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James E. Johnson

Integration and consumption of sport are often used to build community identity, enhance health, and promote positive social interactions. Those benefits informed the purpose of this project, which was to integrate service-learning education and behaviors into a graduate sport management leadership course. Project L.E.E.P. (Leadership through Education, Experience, and Photovoice) benefitted local communities by providing an interactive service-learning project that was mutually beneficial to graduate students and surrounding community partners. Eleven graduate students in a sport administration leadership course partnered with different community sport organizations to execute a series of assignments designed to assess, plan, deliver, and reflect on more than 40 hr of sports service. Among those assignments was a photovoice project intended to capture service learning through the students’ perspectives and give voice to the sporting needs of a community. This project aligned with the experiential learning approach in many sport management programs, as well as the societal and service benefits outlined in the North American Society for Sport Management’s purpose and position statements.

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James E. Johnson, T.J. Herniak, Kelly Kwiatkowski and Amy Hill

Child protective services is a broad category that impacts a variety of organizations who work directly with children. Youth sport and recreation organizations, as well as universities who have youth services, are uniquely positioned for increased risk from coaches, counselors, volunteers, or administrators who have regular access to youth via their roles as trusted leaders. Sport management graduates often find themselves in these positions, or supervising individuals who hold these positions. With this premise in mind, it is essential that sport management students are exposed to the concept of child protection, and understand the potential ramifications if child protective measures are not followed. This case describes an incident occurring at a university kid’s camp where student employees serve as counselors. The incident places one counselor in a precarious situation, and forces his supervisor into some difficult decisions. The case allows students to evaluate the situation from an assortment of sport management perspectives including governance/policy considerations, legal ramifications, organizational theory, or ethical decision-making. Discussion questions encourage students to confront these perspectives and consider the role of child protection from a variety of vantage points (e.g., counselor, parent, administrator).

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James E. Johnson, Chrysostomos Giannoulakis and Beau F. Scott

While competitive balance literature is robust when addressing professional sport from an economic perspective, little empirical work has focused on understanding what shapes interscholastic competitive balance policies. Using the theory of distributive justice as a framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the perceptions of top administrators regarding sociocultural influences on interscholastic competitive balance. Qualitative interview data collected from six state commissioners/executive directors revealed four predominant findings: (a) policy is driven by a philosophical approach that is aligned with the theory of distributive justice; (b) an overemphasis on winning strongly influences policy; (c) political influence through legal threats and state educational policy shapes committee decisions; and (d) the prevailing challenges of policy creation include school size, geography, public/nonpublic status, tradition, sport-specific characteristics, and lack of knowledge. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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James E. Johnson, Lawrence W. Judge and Elizabeth Wanless

Incorporating a national competition with the traditional case teaching method offers a unique and intense learning experience beyond what can be achieved in a typical classroom format. This paper discusses a graduate Sport Administration experience from preparation to presentation for students and faculty in the case study competition annually sponsored by the College Sport Research Institute (CSRI). Included is a thorough review of the case method highlighting what to expect from adopting this alternative teaching technique. The role of the faculty advisor is explained from both a theoretical and functional perspective with particular attention given to advising in a competition format. Student learning experiences were assessed using open-ended survey questions designed to encourage student reflection. Although students reported an immense time commitment, they were overwhelmingly satisfied with their competition experience that included in-depth learning, essential skill building, and real-world application.

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Elizabeth A. Wanless, Ryan M. Brewer, James E. Johnson and Lawrence W. Judge

To prepare students for employment in sport, many sport management programs involve students in revenue generation activities, such as ticket or sponsorship sales. Literature evaluating student perceptions of this specific type of experiential learning remains sparse. This constructivist qualitative study evaluated student perceptions of learning from two courses containing experiential revenue generation projects. Data were gathered via structured-question electronic survey. Fifty-one of 60 students participated. Results generally supported previous research conclusions; conducting experiential learning projects increases skill and professional development and offers a realistic career preview but demands significant time commitment. Important contradictions, however, were present in comparison with past literature. The unique nature of sales-based projects involving students in ticket sales and sponsorship sales served as a platform for students to develop critically important interpersonal skills. This benefit was not identified in studies evaluating experiential learning opportunities that did not contain a sales-based component.

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James E. Johnson, Robert M. Turick, Michael F. Dalgety, Khirey B. Walker, Eric L. Klosterman and Anya T. Eicher

Higher education in the United States, and sport management in particular, has faced contemporary attacks for its perceived lack of academic rigor. To investigate these criticisms, this study examined 830 students enrolled in 69 semester-long courses across four consecutive years in a single sport management program to measure perceived course rigor and its relationship to overall course ratings, course grades, and course level. Seven rigor questions were added to existing student ratings and distributed at the end of each semester. A factor analysis strongly supported the conceptualization of rigor utilized in the study. Pearson correlations indicated that student ratings and rigor were positively related. An ordinary least squares multiple regression also revealed that overall student ratings and course grades significantly aid in predicting course rigor. Pragmatically, the results suggest that sport management students appreciate rigorous courses and that faculty should strive to include elements of rigor into their courses without fear of retributional bias on student ratings.

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Colin R. Carriker, Christine M. Mermier, Trisha A. VanDusseldorp, Kelly E. Johnson, Nicholas M. Beltz, Roger A. Vaughan, James J. McCormick, Nathan H. Cole, Christopher C. Witt and Ann L. Gibson

Reduced partial pressure of oxygen impairs exercise performance at altitude. Acute nitrate supplementation, at sea level, may reduce oxygen cost during submaximal exercise in hypobaric hypoxia. Therefore, we investigated the metabolic response during exercise at altitude following acute nitrate consumption. Ten well-trained (61.0 ± 7.4 ml/kg/min) males (age 28 ± 7 yr) completed 3 experimental trials (T1, T2, T3). T1 included baseline demographics, a maximal aerobic capacity test (VO2max) and five submaximal intensity cycling determination bouts at an elevation of 1600 m. A 4-day dietary washout, minimizing consumption of nitrate-rich foods, preceded T2 and T3. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover fashion, subjects consumed either a nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (PL) or ~12.8 mmol nitrate rich (NR) beverage 2.5 hr before T2 and T3. Exercise at 3500 m (T2 and T3) via hypobaric hypoxia consisted of a 5-min warm-up (25% of normobaric (VO2max) and four 5-min cycling bouts (40, 50, 60, 70% of normobaric VO2max) each separated by a 4-min rest period. Cycling RPM and watts for each submaximal bout during T2 and T3 were determined during T1. Preexercise plasma nitrite was elevated following NR consumption compared with PL (1.4 ± 1.2 and 0.7 ± 0.3 uM respectively; p < .05). There was no difference in oxygen consumption (−0.5 ± 1.8, 0.1 ± 1.7, 0.7 ± 2.1, and 1.0 ± 3.0 ml/kg/min) at any intensity (40, 50, 60, 70% of VO2max), respectively) between NR and PL. Further, respiratory exchange ratio, oxygen saturation, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were not different at any submaximal intensity between NR and PL either. Blood lactate, however, was reduced following NR consumption compared with PL at 40 and 60% of VO2max (p < .0.05). Our findings suggest that acute nitrate supplementation before exercise at 3500 m does not reduce oxygen cost but may reduce blood lactate accumulation at lower intensity workloads.