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Charity Bryan

The proliferation of online courses and programs has impacted kinesiology programs across the country. The process of providing online instruction, while popular with students, is often daunting to the kinesiology programs that must navigate this process. Recommendations for transitioning courses and programs from face-to-face to online are offered from both the faculty and administrative perspective. Maintaining academic rigor in online kinesiology courses and program is also essential to the dialogue and for ensuring success. Many kinesiology courses and programs are well suited for online delivery and demand for these programs is high. Kinesiology faculty and administrators should understand both the facilitators and barriers to online implementation.

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Todd A. Gilson and Jinhong Jung

The present state of higher education is in a period of transition as alternative forms of content dissemination via blended learning and exclusively online class models continue to expand. In addition, traditional universities face increased pressure to deliver content “on-demand” for the learner from an increasing number of nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In this article, key principles for creating and distributing content for online education are discussed. Furthermore, solutions used by the authors in their own teaching are shared as an additional resource for the reader. Finally, the benefits and drawbacks of two widely known software platforms are explored as they relate to the functionality of delivering content online to students.

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Paul Keiper and Richard B. Kreider

Online education has become an increasingly popular means of delivering educational programs in health and kinesiology. It has helped departments meet increasing enrollment demands and provided additional resources that support students and faculty. A number of challenges, however, are associated with developing these types of programs. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the issues that Texas A&M University has experienced in developing extensive online courses and distance education programs. The paper discusses methods and models employed to develop online and distance programs in health and kinesiology and provides a case study of some of the opportunities and challenges that the Sport Management Division experienced in developing an online master's program. Issues related to efficacy, management, funding, and student success are discussed. Health and kinesiology administrators should consider these issues as they look to develop or grow online course offerings in the discipline.

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Diane L. Gill, Pam Kocher Brown, and Erin J. Reifsteck

The online EdD in kinesiology at UNCG evolved from the face-to-face EdD, which was designed as an interdisciplinary doctoral degree tailored to working professionals in kinesiology. The new online EdD, which is the only online doctoral program in kinesiology, retains that broad, interdisciplinary curriculum and focuses on developing practicing scholars in kinesiology teaching, leadership, and advocacy. The fully-online EdD program faces many challenges, including technology issues, faculty buy-in, retention, and dissertation completion. To meet those challenges, the EdD curriculum is structured in a four-year cohort model, emphasizing collaboration and connections from the initial campus orientation session through the dissertation defense.

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Mary E. Rudisill

Over the past 35 years, institutions of higher education have been involved in strategic planning in an attempt to promote their priorities and remain competitive in challenging economic times. Efforts have been made to improve the process and effectiveness of strategic planning over those years. Although strategic planning can be effective, the plan must be created properly and also implemented in an effective manner. Since online learning has become an increasingly important revenue source for many institutions of higher education, as well as an alternative way to provide instruction to students, it is typically included within institutional strategic plans and prioritized for growth. Ensuring that faculty “buy-in” to this goal and strategic priorities requires significant faculty engagement. In this paper, options for implementation and ways to promote engagement are discussed within a case study of how Auburn University kinesiology faculty took part in educational transformation and innovation by connecting to the campus mission.

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Andrew P. Driska and Daniel R. Gould

Research has shown that coaches learn through reflective practice (Trudel & Gilbert, 2006), that communities of practice can assist the reflective process (Culver & Trudel, 2008), and that problem-based learning can increase critical thought by coaches (Jones & Turner, 2006). To help coaches develop reflective practice skills in an online course, the authors designed and implemented a novel assignment combining the principles of a community of practice with problem-based learning. Small groups of students were presented with a problem scenario and then met synchronously online using a low bandwidth group chat application (EtherPad) to diagnose the problem, strategize, and outline a solution. Students were able to conduct group meetings with only minor technical diffculties, and their written work demonstrated that a moderate level of refection had occurred. Future assignment redesigns should allow more opportunities for student-instructor interaction to facilitate greater development of student reflective practice skills.

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Stephen M. Roth

Higher education faculty have many responsibilities, with teaching as arguably the most public of those yet also the task for which many are least prepared. Professional development around teaching and learning can provide faculty with the knowledge and skills needed to improve student learning while also improving job satisfaction. The present paper describes the use of faculty learning communities as a best practice for professional development around teaching. Such communities engage a group of participants over time and provide a way to impart knowledge and resources around teaching and learning, encourage application of new skills in the classroom, and evaluate and refect on the effectiveness of those trials. Research shows that time spent in faculty learning communities translates into improvements in both teaching effectiveness and student learning. Resources are provided for administrators interested in developing and supporting faculty learning communities around teaching and learning.

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Jared Russell, Danielle Wadsworth, Peter Hastie, and Mary Rudisill

The purpose of this paper is to describe the precursors to and development of the School of Kinesiology's portal, which is used to deliver multimedia content to the approximately 7,000 students annually enrolled in physical activity and wellness program courses. Grounded in research, the paper addresses the initial rationale for changing the physical activity program focus, the implementation of a new delivery system of course content, and the benefits to students and instructors that have been realized. Research possibilities are also outlined. The paper concludes with an examination of issues that faculty at other institutions might consider when developing an online component within their physical activity and wellness programs.

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Jaye K. Luke and Joanna L. Morrissey

Many universities have limited resources yet aim to provide worthy learning opportunities to their students. This goal can be met through the offering of alternative delivery methods and service learning. Alternative delivery methods have evolved as technology has advanced. This paper addresses the benefits of blended learning for students, faculty, and universities. Through an institutional grant emphasizing innovative teaching strategies, the authors explain how a kinesiology course that includes service learning was transformed from a face-to-face class to a blended learning environment. Two flagship assignments are explained and comments from students are shared.

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Kim C. Graber and Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

The purpose of this article is to provide background information related to the development of the 2014 American Kinesiology Association (AKA) Leadership Workshop titled “The Future of Teaching and Learning in an Online World”. A brief description of online education is provided, along with a synopsis of the advantages and challenges confronting instructors and administrators in institutions of higher education who are increasingly implementing this form of instruction. An overview of the articles included in this special issue is also provided.