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.
Todd A. Gilson and Jinhong Jung
Jinhong Jung and Todd A. Gilson
The rapid growth of technology allows tertiary-level education to develop alternative ways of instruction to effectively support student learning. Although a face-to-face class is still powerful, online learning has been advocated as an innovative instructional way to confront constraints such as distance, time, space, and diverse student characteristics. This article introduces a brief overview of online threaded discussion (OTD) in a blended course in physical education teacher education (PETE), and provides insights into how to effectively design, manage, and teach online courses. In particular, contextual information that relates to a specific university, PETE program, course, and students are discussed in this article. Second, the blended model and OTD implemented by the authors are introduced. Finally, the article discusses the blended model's contributions, issues, and strategies, and provides implications for physical educators to improve their online courses in higher education settings.
Todd A. Gilson and Anthony Deldin
In the next 45 years it is estimated that individuals aged 65 and older will increase by 93% in the United States. This population will require a reexamination in thinking related to what retirement is and how seniors desire to maintain their quality of life. Thus, with this demographic shift, new career opportunities will be available for students in older adult fitness, and kinesiology graduates can be at the forefront of providing physical activity to promote public health. Through the exploration of an off-campus clinical exercise gerontology experience at Northern Illinois University, specifics of the program and potential barriers are discussed, with an eye toward assisting other institutions that wish to begin/enhance a similar program. Finally, benefits and future opportunities are highlighted showing how this partnership has led to an improved quality of life for seniors and strengthened relationships with the larger community.
David Bellar, Todd A. Gilson and James C. Hannon
Higher education is in a period of flux. For many public institutions, state support has decreased over the past decade, resulting in the notion of doing more with less. Using an inverted triangle approach, this article examines how both institutions and departments are coping with their present reality using innovative and entrepreneurial ideas. First, the story of how public institutions in the state of Illinois are responding to decreased state appropriations and declining K–12 enrollments is discussed. Second, a rich example of how one institution completed the strategic planning process—from conceptualization to implementation—is shared. Finally, one department’s multifaceted plan to handle declining state support is shared.