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Isabel Valdez and Ting Liu
The benefits, barriers, and methodologies of the enhancement of undergraduate research have been widely studied in higher education. However, there are limited studies on undergraduate research in the field of kinesiology. The previous studies centered around student or faculty evaluation of existing curricular or extracurricular undergraduate research programs. The extent to which these studies may inform a kinesiology department that does not have an established undergraduate research curriculum or program is questionable. This article provides a general overview of existing undergraduate research enhancement programs in other universities, presents a recent research study on perceptions of undergraduate research in exercise and sports science students at Texas State University, and offers future recommendations on enhancing undergraduate research in kinesiology.
Sheri J. Brock, Christina Beaudoin, Mark G. Urtel, Lisa L. Hicks and Jared A. Russell
The goal of university instructional physical activity programs (IPAPs) is to provide quality instruction through best practices to encourage college students to lead healthy and physically active lifestyles. As IPAPs have continued to decline due to enrollment and budgetary concerns, the importance of quality and sustainability has become particularly paramount. Furthermore, it is imperative to the existence of IPAPs that we strive to learn and share with each other in order to independently survive, but more essentially to flourish collectively, as we are better together. In our varied experience, while some IPAPs face unique challenges, many obstacles are common, regardless of institution size and composition. This paper will offer the perspectives of four strikingly different colleges and universities in their quest to navigate challenges in delivery, maintain and support quality instruction, and advocate for IPAPs.
Jared A. Russell
Programs that provide student research experiences at the undergraduate level are an impactful means of recruiting and preparing students for graduate academic programs. Notably, such programs, when combined with faculty mentorship, exposure to graduate-school-level academic curricula, and socialization experiences, are considered crucial to the effective recruitment and retention of students from diverse cultural backgrounds into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-oriented graduate academic programs. This work outlines the strategic efforts of Auburn University’s School of Kinesiology to enhance its graduate student diversity recruitment and retention processes. Highlighted are the School of Kinesiology’s goals and guiding principles related to diversity and inclusion initiatives. A detailed description of the centerpiece of this effort, the Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program, is provided. Additionally, related Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program topics are discussed, including securing donor support, aligning the program with institutional strategic goals, forming institutional or academic program partnerships, and addressing administrative and logistical challenges.
Laurence Fruteau de Laclos, Marie-Josée Sirois, Andréanne Blanchette, Dominic Martel, Joannie Blais, Marcel Émond, Raoul Daoust and Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre
This study compared effects of exercise-based interventions with usual care on functional decline, physical performance, and health-related quality of life (12-item Short-Form health survey) at 3 and 6 months after minor injuries, in older adults discharged from emergency departments. Participants were randomized either to the intervention or control groups. The interventions consisted of 12-week exercise programs available in their communities. Groups were compared on cumulative incidences of functional decline, physical performances, and 12-item Short-Form health survey scores at all time points. Functional decline incidences were: intervention, 4.8% versus control, 15.4% (p = .11) at 3 months, and 5.3% versus 17.0% (p = .06) at 6 months. While the control group remained stable, the intervention group improved in Five Times Sit-To-Stand Test (3.0 ± 4.5 s, p < .01). The 12-item Short-Form health survey role physical score improvement was twice as high following intervention compared with control. Early exercises improved leg strength and reduced self-perceived limitations following a minor injury.
Physical education in recent years has undergone modifications in order to meet the changing demands of students. The traditional paradigm has been to teach physical education from a sport- and skill-based approach, whereby traditional teams and individual sports are emphasized (e.g., basketball, volleyball, flag football). However, this curriculum may be less impactful on student learning than alternatives and is not viewed favorably by administrators because it is perceived as lacking relevance to broader educational goals. The purpose of this paper was to reintroduce a curriculum that has the potential to address student learning in physical education and broader educational goals. The outdoor/adventure education curriculum, while neglected in recent years, is demonstrating promising gains as a viable model.