High-Impact Educational Practices in Kinesiology: Examples of Curricular Advancements to Prepare Students for the Future of Work

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  • 1 Department of Kinesiology, Okanagan College, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
  • | 2 Division of Physical, Life, Movement and Sport Sciences, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, ID, USA

A 21st century college education should prepare students to meet workforce demands and contribute to an educated citizenry. This paper provides examples of the ways in which two institutions are adjusting kinesiology program design and delivery through the adoption of high-impact educational practices to prepare students to meet these goals. The authors describe first-year experiences to develop critical information literacy, a series of collaborative community-based health projects, and a unique internship experience for work-integrated learning. The authors reflect on the similarities between their efforts to implement high-impact teaching practices to prepare kinesiology students for the future of work. Keys to success include: (a) shifting to idea-based, learner-centered curriculum design; (b) developing strategic partnerships with college services, programs, and administrators; and (c) recognizing the significant impact of the changes on the student learning experience.

A 21st century college education should prepare students to meet workforce demands and contribute to an educated citizenry. This challenge can be met through an intentional and coordinated effort to design a kinesiology curriculum that provides students with learning experiences to influence thought processes, values, beliefs, practical skills, and career goals (Fink, 2013). The American Kinesiology Association supports local responsibility for curriculum design, providing kinesiology departments autonomy to create unique teaching and learning strategies to address the core elements of an undergraduate education (Chodzko-Zajko et al., 2018). This requires all kinesiology programs to design student experiences that effectively prepare graduates for the transition to a variety of occupations in a rapidly changing world. Meeting this challenge will vary depending on program size, institutional type, student demographics, and many other characteristics that influence curricular planning.

Employers indicate that they value employees who are prepared for more than just specific job tasks. They need dynamic problem solvers and good communicators, who are ready to collaborate with others and work hard for the common good. In addition, thriving in a competitive corporate landscape requires employees who are creative, innovative, flexible, and adaptable (Kay, 2010). Employers have concerns, however, that graduates are not well prepared in all areas critical to success, such as those requiring self-direction, critical thinking, and adaptability (Kuh, 2008).

To meet the demands of a rapidly changing society, kinesiology programs must continuously adapt their curriculum. Rather than the traditional approach of conveying disciplinary knowledge and practical skills, programs should consider the holistic development of the student as a critical and creative thinker who graduates as a prepared professional. This shifts curriculum design away from the degree as a list of required courses to an educational program integrating content and complementary learning experiences scaffolded throughout the academic career (Fink, 2013; Hansen, 2011; Larson & Miller, 2011). Avoid considering these professional skills and abilities as “one more thing to teach.” Rather, they serve to connect established curricular content areas to each other and applied settings. Accordingly, progressive teaching and learning experiences are best situated across multiple courses and at key points in a student’s academic life (Larson & Miller, 2011). The American Kinesiology Association’s “Statement Regarding the Undergraduate Core Curriculum in Kinesiology” describes this as a distributed model whereby core learning outcomes are integrated into several courses and learning experiences (American Kinesiology Association, 2021).

To help programs shift away from content-based course design, Hansen (2011) outlines a course design process to help students develop conceptual understandings and deep learning. This idea-based approach structures courses around big ideas, enduring understandings, learning outcomes, and individual student backgrounds.1 Similarly, Peterson et al. (2020) describe the shift from content coverage to a learner-centered approach whereby curriculum revisions focus on “big picture” core concepts, specific competencies, and discipline-specific learning processes. Adopting a learner-centered, idea-based approach can start with course revisions that develop specific ways of thinking or professional competencies with one new assignment. Kinesiology departments may also choose to create a more holistic and comprehensive program curriculum map. Throughout the curriculum design process, collegial, idea-based, learner-centered discussions help to create relevant and effective experiences for all students. Freeing faculty and instructors from the “tyranny of content” could help advance curriculum changes and help more students graduate from undergraduate degree programs as autonomous learners and adaptable professionals (Hansen, 2011; Peterson et al., 2020).

Presumably, students prefer degree programs that hold the promise of preparing them for the future. The challenge for academic units is to become more explicit about the professional skills and abilities that undergraduate degrees represent and to develop highly effective teaching and learning methods (Liberal Education & America’s Promise, 2007). To ensure that all students, regardless of academic degree, have educational experiences that effectively prepare them for the challenges they will face, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (n.d.) recommends institutions center their degree programs around key components including, but not limited to, essential learning outcomes, high-impact educational practices (HIPs), and authentic assessment. The development of essential learning outcomes requires action at both the program and course level. Such learning outcomes become a representation of graduates’ capabilities. The adoption of HIPs and authentic assessment strategies helps to inform curriculum transformation and provide ideas for new teaching and learning methods.

Essential learning outcomes define a common set of capabilities gained from educational programs, in addition to the knowledge gained in disciplinary core content (Essential Learning Outcomes, n.d.). Skills for the future workforce continue to evolve and are regularly identified by various labor market, industry, and government agencies (O*NET, 2021; WorkBC, 2021). Components of the exemplar learning outcomes from the American Kinesiology Association identify the ability for kinesiology graduates to critically evaluate research, information, and scholarly works and to make ethical decisions (American Kinesiology Association, 2021). Additional essential learning outcomes inherent among kinesiology graduates but not explicitly stated include the ability to (a) solve complex problems, (b) work with people to achieve goals, and (c) adapt easily to the demands of a variety of jobs (WorkBC, 2021). It becomes important for kinesiology departments to confirm, develop, and define relevant outcomes within the student and employment marketplace where the institution is situated.

High-impact educational practices encourage active and collaborative learning, increase interaction among students and between students and faculty, improve the feedback loop between students and faculty, increase a sense of belonging to the campus community, and help students understand how the material learned in the classroom is applicable and meaningful to other areas of their lives (Brownell & Swaner, 2009). These factors, in turn, contribute to positively improving student retention and engagement (Kuh, 2008; Larson & Miller, 2011). The AAC&U identifies 10 practices that can be adapted by colleges and universities to reflect students’ needs and the unique contexts of different institutions: (a) first-year seminars and experiences, (b) common intellectual experiences, (c) learning communities, (d) writing-intensive courses, (e) collaborative assignments and projects, (f) undergraduate research, (g) diversity/global learning, (h) service learning, community-based learning, (i) internships, and (j) capstone courses and projects (Kuh, 2008).

High-impact educational practices can be incorporated into kinesiology programming in a variety of ways. Previous authors have explored HIPs and kinesiology curriculum development related to undergraduate research, service learning, and community-based learning (Carson et al., 2018; Clocksin & Greicar, 2017; Jenny et al., 2017; Valdez & Liu, 2020). Some institutions have created separate extracurricular programs for HIPs while others have integrated HIPs into new or revised kinesiology courses. The AAC&U recommends that all students experience at least two HIPs as part of an undergraduate degree program (Liberal Education & America’s Promise, 2007).

This paper provides examples of the ways in which two institutions, Okanagan College2 and Lewis-Clark State College,3 are adjusting kinesiology program design and delivery through the adoption of HIPs to prepare students to meet the changing needs of work. While AAC&U identifies 10 distinct HIPs, the authors found that the strategy of blending HIPs together to create authentic and engaging learning experiences facilitated the development of essential learning outcomes for institutions, programs, and students. This paper includes three sections describing the integration and implementation of four HIPs to connect learning to life and work-based expectations—first-year seminars and experiences,4 collaborative learning experiences,5 community-based learning opportunities,6 and internship experiences.7 Each section also explores how HIPs can be used to (a) develop critical information literacy (CIL), (b) solve community health problems, and (c) explore work-integrated learning.

First-Year Experiences to Develop CIL

The American Kinesiology Association (2021) defines the academic discipline of kinesiology and acknowledges its reliance on knowledge gained from academic research, professional practices, and personal experiences related to physical activity. To prepare for the future of work, kinesiology students need to learn to navigate information from a variety of different sources including scholarly journals, professional communications, online platforms, and interpersonal dialog. Several authors have explored ways to develop scientific writing and critical thinking related to undergraduate research (Carson et al., 2018; Clark et al., 2020; Jenny et al., 2017). Many kinesiology programs focus information literacy instruction on learning outcomes for future researchers. Students commonly develop these skills in a 100-level course in foundations of kinesiology or a 200-level course in research methods. Learning experiences emphasize the ability to analyze the components of a research article and find scholarly references for academic writing. Considering the variety of available career opportunities, there is also a need to prepare kinesiology students to interpret information from sources other than scholarly journals. For example, future clinicians may need to find reliable and readable articles for clients. Future fitness trainers may need to evaluate product marketing information and critically assess posts on social media platforms.

The use of high-quality first-year experiences in a kinesiology curriculum can help students achieve a successful transition into their undergraduate experience (Kuh, 2008). Many first-year kinesiology students have an extensive background in sport performance and/or personal fitness practices. Instructors teaching these new students have opportunities and challenges related to correcting common misunderstandings, broadening student perspectives, and directing students to acceptable information sources. One example includes building the curriculum on common media consumption habits of first-year students and addressing the wealth of questionable information presented online, especially by the health and fitness industry. Integrating CIL development with kinesiology content creates an authentic learning experience whereby students can be asked to judge the basis for their own views and work toward understanding other perspectives (Brownell & Swaner, 2009).

This example of integrating CIL into curriculum development does present challenges. Some kinesiology instructors may believe that CIL is outside their areas of expertise. Although the body of scholarly literature is published largely for librarians (Schachter, 2019), the conceptual discourse of CIL literature is familiar to many social scientists. Accordingly, some kinesiology faculty members will likely understand the CIL premise that information is socially constructed, that authority is contextual, and that this premise may challenge fundamental beliefs of those who adhere to the centrality of objectively generated scientific facts (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015). Moreover, a recent survey of postsecondary librarians revealed a wide variety of interpretations of the definition of CIL, the best paths to its implementation, and who are the most appropriate to design effective learning activities (Schachter, 2019). Torell (2020) argued that the common practice of inviting teaching librarians into college classrooms for the 1-hour research presentation is insufficient to achieve curricular objectives. There is agreement that ready access to a wide range of digital information creates an imperative for CIL instruction to move beyond the limited scope of just finding scholarly information using article databases. A more contemporary approach should presumably encourage students to generate critical responses to information at the same time they are creating meaning from their readings and resources (Schachter, 2019; Torell, 2020). Accordingly, collaborative efforts across disciplines and between kinesiology faculty and librarians may present an effective approach toward helping students develop the CIL skills needed to be autonomous learners within the rapidly changing digital information environment. The broad scope of today’s information environment was well described by Torell:

Increasingly, open educational resources, open access books and journals, self-published books, blogs, websites, videos, and audio files shift the definition of “appropriate scholarly source” as well as our sense of who might create it, how it might be authenticated, in what modality it might appear and where it might be found. (Torell, 2020, p. 123)

Torell (2020) eloquently describes her own transition from a “gatekeeper of the appropriate research source” (p. 120) to an advocate for the development of CIL across the curriculum. The goal of CIL is to help students develop independent skills to evaluate information from a variety of sources throughout their undergraduate degree. When professors set course rules for acceptable and unacceptable academic resources, students are deprived of the opportunity to learn for themselves how to discern the value of a given information source. In addition, it is likely that at least some undergraduate students notice the different rules imposed by different instructors. Such differences may lead to confusion and disillusionment as students sense that rules are arbitrary and perhaps biased by an individual instructor’s personal preferences. Torell proposed that professors should avoid overly prescribed approaches, even as well-intentioned efforts to help students navigate the complex information landscape.

At Okanagan College, the Kinesiology Department integrates CIL within the kinesiology curriculum. Following high-impact practices, CIL is introduced as part of the first-year experience and assignments are scaffolded to help students develop critical thinking skills and improve information literacy (Kuh, 2008). Small group discussions bring students and faculty together to address the challenges of evaluating information as a complex social problem, particularly in online and multimedia environments. Learning experiences are designed to actively engage first-year students from who-they-are-now (e.g., consumers of social media) and progress them toward who-they-aspire-to-become (e.g., critical scholars).

To achieve these goals, the Okanagan College Kinesiology Department and Library Services have worked together to develop customized resources related to the current media environment and the field of kinesiology. The Kinesiology Department benefits from having a designated subject librarian who works with faculty to design assignments and with students to complete them. The librarian helps curate resources to develop students’ general understanding of CIL skills, such as Evaluating Sources for Credibility (libNCSU, 2015). Collaboratively, the two departments customize resources for specific kinesiology courses and program learning outcomes.

The department chair initiated collaborative curriculum development work for CIL. It began with a simple facilitated exercise at a department meeting to explore how faculty evaluate online information and to consider how best to develop these skills in kinesiology students. The 10-minute exercise asked everyone to compare www.foodbabe.com and www.scibabe.com, demonstrating that expert CIL strategies rely heavily on advanced conceptual knowledge. Participants scanned the information and quickly recognized terminology and identified conceptual inconsistencies. The librarian encouraged participants to approach the exercise from the perspective of a noncontent expert, such as a first-year student, and to note other indicators of reliability. The participants developed customized criteria for kinesiology students that were adapted from several common CIL checklists and an emerging conceptual model (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015; Blakeslee, 2004; Mandalios, 2013).

A pilot project situated a small stakes (i.e., 10%–15%) introductory CIL assignment within a first-year, first-semester course in active health. This assignment integrated CIL skills development with health and fitness content typically covered within the unit on becoming an informed consumer (e.g., Corbin et al., 2008). Students began with two questions: Whom are you following? What information are you consuming? In partners, students selected a unique online health and fitness resource to evaluate and presented their critical analysis to a group of classmates. Table 1 presents the criteria students used to analyze the purpose, authority, tone, and language from the online information source. The students’ analyses focused on both the content information and the credibility of the author/speaker with the goal of helping students recognize whether they are consuming trustworthy information.

Table 1

The Critical Information Literacy Questions to Guide Critical Analysis for Health and Fitness Assignment

UsefulQuestionable
Purpose
• Are they trying to inform me?

• Do they present multiple perspectives on the issue (e.g., balanced view)?

• Do they encourage me to make my own decision?

• Do they link me to other sources of information on the topic (e.g., original source information)?
• Are they trying to sell me something?

• Are they making me feel concerned/alarmed/inferior?

• Are they trying to convince me of one perspective?
Authority
• What makes them an expert on the topic?

• How did they develop their content knowledge?

• What are their academic credentials?

• What are their industry certifications?

• Are they currently employed?
• Are they self-taught?

• Did they experience their own personal transformation?

• What do the number of Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers really mean?
Tone and language used
• Are they using an informative tone?

• Are they using academic language—useful in school settings?

• Are they using simple language—useful in professional settings?
• Are they using a persuasive tone?

• Are they using alarmist language?

• Are they playing into fears?

• Are they using buzzwords?

• Are they making lofty claims?

• Are they making it sound easy?

• Are they blowing things out of proportion?

• Are they exaggerating effects (e.g., trying to change the world)?

• Are they presenting atypical cases (e.g., results not typical)?

Based on the common sources of health and fitness information that first-year kinesiology students were consuming, a framework was created to guide critical discussions about authority, credibility, bias, and incentives in an evolving media world where scientists, professional practitioners, celebrities, salespeople, and social media influencers are all working to share ideas and influence health behaviors (see Figure 1). This dual-axis framework helped to open discussions about (a) the creation of theoretical perspectives as well as the need for practical application of knowledge and (b) the foundation of understanding based on objective evidence or subjective belief systems. Learning activities included discussing the placement of various online health and fitness personalities in one of the four quadrants. Whole class discussions addressed the challenges that scientists may face when trying to inform the public about health-promoting behaviors. Self-reflection was encouraged to help students consider career pathways in the industry.

Figure 1
Figure 1

—The critical information literacy dual-axis framework to examine common sources of health and fitness information.

Citation: Kinesiology Review 10, 4; 10.1123/kr.2021-0047

The benefits observed with the pilot project motivated faculty to advance CIL skills development in subsequent courses. In a second-semester, 100-level health and human nutrition course, students critically analyze a documentary film with support from research evidence. Overall, embedding CIL throughout the first-year experience helped students understand that these skills are important throughout the program and helped faculty connect better with diverse novice students. Feedback from students suggests that they enjoy bringing meaningful contributions to the first-year classroom. Using an open discussion format helps students develop CIL skills to address evolving complex social problems and contrasts with teaching CIL as simply a set of rules to follow within academic environments. This approach positions the classroom learning experience within the broader context of the everyday information habits of incoming students and promotes the development of both intellectual and practical competencies throughout the first-year experience (Kuh, 2008).

Collaborative, Community-Based Health Projects for Complex Problem Solving

Most students are familiar with the work of physical education teachers and physical therapists, but many kinesiology students lack personal knowledge of the wide variety of career options available to them. Community capacity building in health promotion is unfamiliar to most incoming students, often because this work happens at higher levels within an organization and is often invisible by design (Hawe et al., 1998). Cardinal et al. (2015) discussed the shortage of researchers, practitioners, and interested students in physical activity and public health. Early exposure to work-related experiences is important to assist students in making choices for upper-level specializations and future career goals.

There is a natural association between kinesiology’s service orientation and outreach activities, such as community-based participatory research (Cardinal et al., 2015; Jenny et al., 2017). Learning experiences that require complex problem solving, creative thinking, metacognition, and active learning skills are a benefit to students at all levels of degree programming (Tomlinson, 2015). Community-based learning projects that have a real-world impact beyond the classroom increase motivation to learn and help to develop communication and problem-solving skills (Kuh, 2008).

Providing complex community health project experiences to kinesiology students in a 200-level health policy course at Okanagan College has been challenging because of underdeveloped foundational knowledge and writing skills. These students benefit from an innovative whole-of-class collaborative project design that is ideally suited to smaller class sizes (e.g., N = 30). The professor serves as the project coordinator while students collaborate in small work teams or as individuals to accomplish various project tasks throughout the 13-week semester. The professor’s role becomes that of an architect of the learning experience, who listens to the students’ needs and provides support when required throughout the collaborative learning process (Hansen, 2011).

The collaborative learning project follows a common teaching and learning process, but each year the class selects a new topic via professor-facilitated student consensus. The professor introduces guiding theoretical concepts and frameworks to help students understand the main issues related to the topic, then through student research and facilitated discussions subtopics emerge to enhance collaborative understanding of the project. For example, the topic of Healthy Eating and Food Security was divided into the following subtopics: vulnerable populations, food bank programs, community gardens, food production, food costs, built environment, and public policy. This collaborative learning approach provides an authentic learning environment in which students learn to tackle big problems by breaking them down into manageable pieces. Facilitated discussions help the professor and students come to a common understanding of a complex issue. Table 2 illustrates the project topics as well as the benefits that the projects have had for community health beyond the classroom. In the case in which there was crossover with service areas of the college, partnerships were established, stakeholders were often engaged by student interviews, and mutual benefits were realized.

Table 2

Project Topics, Partnerships, and Impact Beyond the Classroom

YearTopicPartnershipsExample impact beyond the college classroom or in the community
2010Drinking waterCollege campus administrationFacilities services replaced all drinking fountains across multiple campuses to cold, filtered water bottle filling stations.
2011Physical activityCollege campus administration and Business Administration 210, Introduction to Market ResearchStudent services used recommendations to help inform staffing, programs, and services for new campus gymnasium and fitness facilities.
2012TransportationCollege campus administrationFacilities services increased support for active transportation and carpool options for students. College worked with public transportation system on scheduling.
2013Comprehensive school healthLocal school district—health-promoting schools coordinator and several elementary school principalsAppreciative inquiry at multiple elementary school sites helped to identify multiple initiatives for healthy eating, physical activity, and socioemotional well-being for school-aged children. Facilitated sharing of ideas between schools and galvanized local school champions.
2014Collaborative community healthLocal healthy living coalition (included first nations, municipal/regional government, health authority, and school district)Appreciative inquiry identified strengths of each organization within the coalition. Helped to identify common goals and opportunities for collaborative partnerships for enhanced delivery of programs and services.
2016Food securityCollege campus administrationHighlighted extent of food insecurity among the student population. Increased on-campus supports including food banks, community gardens, free-food events, and financial aid.
2017Healthy minds healthy campusCollege campus administrationStudent services used data and recommendations to secure grant funding to launch Flourish Campus Wellness as a pilot project.

Figure 2 provides a Gantt chart for a 13-week project schedule. A combination of in-class and out-of-class time is allocated to project work. In-class time (e.g., six out of 25 classes) was dedicated to collaborative small group work and larger group discussions. During out-of-class time, students completed independent work and key project tasks. To keep the project moving forward in a timely manner, the professor assists with such items as finalizing the survey design, applying to the research ethics board, and seeking administrative support from the college, if necessary. The project concludes with a whole-of-class final written report and/or presentation with evidence-informed recommendations for action. In the years in which the class worked with an external community partner, a presentation was provided to the community partners during the last week of classes by a team of 3–4 class representatives.

Figure 2
Figure 2

—Example 13-week Gantt chart for collaborative project timelines.

Citation: Kinesiology Review 10, 4; 10.1123/kr.2021-0047

The professor provides students with clear guidelines for assessment and evaluation. Grades are assigned for contribution to large group discussions and small group work, with individual components for many assessments. For example, each student must find a unique scholarly article and post it to the online discussion forum within the learning management system for an individual grade. From this list, students are assigned to groups to complete a section of a short literature review and receive a group grade. All students must achieve 100% on the research ethics tests prior to participation in data collection in the form of population health surveys and/or interviews. In this way, testing and assignment deadlines become meaningful and individual contributions to the group effort becomes apparent. Students receive both formative and summative feedback throughout the semester.

There are many benefits of this type of collaborative, community-based learning project embedded within the course curriculum. Kinesiology students are mentored to follow evidence-informed practices and to avoid jumping to conclusions too early in the research process. Students have an opportunity to apply their learning in a way that gives back to the college community (Kuh, 2008). Gaining direct experience with components of participatory research and community capacity building in health promotion helps students to consider future work early in their program progression. Finally, many of the on-campus project recommendations have been implemented, thereby becoming a legacy of the class as a tangible improvement to the health of the campus student population and local community for years to come.

Community-Based Learning and Internships to Explore Work-Integrated Learning

Humans learn by experience (McRae & Johnston, 2016). Experiential learning in higher education creates intentional and purposeful opportunities for students to gain authentic experience in professional settings while engaged in academic coursework. The integration of these two learning spaces can assist students with making meaningful connections between academic content and associated work-related skills and responsibilities (Kuh, 2008; Sattler et al., 2011; Smith, 2012). Institutions may choose to create integrated learning opportunities through multiple activities including cooperative education experiences, practicums, internships, and other unique campus programming (Kuh, 2008). Work-integrated learning experiences differ across institutions (Smith, 2012) and can be influenced by student and work site interests and needs, curriculum design, and campus resources (McRae & Johnston, 2016).

Students who participate in work-integrated learning experiences can build and enhance their professional network, apply skills learned in their classes to a workplace, develop and enhance skills in professional settings, and engage in meaningful career exploration. Employers can infuse their departments or businesses with new ideas and gain support for completion on a wide range of projects. In addition, supervisors can mentor future potential employees (Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada, 2021). The college/university also benefits in multiple ways. When unit leaders build partnerships, both on and off campus, with possible work sites, relationships are enhanced with the surrounding community (Eames, 2003). The college/university can also promote these value-added programs to enhance student recruitment and retention.

Experiential learning opportunities can be incorporated into multiple classes in the curriculum and expectations for skill performance can increase as students matriculate. For example, practicum experiences in 100-level courses may primarily involve student observation. However, as students progress into 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses, the performance requirements for experiential learning experiences can increase. To stay consistent with the unique aspects of individual programs, the types of experiences should reflect class- and program-level learning outcomes and ought to be complementary to program and institutional culture.

Diverse learning experiences also allow for relationship building with community stakeholders. At Lewis-Clark State College, the kinesiology program has purposefully embedded experiential learning opportunities into multiple classes across different levels of coursework. For example, as a part of a 200-level elementary physical education course, kinesiology students provide physical education lessons for elementary students at a school with no physical education specialist. In a 300-level youth sports course, students serve as youth sport coaches for a local Boys and Girls Club. In a 300-level aging and physical activity course, students provide exercise instruction for residents of an assisted living facility. In a 400-level exercise prescription class, kinesiology students serve as personal trainers, providing basic nutrition advice and exercise prescription for students, faculty, and staff who sign up to participate in a class-led program called Healthy Steps. In addition, experiential learning opportunities exist for students outside of degree requirements. One such opportunity is the Lewis-Clark State Work Scholars program.

The Lewis-Clark State College Work Scholars program is a unique program designed to create opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience while minimizing student loan debt. The program centers on seven performance expectations: (a) learning, (b) attendance, (c) accountability, (d) teamwork, (e) initiative, (f) respect, and (g) job-specific expectations. Work sites are identified on and off campus in a variety of settings. Central to these sites is an agreement between the college and worksite to create a positive workspace in which students are challenged to learn and grow in job-specific and soft skills, which are transferable to learning in the traditional classroom and future employment opportunities. Students also can use their work scholar experience as an internship for academic credit, if an internship is a degree requirement (Interested Students, n.d.).

The Lewis-Clark State College Work Scholars program is a competitive campus-wide program. Interested students complete a formal interview process. This step provides students with the opportunity to write a resume and prepare for and complete a formal interview. If selected, students are offered a highly coveted position in the program. In exchange for a tuition waiver and biweekly stipend, Work Scholar students work at an on- or off-campus preapproved job site for 10 hr/week during the academic year where they can learn and practice job-related skills consistent with their professional goals. Students are surrounded by support with access to a site supervisor, an academic advisor, and program staff members. Program design ensures structured communication and assessment opportunities with three required meetings between the site supervisor, academic advisor, and student each semester (Interested Students, n.d.).

The Lewis-Clark State College kinesiology program was approved as a Work Scholar site. A student with academic and professional interests in sports business and marketing was hired to assist the program with marketing its degrees to potential students, both on and off campus. Specifically, the Work Scholar facilitated a focus group composed of other students to learn student perceptions of the effectiveness of kinesiology program marketing materials. The Work Scholar also assisted with a program alumni engagement initiative. In addition, the Work Scholar performed multiple recruiting tasks for the kinesiology program, including participating in on-campus recruiting events, meeting with potential students and their families to share personal perspectives as a student in program-specific classes, and attending off-campus college recruiting fairs with a faculty member. These activities provided opportunities for the student to further develop oral and written communication skills and build a professional network. The student’s perspective was invaluable to program efforts to improve marketing practices and engage with alumni.

Discussion

Redesigning curriculum to incorporate HIPs was challenging and rewarding. Perhaps most challenging was shifting the mindset of faculty in preparation for engagement in this work. Transformation requires moving from thinking of curriculum design as a set of courses that operate independently from one another, to learning outcomes that are developed as part of the whole student experience. Planned curricular and extracurricular experiences can help students to develop important skills for future success but require coordinated efforts among department faculty. This shift requires faculty to engage in program-wide curricular design, identifying which learning outcomes their coursework meets and how the courses they teach complement subsequent student experiences. Students learn better when faculty scaffold essential learning outcomes from freshman-level through senior-level experiences via integrative and experiential learning opportunities (Fink, 2013; Hansen, 2011; Larson & Miller, 2011). Classes in a degree program are not independent; rather, each class plays an integral role in helping students learn, make meaningful connections, and develop and improve various skills transferable to the workplace.

A primary goal is to help students develop awareness, knowledge, and skills as they progress toward degree completion. This effort requires shifting away from carbon-copy academic activities to real-world authentic learning experiences that promote innovation, critical thinking, and creativity. Such a noticeable shift in approach may cause faculty to feel anxious and, in some cases, to believe this change is impossible. Ultimately, curriculum transformation needs to occur in a way that is a best fit for students’ interests, faculty specialties, program and institutional culture, and access to resources, and that is within a community context. Keys to success include starting early, beginning with small initiatives, and building collaborative relationships both on and off campus, all while making choices that honor the unique aspects of the program and institution.

Begin by engaging faculty in conversation about essential learning outcomes and map out how they are addressed and integrated throughout the program. Discuss how high-impact educational practices can inform teaching methods for faculty as well as enhance learning experiences for students. As a program lead, identify ways to secure funding and other supports for faculty to realize their innovative ideas. Monitor the impact of curriculum changes on student recruitment and retention. When identifying possible community partners, consider the needs of students and the stakeholders with whom you wish to collaborate. People are more willing to collaborate when the relationship is reciprocal and mutual benefits are realized. Involve graduate teaching assistants in professional development opportunities designed to improve understanding of, and identification of, strategies to implement HIPs into classes. Encourage creativity. The HIPs are not necessarily distinct learning activities. Instructors may choose to create opportunities that use HIPs in combination. In addition, consider new curriculum delivery models to improve learning experiences. For example, at institutions with large class sizes, consider adding smaller labs and/or seminars to provide more opportunities for meaningful collaboration and facilitated discussions. For institutions where students start in general education coursework before choosing a kinesiology major, program leaders may need to promote the development of essential learning outcomes and HIPs among first-year students college-wide.

Summary

Kinesiology departments face the challenges of advancing curriculum to provide a quality educational experience amid a rapidly changing society. Adapting teaching practices and student learning experiences is particularly important when teaching increasingly diverse groups of students how to meet expectations of current and future employers. The authors reflected on the similarities between their efforts to implement high-impact teaching practices to prepare kinesiology students for the future of work. Keys to success included developing strategic partnerships with college services, programs, and administrators, and starting small with one new assignment or work placement, ultimately recognizing the significant impact of the changes on the student learning experience (Hansen, 2011; Kuh, 2008; Lang, 2016).

Notes

1.

For example, Big Idea: Health literacy. Enduring Understanding: Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs affect personal lifestyle choices. Learning Outcome: Critically analyze health information from a variety of media sources. Student backgrounds include common misconceptions, such as social media popularity as an indicator of information reliability.

2.

Okanagan College is a comprehensive community college located in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Okanagan College offers degrees, diplomas, and certificates to over 10,000 students. The kinesiology diploma program serves 80 students in a 2-year university-transfer program, preparing students for admission into third year at university and/or direct employment.

3.

Lewis-Clark State College is a small, public, baccalaureate degree-granting institution located in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewis-Clark State serves a student population of almost 4,000 students and offers degrees and certificates in academic, career, and technical education.

4.

Through first-year seminars or other programming, colleges and universities create learning opportunities for small groups of students, faculty, and staff. In these groups, students, faculty, and staff work together to explore solutions to challenging problems, developing critical thinking skills while also improving information literacy, communication, and writing skills (Kuh, 2008).

5.

Students have opportunities through cooperative, small group projects to learn how to work with others. Many skills are developed and enhanced through these activities, including, but not limited to, writing, communication, and problem solving (Kuh, 2008).

6.

Experiential learning integrates opportunities for students to apply the material they are learning in a classroom in a real-world setting. Engaging with the goals of organizations within their local communities, students learn to become active professionals and responsible citizens. Students are invited to reflect on their experiences and connect program content with career opportunities and community needs (Kuh, 2008).

7.

Internships are another form of experiential learning. An internship experience differs from service learning in that internships provide students with experience in a work setting consistent with their professional goals and with an opportunity to receive job coaching from a professional in their field (Kuh, 2008).

References

  • Association of American Colleges & Universities. (n.d.). Advocacy for liberal education. https://www.aacu.org/advocacy-liberal-education-0

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • American Kinesiology Association. (2021). The Undergraduate Core. https://www.americankinesiology.org

  • Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy in higher education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test. LOEX Quarterly, 31(3), Article 4. https://commons.emich.edu/loexquarterly/vol31/iss3/4

  • Brownell, J.E., & Swaner, L.E. (2009). High-Impact practices: Applying the learning outcomes literature to the development of successful campus programs. Peer Review, 11(2), 2630. https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/high-impact-practices-applying-learning-outcomes-literature

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cardinal, B.J., Kang, M., Farnsworth, J.L., II, & Welk, G.J. (2015). Historical context and current status of the intersection of physical activity and public health: Results of the 2015 American Kinesiology Association’s opportunities for kinesiology survey. Kinesiology Review, 4(4), 329345. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2015-0033

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carson, J.A., Petrella, J.K., Yingling, V., Marshall, M.R., Jenny, O., & Sherwood, J.J. (2018). Undergraduate research in kinesiology: Examples to enhance student outcomes. Kinesiology Review, 7(4), 305313. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2018-0038

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chodzko-Zajko, W., Taylor, E.M., & Reeve, T.G. (2018). The American Kinesiology Association core content for kinesiology programs: From concept to curriculum. Kinesiology Review, 7(4), 279285. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2018-0050

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clark, K.I., Templin, T.J., & Lundberg, T.J. (2020). Scientific writing in kinesiology: The Michigan model. Kinesiology Review, 9(4), 349355. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2020-0032

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clocksin, B.D., & Greicar, M.B. (2017). Sustained engagement experiences in kinesiology: An engaged department initiative. Kinesiology Review, 6(4), 362367. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2017-0036

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada. (2021). Leading work integrated learning in Canada. https://www.cewilcanada.ca

  • Corbin, C.B., Welk, G.J., Corbin, W.R., & Welk, K.A. (2008). Concepts of physical fitness: Active lifestyles for wellness (14th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eames, C. (2003). Learning to work: Becoming a research scientist through work experience placements. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 4(2), 715.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Essential Learning Outcomes. (n.d.). Association of American Colleges & Universities. https://www.aacu.org/essential-learning-outcomes

  • Fink, L.D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. Jossey-Bass.

  • Hansen, E.J. (2011). Idea-based learning: A course design process to promote conceptual understanding. Stylus Publishing.

  • Hawe, P., King, L., Noort, M., Gifford, S.M., & Lloyd, B. (1998). Working invisibly: Health workers talk about capacity-building in health promotion. Health Promotion International, 13(4), 285295. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/13.4.285

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Interested Students. (n.d.). Lewis-Clark State College. https://www.lcsc.edu/work-scholars/interested-students

  • Jenny, O, Sherwood, J.J., & Yingling, V.R. (2017). Undergraduate research and service-learning programs in a kinesiology program at a teaching university. Quest, 69(3), 331347. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2016.1226908

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kay, K. (2010). 21st century skills: Why they matter, what they are, and how we get there. In J.A. Bellanca, & R. Brandt (Eds.), 21st century skills: Rethinking how students learn. Solution Tree Press. books.google.com.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lang, J.M. (2016). Small teaching: Everyday lessons from the science of learning. Jossey-Bass.

  • Larson, L.C., & Miller, T.N. (2011). 21st century skills: Prepare students for the future. Kappa Delta Pi, 47(3), 121123. https://doi.org/10.1080/00228958.2011.10516575

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liberal Education & America’s Promise. (2007). College learning for the new global century. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • libNCSU. (2015). Evaluating sources for credibility [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLTOVoHbH5c&t=3s

  • Mandalios, J. (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal of Information Science, 39(4), 470478. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551513478889

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McRae, N., & Johnston, N. (2016). The development of a proposed global work-integrated learning framework. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 17(4), 337348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O*NET. (2021). O*NET Resource Center. https://www.onetcenter.org

  • Peterson, C.I., Baepler, P., Beitz, A., Ching, P., Gorman, K.S., Neudauer, C.L., Rozaitis, W., Walker, J.D., & Wingert, D. (2020) The tyranny of content: “Content coverage” as a barrier to evidence-based teaching approaches and ways to overcome it. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 19(17), 110. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.19-04-0079

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sattler, P., Wiggers, R., & Arnold, C. (2011). Combining workplace training with postsecondary education: The spectrum of work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities from apprenticeship to experiential learning. Canadian Apprenticeship Journal, 5, 133.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schachter, D. (2019). Information literacy teaching in BC academic libraries: Research into critical approaches to library practices. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 43(1), 4865. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/753336

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, C. (2012). Evaluating the quality of work-integrated learning curricula: A comprehensive framework. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(2), 247262. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2011.558072

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tomlinson, C.A. (2015). Teaching for excellence in academically diverse classrooms. Society, 52, 203209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-015-9888-0

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Torell, M.R. (2020). That was then, this is wow: A case for critical information literacy across the curriculum. Communications in Information Literacy, 14(1), 118133. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.1.9

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Valdez, I., & Liu, T. (2020). Assessing student perceptions to enhance undergraduate research in kinesiology. Kinesiology Review, 9(4), 337342. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2020-0038

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WorkBC. (2021). Skills for the future workforce. https://www.workbc.ca/labour-market-industry/skills-for-the-future-workforce.aspx

  • View in gallery

    —The critical information literacy dual-axis framework to examine common sources of health and fitness information.

  • View in gallery

    —Example 13-week Gantt chart for collaborative project timelines.

  • Association of American Colleges & Universities. (n.d.). Advocacy for liberal education. https://www.aacu.org/advocacy-liberal-education-0

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • American Kinesiology Association. (2021). The Undergraduate Core. https://www.americankinesiology.org

  • Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy in higher education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blakeslee, S. (2004). The CRAAP test. LOEX Quarterly, 31(3), Article 4. https://commons.emich.edu/loexquarterly/vol31/iss3/4

  • Brownell, J.E., & Swaner, L.E. (2009). High-Impact practices: Applying the learning outcomes literature to the development of successful campus programs. Peer Review, 11(2), 2630. https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/high-impact-practices-applying-learning-outcomes-literature

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cardinal, B.J., Kang, M., Farnsworth, J.L., II, & Welk, G.J. (2015). Historical context and current status of the intersection of physical activity and public health: Results of the 2015 American Kinesiology Association’s opportunities for kinesiology survey. Kinesiology Review, 4(4), 329345. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2015-0033

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carson, J.A., Petrella, J.K., Yingling, V., Marshall, M.R., Jenny, O., & Sherwood, J.J. (2018). Undergraduate research in kinesiology: Examples to enhance student outcomes. Kinesiology Review, 7(4), 305313. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2018-0038

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chodzko-Zajko, W., Taylor, E.M., & Reeve, T.G. (2018). The American Kinesiology Association core content for kinesiology programs: From concept to curriculum. Kinesiology Review, 7(4), 279285. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2018-0050

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clark, K.I., Templin, T.J., & Lundberg, T.J. (2020). Scientific writing in kinesiology: The Michigan model. Kinesiology Review, 9(4), 349355. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2020-0032

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clocksin, B.D., & Greicar, M.B. (2017). Sustained engagement experiences in kinesiology: An engaged department initiative. Kinesiology Review, 6(4), 362367. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2017-0036

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada. (2021). Leading work integrated learning in Canada. https://www.cewilcanada.ca

  • Corbin, C.B., Welk, G.J., Corbin, W.R., & Welk, K.A. (2008). Concepts of physical fitness: Active lifestyles for wellness (14th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eames, C. (2003). Learning to work: Becoming a research scientist through work experience placements. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 4(2), 715.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Essential Learning Outcomes. (n.d.). Association of American Colleges & Universities. https://www.aacu.org/essential-learning-outcomes

  • Fink, L.D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. Jossey-Bass.

  • Hansen, E.J. (2011). Idea-based learning: A course design process to promote conceptual understanding. Stylus Publishing.

  • Hawe, P., King, L., Noort, M., Gifford, S.M., & Lloyd, B. (1998). Working invisibly: Health workers talk about capacity-building in health promotion. Health Promotion International, 13(4), 285295. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/13.4.285

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Interested Students. (n.d.). Lewis-Clark State College. https://www.lcsc.edu/work-scholars/interested-students

  • Jenny, O, Sherwood, J.J., & Yingling, V.R. (2017). Undergraduate research and service-learning programs in a kinesiology program at a teaching university. Quest, 69(3), 331347. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2016.1226908

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kay, K. (2010). 21st century skills: Why they matter, what they are, and how we get there. In J.A. Bellanca, & R. Brandt (Eds.), 21st century skills: Rethinking how students learn. Solution Tree Press. books.google.com.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lang, J.M. (2016). Small teaching: Everyday lessons from the science of learning. Jossey-Bass.

  • Larson, L.C., & Miller, T.N. (2011). 21st century skills: Prepare students for the future. Kappa Delta Pi, 47(3), 121123. https://doi.org/10.1080/00228958.2011.10516575

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Liberal Education & America’s Promise. (2007). College learning for the new global century. Association of American Colleges and Universities.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • libNCSU. (2015). Evaluating sources for credibility [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLTOVoHbH5c&t=3s

  • Mandalios, J. (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal of Information Science, 39(4), 470478. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551513478889

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McRae, N., & Johnston, N. (2016). The development of a proposed global work-integrated learning framework. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 17(4), 337348.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O*NET. (2021). O*NET Resource Center. https://www.onetcenter.org

  • Peterson, C.I., Baepler, P., Beitz, A., Ching, P., Gorman, K.S., Neudauer, C.L., Rozaitis, W., Walker, J.D., & Wingert, D. (2020) The tyranny of content: “Content coverage” as a barrier to evidence-based teaching approaches and ways to overcome it. CBE – Life Sciences Education, 19(17), 110. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.19-04-0079

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sattler, P., Wiggers, R., & Arnold, C. (2011). Combining workplace training with postsecondary education: The spectrum of work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities from apprenticeship to experiential learning. Canadian Apprenticeship Journal, 5, 133.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schachter, D. (2019). Information literacy teaching in BC academic libraries: Research into critical approaches to library practices. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 43(1), 4865. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/753336

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, C. (2012). Evaluating the quality of work-integrated learning curricula: A comprehensive framework. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(2), 247262. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2011.558072

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tomlinson, C.A. (2015). Teaching for excellence in academically diverse classrooms. Society, 52, 203209. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-015-9888-0

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Torell, M.R. (2020). That was then, this is wow: A case for critical information literacy across the curriculum. Communications in Information Literacy, 14(1), 118133. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.1.9

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Valdez, I., & Liu, T. (2020). Assessing student perceptions to enhance undergraduate research in kinesiology. Kinesiology Review, 9(4), 337342. https://doi.org/10.1123/kr.2020-0038

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WorkBC. (2021). Skills for the future workforce. https://www.workbc.ca/labour-market-industry/skills-for-the-future-workforce.aspx

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