and building a strong student network/organization have been shown to have a positive impact on retention. Readers may pick and choose the strategies that work best with the student population, faculty, and other resources available in the program.
The Future of Work: What It Is and How Our Resilience in the Face of It Matters
This article is based on a keynote address at the 2021 American Kinesiology Association’s Annual Leadership Workshop, for which I was asked to talk about the future of work in connection to higher education. I am familiar with the kinesiology field in my role as Dean of the School of Professional Advancement at Tulane University. This article touches on issues important to the field of kinesiology that may also be applied across other academic disciplines. Technology is changing the nature of work; the global pandemic has sped up the pace of that change. Beyond this, the potential for future pandemics and other transformational events and trends mean that work is in a state of permanent flux. Preparing students for future success in this environment requires educators to think more broadly and holistically about their roles. Higher education institutions also, arguably, have a responsibility not just to educate, but to model workplace culture.
Inclusive Excellence in Kinesiology Units in Higher Education
Matthew T. Mahar, Harsimran Baweja, Matthew Atencio, Harald Barkhoff, Helen Yolisa Duley, Gail Makuakāne-Lundin, ZáNean D. McClain, Misty Pacheco, E. Missy Wright, and Jared A. Russell
The aim of this paper is to emphasize the value of developing cultural awareness in kinesiology students to prepare them to enter the workforce in a world where the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are evolving. The authors provide examples of sustained and impactful practices from three kinesiology units in higher education that have been recognized with the American Kinesiology Association Inclusive Excellence Award. The case studies demonstrate that institutional support for inclusive excellence is instrumental in development of sustainable experiences. Kinesiology leaders can demonstrate commitment to inclusive excellence by supporting faculty who conduct teaching, research, and service activities that meet their institution’s inclusive excellence goals. Other areas where kinesiology units can influence student development include curriculum, student engagement activities, university and community partnerships, and leadership for inclusive excellence.
Global Engagement in the Kinesiology Classroom Through Virtual Exchange
Pamela Beach, Melanie Perreault, and Leapetswe Malete
As the importance of intercultural competence increases for future professionals, kinesiology faculty should consider internationalizing their curriculum. Faculty can promote intercultural competence through a variety of experiences, including studying abroad, attending international conferences, or adding a virtual exchange component to their classes. Global engagement in the classroom allows students to examine problem solving by scholars globally and enhances soft skills and career readiness skills. Because international travel through study abroad programs poses many challenges, this paper will focus upon an alternative, virtual exchange that can be implemented in any kinesiology or related course. Faculty can implement virtual exchanges with either an international class or a nonprofit organization on a large (e.g., complete course) or small scale (e.g., collaborative project). A sample design and tips for developing a collaborative project in a kinesiology course will be discussed to provide kinesiology faculty with a framework to begin a partnership around international course collaboration.
Measuring Learning and Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Instruction
Duane Knudson and Melissa Bopp
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted kinesiology courses into more hybrid and online delivery, creating new challenges and opportunities for evaluating learning and online testing. Research using the Biomechanics Concept Inventory indicates that both high-tech and low-tech active learning experiences implemented in hybrid and online formats in biomechanics courses improve student learning above levels for lecture alone. However, online pre- and posttesting using concept inventories or major exams are vulnerable to cheating. Experience and research on proctoring online testing indicate only partial success in detecting cheating absent substantial faculty commitment to investigate suspicious behavior. These difficulties with online testing provide an opportunity for kinesiology faculty to implement more authentic, holistic assessments that are less vulnerable to violations of academic integrity. The importance of well-designed, rigorous assessment methods that uphold academic integrity standards will continue to evolve as kinesiology departments expand online learning.
No One Is on an Island: Connecting, Collaborating, and Coping During the Pandemic
Paul Carpenter, Karen Stylianides, Rebecca Weiler-Timmins, Andrea Randolph-Krisova, Kelly Sprinkle, and Rosa Angulo-Barrosso
The onset and spread of COVID-19 forced an accelerated shift to remote communication and online teaching, generating new challenges and opportunities for kinesiology. As a result of the pandemic situation, redefined collaborative models independently emerged among kinesiology departments in two systems, California State University and the Pennsylvania State University. These models built community; addressed geographic and size challenges associated with meeting in-person; empowered sharing of ideas, resources, best practices, and emotional support; and guided our campus communities to success. We suggest that these collaborative models can be used in the future as platforms to improve kinesiology student’s success by facilitating professional development, integration, sharing, problem solving, and social support.
Looking Back at Kinesiology’s Future: The Need for Both Focused Frogs and Visionary Birds
David K. Wiggins
This essay reflects on the status of kinesiology amidst the current pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. Utilizing the metaphor coined by mathematician and physicist Freeman Dyson, I contend that the continued success of kinesiology is more plausible if we prepare more visionary birds, those with broader range and a variety of interests, to supplement the more narrowly focused frogs who currently dominate the field. Implicit in the essay is the contention that the field would benefit if it took a more interdisciplinary approach to the study of physical activity, sport, exercise, and other human movement forms as advocated by the American Kinesiology Association and individual scholars in the field. More specifically, I argue that the social sciences and humanities should be provided a more prominent place in kinesiology curriculums and serve as an academic core for all students in the field, irrespective of career aspirations and goals.