USSA Distance Learning Course Survey Results

For the fifth consecutive year, the annual results of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation Survey are clearly positive. The surveys were administered to all students (N=693) who were enrolled in distance learning courses during the 1997-98 academic year. The surveys were anonymously administered at the time the students took their final examinations in each distance learning course.

The USSA Distance Learning Course Surveys are organized into four sections including: Student Profile, Course Content and Structure, Faculty Evaluation,and Overall Rating of the Course.

Student Profile

Four hundred ninety four (71.3%) of the students had previously taken a distance learning course at the United States Sports Academy. Six hundred forty (92.4%) were satisfied with their communication with the USSA Distance Learning Office. Six hundred nineteen (89.3%) of the students reported their course material was delivered in an acceptable amount of time.

Six hundred seventy four (97.3%) of the students felt their registration process was satisfactory. Five hundred sixty six (81.7%) of the students are planning to take additional distance learning courses at the United States Sports Academy. Five hundred thirty two (76.8%) of the students are employed in a sport-related field. Six hundred ninety two (99.9%) of the students had access to one or more of the following technologies: computer, computer with CD-ROM capability. E-mail, World Wide Web/Internet, fax machine, VCR, or audiotape player.

Course Content and Structure

There were sixteen questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding course content, course objectives, the textbook for the course, the enabling activities, library resources, and the final examination. The culminating question for this section was question # 2.16 which asked “I would recommend this course to a friend and/or colleague.”

The statistical mode or more commonly known as the most frequently occurring score was “agree” for fifteen of the sixteen questions and “strongly agree” for Question # 2.7 which stated “The textbook contributed to my understanding of the subject.”

In all cases, the majority of the students agreed or strongly agreed that course content was carefully planned; the requirements for the courses were adequately explained; the course objectives were clearly expressed; the course objectives were achieved; the course materials provided a clear set of expectations; the content of the course contributed to my understanding of the subject; the textbook contributed to my understanding of the subject; the enabling activities met my learning needs; the enabling activities were challenging; the access to library resources was adequate; the supplemental course materials helped to facilitate their learning; the fifteen week deadline was adequate to complete this course; the examination covered the material/skills emphasized in the course; the examination questions and answers were phrased clearly; the concepts and skills presented will help them on the job and that they would recommend the course to a friend and/or colleague.

Faculty Evaluation

There were ten questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding adequate access, clarity of instructions, interaction, discussions, feedback, and commitment to professional conduct. The culminating question for this section was question # 3.10 which asked “The faculty member seems to care about my learning.”

The highest amount of student satisfaction on the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation surveys was evident in the Faculty Evaluation Section. The mode was strongly agree for seven of the ten questions in this section including the culminating question of “The faculty member seems to care about my learning.” The mode was agree for the remaining three questions in the Faculty Evaluation section.

In all cases, the majority of the students either strongly agreed or agreed that they had adequate access to the instructor; adequate opportunity to ask questions of the faculty member; the faculty member was clear with instructions and directions; interaction with the instructor caused me to think more in depth on the subject; the discussions with faculty helped to facilitate learning; the faculty member was effective in encouraging participation and interest; the faculty member provided useful feedback in facilitating learning; the faculty member facilitated underlying theory into practice; the faculty member possessed commitment to high standards of professional conduct and the faculty member seems to care about my learning.

Overall Rating of the Course

There were four questions in this section of the USSA Distance Learning Course Evaluation survey. These questions surveyed the students’ opinions regarding whether the course relates underlying theory to practice, the course met expectations, and a comparison of the amount of time spent in student preparation for the course. The culminating question for this section was question # 4.4 which asked “I believe that I learned as much through the Distance Learning delivery method as I have in previous residential graduate classes.”

The mode was agree for three of the four items in this section. The mode was strongly agree for the culminating question. The majority of the students either agreed or strongly agreed that the course relates underlying theory to practice; the course met expectations; compared with other courses taken by Distance Learning, the same or more time was spent in preparation; and that the students learned as much through the Distance Learning delivery method as in previous residential courses.

2013-11-27T17:33:08-05:00February 12th, 2008|Sports Facilities, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on USSA Distance Learning Course Survey Results

Development of an Athletic Training Curriculum for Universities in South Korea

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a competency based undergraduate sports medicine curriculum for universities in the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.). The survey questionnaire used in this study was derived from five performance domains and universal competencies of the 1995 Role Delineation Study For Entry-Level Athletic Trainers (NATA-BOC, 1995).

The sample in this study consisted of all 180 athletic trainers, medical doctors, and sport educators from the Korean Society of Sports Medicine (KSSM) in the R.O.K. One hundred eighty survey questionnaires were sent to the subjects. Of the 180 questionnaires, 104 were returned out. Two were discarded because they were incomplete. The 102 questionnaires yielded a 56.7% overall return rate. Frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations were computed to describe the data. One way ANOVA and Scheffe post-hoc tests were used to analyze the data.

Results of this study indicated that there was a strong need for a sports medicine curriculum in the R.O.K. The subjects rated the NATA sports medicine competencies in five performance domains to be either “important” or “very important”. The results of one-way ANOVA tests indicated there were statistically significant differences between groups in their competency ratings in Domain I, Domain II, Domain III and Domain V. The results of the Scheffe post-hoc tests indicated the means of competency ratings in the four domains by the athletic trainers were statistically significantly higher than the means of the medical doctors. In general, the findings of this study support competencies developed by the NATA and utilized by most United States colleges and universities. The researcher made a few modifications of the current NATA approved curriculum, commensurate with the findings of this study.

Introduction
Since the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, interest in sport activities and sport education has grown rapidly in the Republic of Korea (Lim, 1997). However, there is a prevalence of sport injuries in secondary schools, colleges and universities in the R.O.K because young athletes are susceptible to injury (An, Yoo & Kim, 1992). Most institutions in the R.O.K. do not provide a qualified athletic trainer because there is no formal, standard sports medicine training program in the R.O.K. (Lee, 1995).

The value of having an athletic trainer in secondary schools, colleges and universities for the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries has been well-documented (Hossler, 1993; Rankin, 1998). The findings of these studies indicated an athletic trainer provided by institutions significantly reduced the rate of injury and re-injury.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and many researchers in the United States have studied professional preparation for athletic trainers since the inception of the NATA. Competencies developed by the NATA and utilized by most United States colleges and universities served as a basis to develop a competency based undergraduate sports medicine curriculum in the R.O.K.

Methods

Subjects
The sample in this study consisted of all 180 members of the Korean Society of Sports Medicine (KSSM). Athletic trainers, medical doctors, and sport educators in the R.O.K. comprised this membership. The researcher obtained a list of the member names and addresses from the KSSM officials. One hundred and four questionnaires were returned. Two of these were discarded because they were incomplete. The 102 questionnaires yielded a 56.7% overall return rate.

Instrument
Following a review of related literature, an initial survey questionnaire instrument to measure the importance of the competencies of entry-level athletic trainers was derived from five performance domains and the universal competencies of the NATA role delineation study, third edition (NATA-BOC, 1995).

Statistical Analysis
Frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations were used to describe the data. One way ANOVA and the Scheffe post-hoc tests were used to analyze subject demographic characteristics. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine the differences between means of competency ratings in five performance domains based on the subject employment. When the results of the ANOVA test were statistically significant, the Scheffe post-hoc test was conducted to determine where differences between means existed. Statistical significance was accepted at p<.05.

Results

Demographic Characteristics of Subjects
Of the total 102 subjects, 26 (25.5%) were athletic trainers, 32 (31.4%) were medical doctors and 44 (43.1%) were sport educators. The majority of the subjects were males, had an advanced degree, and were in the age group of 31 – 50 years. Most subjects (80.3%) had one to 10 years of experience in sports medicine, whereas the rest had no experience in sports medicine. Only fifty percent of the subjects devoted 25% or more of their daily work to sports medicine.

Most subjects (87.2%) expressed “needed” to “strongly needed” for a sports medicine curriculum in the R.O.K.

Ratings of NATA Competencies
The findings indicated the subjects rated the NATA five domains of sports medicine competencies to be either “important” or “very important”. The subjects rated Domain II (Recognition, Evaluation, and Immediate Care of Athletic Injuries) to be the most important. Domain III (Rehabilitation and Reconditioning of Athletic Injuries), Domain I (Prevention of Athletic Injuries), Domain V (Professional Development and Responsibility) and Domain IV (Health Care Administration) followed in order of importance.

The results of one-way ANOVA tests indicated there were statistically significant differences between the subject groups in their competency ratings of Domain I (Prevention of Athletic Injuries), Domain II (Recognition, Evaluation and Immediate Care of Athletic Injuries), Domain III (Rehabilitation and Reconditioning of Athletic Injuries) and Domain V (Professional Development and Responsibility). Statistical significance was not found for Domain IV (Health Care Administration). The results of the Scheffe post-hoc tests indicated the means of competency ratings in the four domains by the athletic trainers were statistically significantly higher than the means of the medical doctors.

Ratings of Sports Medicine Curricular Components for R.O.K. Universities

The subjects rated all 11 areas of basic knowledge to be “important” to “extremely important”. The most important area was domain-specific content. The other areas of the basic knowledge, ranked in order from most to least important, were as follows: athletic training evaluation, human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, psychology/counseling, organization and administration, nutrition, physics and pharmacology.

The majority of the subjects believed a sports medicine program should be housed in the physical education (sport) department/college. Most subjects believed it is “very important” to “extremely important” to have an internship in order for students to prepare for careers in sports medicine. The majority of the subjects thought it necessary for a student to have more than 1,000 work hours for a successful internship experience in sports medicine. The majority of the subjects believed the internship should be for 12 semester credit hours.

An Undergraduate Sports Medicine Curriculum for Universities in the R.O.K.

The findings support competencies developed by the NATA and utilized by most colleges and universities in the United States. The researcher made a few modifications to the current NATA approved curriculum, commensurate with the findings of this study. The following subject areas comprise an undergraduate sports medicine curriculum for universities in the R.O.K.:

  1. Sports Medicine Subject Areas
  2. First aid and emergency care
  3. Prevention of athletic injuries/illnesses
  4. Evaluation of athletic injuries/illness
  5. Therapeutic modalities
  6. Therapeutic exercise
  7. Administration of athletic training programs
  8. Science Subject Areas
  9. Human anatomy
  10. Human physiology
  11. Exercise physiology
  12. Kinesiology/biomechanics
  13. Health Related Subject Areas
  14. Nutrition
  15. Psychology/Counseling
  16. Personal and community health

The above subject areas should constitute the academic core of the curriculum. However, institutions should not be required to offer specific courses, as long as there is evidence that each subject area is addressed within the curriculum and students are able to demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge and skills in each area.

An internship should be a minimum of 1,000 hours of work experience in the sports medicine field. The internship should include all of the knowledge and skills specific to the five domains of athletic training.

Discussion

      The results of this study indicated the subjects rated all NATA competency items to be “important” to “extremely important.” This would support the results of the NATA’s role delineation study (NATA-BOC, 1995). However, the rating of the NATA competency items by all of the subjects in this study were slightly lower than a similar study (Rudy, 1997). Rudy indicated all competency items were found to be “very important” to extremely important.” This may be explained by the differences in the subjects in Rudy’s study. The subjects in the present study were not only athletic trainers, but also medical doctors and sport educators, whereas Rudy’s study included only athletic trainers. The findings of the present study indicated athletic trainers were found to rate each competency significantly higher than medical doctors and sports educators.

Although it was still rated as being between “important” and very important,” the least important area of the 11 areas of basic knowledge areas in this study was pharmacology (Mean = 3.16). Rudy also found pharmacology (Mean = 3.49) to be the least important in his study. It may be meaningful to have pharmacology as a unit in other courses or make it a one or two-credit course.

The internship was found to be a very important component of a sports medicine curriculum in this study. The majority of the subjects in this study indicated a need for a minimum of 1,000 hours, whereas the current guidelines of the NATA approved program require a minimum of 800 hours.

Recommendations
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made for the development and implementation of an undergraduate sports medicine program in the R.O.K.

  1. Ministry of Education officials in the R.O.K. should consider the curriculum model developed from this study as a standard for new undergraduate sports medicine programs.
  2. University officials in the R.O.K interested in establishing an undergraduate sports medicine program should use the curriculum model as a basis for program development.
  3. Universities should have a program director who has wide experience in the field of sports medicine and teaching experience in sports medicine. If qualified personnel can not be found in the R.O.K., consideration should be made to recruit personnel from the United States.
  4. To improve sports medicine programs, university officials in the R.O.K. should consider developing an international exchange program with American institutions which have credible sports medicine programs.
  5. The program director should develop good relationships with sports medicine organizations and communities in the R.O.K. in order to provide students with internships and increased job opportunities.
  6. The program director should consider having sports medicine experts as adjunct faculty members for the university. The adjunct faculty members can share their expertise with students, which may make the program stronger.
  7. University officials should consider providing a sports medicine program to prepare students for entry-level athletic training along with a teaching credential in order to provide students with more job opportunities and higher salaries. The curriculum should meet the requirements of athletic training and teaching.

The following recommendations are made for further study:

  1. This study should serve as a basis for developing a graduate sports medicine curriculum in the R.O.K.
  2. As the scope and practice of athletic training changes, similar studies should be conducted periodically to update competencies of entry-level athletic trainers and to modify the curriculum accordingly.
  3. A replicate study could be conducted to develop an undergraduate sports medicine curriculum for other countries that lack professional preparation programs in sports medicine.
  4. Additional research should be conducted to determine the reasons for differences in the evaluation of the competencies by athletic trainers, medical doctors and sport educators.

References
An, I., Yoo, T., & Kim, C. (1992). A study of high school students’ sports activity and related injuries in Jinju. Korean Journal of Sports Medicine, 10(1), 63-76.

Hossler, P. (1993). The high school athletic training program – An organization guide. Dubuque IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

Lee, E. (1998). How to become an athletic trainer, Tennis Korea, 11, 76-77.

National Athletic Trainers’ Association. (1995) 1995 Role delineation study of the entry-level athletic trainer.

Lim, B. (1997). The relationship between the leisure types and the satisfaction of the university students. The Journal of Hankuk Sports Association, 35(4), 408-440.

Rudy, J. (1997). Educational requirements for high school athletic trainers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Secondary Education, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansa.

Rankin, J. (1989). Athletic training education – new dimensions. JOPERD, 68-71.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to acknowledge the following people for their special contributions which made this study possible: Dr. Lawrence Bestmann, Dr. William Carroll, Dr. Richard DeSchriver, Dr. Jae-Woo Kim, Dr. Pete Koehneke, and Dr. Young-Jun Park.

2013-11-27T17:34:11-05:00February 12th, 2008|Sports Facilities, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Development of an Athletic Training Curriculum for Universities in South Korea

Exercise Physiology In The Web-Based Environment

Introduction
In the summer of 1998, the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) offered an Exercise Physiology course over the Internet as the first step in developing a distance learning track with their exercise science curriculum. This class was partially supported with a grant from the University Outreach program and administered through the Center of Teaching Excellence at TAMUCC. The primary feature to this online course was to present lectures and practice quizzes complete with QuickTime movies and graphic illustrations. Additionally, The use of electronic mail and exercise physiology lab experiences were required as a means of maintaining communication with students and providing them with application to what was being discussed in lectures respectively. In this article, we discuss the details and results of this pilot project.

Since TAMUCC opened its doors to a four year curriculum in 1994, the natural constituency of potential students who desire non-traditional courses from the University has increased dramatically. Since a high percentage of our students are working part-time or full-time while attending college, it has become apparent that attending actual classes during regular working hours is difficult (if not impossible). Additionally, many of the adult students live in neighboring towns along the Coastal Bend, far away from the campus. As a state institution of higher education, we felt that we had a responsibility to try to offer some alternatives to the members of our regional community who were attempting to obtain their undergraduate degrees in Kinesiology.

A secondary interest was to find out if students effectively learn in a science oriented environment when using the technologies that are available through the Internet. To this date, there is no other course being taught in the area of exercise physiology via the Internet. So there are various questions that need to be answered as to whether or not such a field of science can be taught well enough to accommodate students needing distance learning. We have observed other courses such as the science of athletic injuries classes which seem to be offer little more than reading assignments, sharp graphics and cute animations. There are few (if any) courses being distributed over the Internet, which offer combinations of learning environments similar to the traditional classroom, where socialization, interaction and laboratory assignments are prevalent.

Lastly, in the interest of education, it was our aim to investigate the pedagogical issues that involve learning in a web-based environment. What are the positive and negative aspects? What strategies work best in the delivery of subject matter? What differences can be found between students in a traditional and web-based exercise physiology class?

As we look to the future prospects of distance learning in the field of Kinesiology, this pilot study could provide us with first-hand knowledge and experience from which to draw on for future endeavors. This project has supplied a wealth of information and then some. In the final analysis, the pilot has been very successful. However, as with any new development in education, one should always proceed with some caution.

In the early stages of developing a web-based class in exercise physiology, it became apparent that the instructor had to have abilities not only to develop interactive web sites, but to assure that the course content was being designed and delivered. As we soon discovered, teaching at a distance effectively was very different from the traditional lecture-based format, even for the most experienced. It is recommended that future distance learning instructors attend formal training workshops and/or clinics in order to properly prepare for the multifaceted aspects of putting together a web-based program.

Of greater importance is the need to have the proper hardware and technological support in place prior to designing the program. In our case, we were able to utilize two computer laboratories, a fully equiped human performance lab and an audio/visual lab to assist in the delivery of course content. Because our lectures were web-based, students with home computers having Internet capabilities were able to logon from their residence. Additionally, it was necessary to have media and computer experts to assist with troubleshooting and advise us when problems arose either with the design or configuration of our web sites on the Internet.

The foundation to our web-based class in exercise physiology centered on the development of Internet oriented lectures and practice quizzes. Additionally, students were instructed to view video-based presentations and perform outside laboratory assignments in exercise physiology on their own. The software we used in developing our lectures was Adobe Pagemill. This software was found to be the user-friendliest. Most graphics, illustrations, digital movies and other images can be dragged into Pagemill web pages without having a vast knowledge of HTML language. This saved us all a significant amount of time and energy. Additionally, Microsoft PowerPoint 98 was used in creating outlined lectures in HTML format. The advantage to PowerPoint 98 is that the HTML saving feature allows web site designers to transfer traditional PowerPoint presentations to HTML presentations with the click of a button. PowerPoint directs one through a Wizard (series of questions) and upon completion, the presentation is created automatically into a bundled file, ready to be downloaded onto a server. Due to the complexities of integrating digital movies, audio advanced images and email links, some HTML language changes were made after the presentations were created.

Cognitive Evaluations
Student’s cognitive abilities were evaluated through two written examinations and five web-based practice quizzes. Due to the nature of the exercise physiology course materials, the instructor required that the students return to campus and take their mid-term and final examinations. One hundred True/False and multiple choice questions were given to students and compared to the results from the same tests given in the Fall of 1998 when the course was offered in a lecture-based format. The summary of these findings is presented later in this article.

Practice quizzes (n=5) utilized during the semester were intended for students to test their knowledge of the content and review those areas where they had identified weaknesses in. The practice quizzes were developed with Pagemill and linked to a database made with Claris FileMaker Pro. The computer professionals involved with overseeing the server where the exercise physiology program was located, helped us with the UNIX language needed to grade and provide feedback to students taking the quizzes. The advantage of having quiz results placed onto a FileMaker Pro database was that the results could be observed and monitored by the exercise physiology instructor who had access to these files. In order to assure that students were taking the practice quizzes, a percentage of their grade (10%) was based on their performance on the practice quizzes. The instructor allowed students to take the practice quizzes as many times as possible, until they had scored well enough to feel they had mastered the content.

Laboratory Tests and Assignments
Seventeen laboratory experiences were required to ensure that students would be able to make practical applications from lecture material. Students were able to download their lab forms off the Internet then perform their laboratory assignments either in their home locations or on campus in the Human Performance Laboratory. Such assignments as learning to take resting or active blood pressures and sub-VO2 Max tests could easily be accomplished in a clinic or at home. When laboratory assignments were completed, students were instructed to attach their lab forms (Word or WordPerfect format) to their email and forward them to the instructor. At the end of each lab assignment were questions pertaining to their results and how the results applied to what they had learned through the lectures.

Student Interactions
At any time while observing web-based lectures and practice quizzes, the students were encouraged to ask questions through email. Email links are provided on each presentation slide as well as the daily agendas. The instructor was available during the morning and afternoon hours of the semester to answer student questions, provide advice and further direction. This method of delivering course content is commonly known as “Asynchronous Distance Learning.” Asynchronous refers to a method of communication where the learner and instructor do not interact in real time. In this case interaction took place on the Internet at a time that was convenient for each person. Students were also encouraged to interact among themselves, their laboratory partners and the laboratory assistants who where monitoring the human performance lab.

Student Interactions were encouraged through email and during group activity in the laboratory setting. There were some lab assignments that required students to return to the Human Performance Lab (e.g. Astrand Ryhming Bicycle Ergometer Test). The instructor and lab assistants were on hand in the laboratory to answer questions and encourage group discussions concerning the accuracy of the tests and how they applied to what was presented in lecture.

Evaluating Student Performance
Because little is known about how students may perform in a distance learning (web-based) exercise physiology class compared to a lecture-based exercise physiology environment, a comparison of examination scores from students taking the same test was performed to determine if learning differed between the type of class formats. The investigators hypothesized that a more effective way of teaching the science of exercise physiology would be from a lecture-based class format. Lecture-based formats allow for the possibility of immediate and concurrent feedback between student and instructor via non-verbal and verbal communicative channels while web-based instruction does not. Therefore, it was expected that students in lecture format would outperform students in a web-based format on midterm and final examinations. A focused comparison of performance on these examinations confirmed the hypothesis that students in lecture-based instruction generally outperformed students in web-based instruction. On the midterm examination there was a significant difference between student scores in the lecture-based and web-based classes. Students in the lecture-based format scored 74.11, SD=10.32 while students in the web-based averaged 69.65, SD=8.28 T=1.927, p<.05. On the final examination, there was no significant difference between student scores in the web-based and lecture-based classes. Students in the lecture-based format scored 80.27, SD=6.75 while students in the web-based averaged 78.76, SD=7.1 T=.917, p>.05. (See Figure 1). The investigators suggest that the pattern of performance on examination scores will be useful in the future for exploring the extent to which particular curriculum items are more or less suited for web-based or lecture-based instructional formats. From the data analyzed in this pilot study, it appears that the web-based class in exercise physiology was able to deliver content at a level comparable to that of the traditional class lecture-based format. However, an analysis of midterm and final examination test scores between lecture-based and web-based class examinations suggest that additional strategies may need to be developed to improve retention levels on content in the web-based format. The fact that no significant difference was found in test scores on the final examination may imply that students became more comfortable with working through lectures and practice quizzes in the web-based format throughout the semester. Additionally, the results from the final examination may indicate that higher levels of retention and learning had taken place with students in the web-based class when compared to their midterm examinations.

Post-Class Surveys

At the end of the semester, the instructor conducted a survey and collected comments and suggestions pertaining to student perceptions of the web-based class. The results of the web-based course survey were very encouraging. For example, 88% of the students (n=26) felt that the class was worthwhile and would take another Internet-based class if given the opportunity. A summary of the findings from the student survey is shown in Table 1.

Table 1

88% Would take another Internet-based course given the opportunity
88% Did feel that this class in Exercise Physiology was worthwhile
40% Thought the lectures were excellent, while 40 % felt they were good.
60% Felt that the graphics and illustrations were excellent, while 28% indicated them as good.
68% Believed the content of the Exercise Physiology class was excellent, while 20% felt that the content was good.
52% Strongly agreed that on the whole, this course was a good course, while 36 simply agreed.
84% Strongly agreed that on the whole, the instructor was good, while 8% simply agreed that the instructor was good.
12% Of the class felt that the lectures were either difficult to comprehend or totally unclear
12% Of the class indicated they were either undecided or unclear about some of the graphics and illustrations
12% Of the class felt undecided or sometimes unclear about the content of the Exercise Physiology class.
12% Of the class disagreed or strongly disagreed that the course was, on the whole, a good course.

Future Implications
There is good evidence that the Internet has changed the way educators teach and students learn in our society. Furthermore, research is revealing that the delivery of information through technology can be an effective tool in student motivation and the learning process. In this pilot study, it was found that students enjoyed the process of learning exercise physiology via the Internet, and given the opportunity would take additional web-based courses. With our student populations demanding higher access to Internet-based courses, colleges are shifting their focus on learning rather than teaching. Because of this demand, there is a need for additional support in training educators in technology and providing the financial support for hardware and software needed in the development of distance learning courses. As we enter the 21st century, we must begin to accept the idea that the Internet is a tool, which can be effectively used to augment the learning process.

2013-11-27T17:47:48-05:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Facilities, Sports Management|Comments Off on Exercise Physiology In The Web-Based Environment

Athletics as a Predictor of Self-esteem and Approval Motivation

Abstract

Past research has found a negative correlation between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation (Larsen, Martin, Ettinger, & Nelson, 1976). This relationship has not been explored specifically for individuals who participate in athletics. The purpose of this study was to compare athletes and non-athletes on their levels of self-esteem and approval motivation, and to determine if a positive correlation exists for athletes in contrast to the negative correlation found in the general college population. A significant difference was found between athletes and non-athletes in their levels of self-esteem and approval motivation.

Previous research has been conducted in order to identify and explore personal attributes which are associated with participation in sports. There has been a significant relationship found between athletics and the attribute of self-esteem (Kumar, Pathak, & Thakur, 1985). Studies based on the general population suggest a significant negative relationship between self-esteem and an attribute known as approval motivation. Self-esteem is defined as, “an intrapsychic structure: an attitude about the self” (Baumeister, Tice, & Hutton, 1989, p. 547). Coopersmith (1967) defined self-esteem as “the evaluation which the individual makes and customarily maintains with regard to himself” (p. 4-5). Kawash and Scherf (1975) asserted that, “there is probably no personality trait more significant in the context of total psychological functioning than self-esteem” (p. 715). Approval motivation is defined as the desire to produce positive perceptions in others and the incentive to acquire the approval of others as well as the desire to avoid disapproval (Martin, 1984; Shulman & Silverman, 1974).

Geen (1991) listed three conditions that he felt must be met before he considered approval motivation to have occurred. First, an individual must be in direct contact with a person or a group of people, such as an audience or a partner or partners in interaction. Next, the social presence has a nondirective effect. This means that the social group does not provide direct cues on how the person should act in the situation. Finally, the socially generated effect on the individual is considered an intrapsychic state, and this state is capable of initiating and/or intensify behavior.

Research has shown that an individual’s level of approval motivation can be used to predict how he or she will react to expectations or influences of others. Smith and Flenning (1971) conducted a study that investigated the connection between subjects’ need for approval and their susceptibility to subtle unintended influence of biased experimenters. They found that individuals with a high need for approval altered their behavior in the direction of the experimenter’s expectancy, while those in the low approval motivation group did not. Past research has also found a negative correlation to exist between self-esteem and approval motivation (Larsen, Martin, Ettinger, & Nelson, 1976). This indicates that as an individual’s level of self-esteem increases, their need for approval from others decreases. There is no research at this time that has examined the relationship of athletic participation on the negative correlation between self-esteem and approval motivation or on approval motivation alone. However, research has examined the affect of athletic participation and coaching style on self-esteem.

Taylor (1995) conducted a study where he compared athletic participants and nonparticipants in order to ascertain if participating in intercollegiate athletics had an effect on self-esteem. He reported that athletic participation did have a positive effect on self-esteem, but it was not strong enough to have a statistically significant effect on its own. Kumar, Pathak and Thakur (1985) compared individual athletes, team athletes, and non-athletes on their levels of self-esteem using the Self-esteem Inventory (Prasad & Thakur, 1977). The Self-esteem Inventory (Prasad & Thakur, 1977) had two subscales: the personally perceived self, and the socially perceived self. They found that individual athletes were significantly higher on personally perceived self and socially perceived self than team athletes and non-athletes.

Research examining coaching behaviors has found that a coach’s instructional style can have an impact on individual’s with low self-esteem. Smoll, Smith, Barnett, and Everett (1993) examined the effect of coach’s instructional style on self-esteem. Eighteen male head coaches and 152 male Little League Baseball players were studied with 8 of the head coaches participating in a workshop that was designed to increase their supportiveness and instructional effectiveness. A preseason measure of self-esteem of the 152 players who played under the 18 coaches was taken. Post-season measures of the players’ self-esteem were assessed and compared to their preseason score. It was found that players who scored low on self-esteem in the preseason assessment showed a significant increase in their general self-esteem scores in the postseason assessment.

There has been no research conducted at this time that has examined the variable of approval motivation among athletes. However, research investigating other aspects of athletic participation suggests a need for approval among athletes. For example, research in conformity has found that rookies and newcomers to teams quickly learn and adopt attitudes and behaviors of veteran players and team leaders. This influence can be found to affect the athletes’ beliefs and behaviors in both athletic and non-athletic situations (Carron, 1980). Also, Harris (1973) examined the motivational factors related to athletic participation and concluded that motivational forces such as love, social approval, status, security and achievement are basic components to the overall motivational structure which would encourage someone toward athletic participation. Finally, additional research conducted by Smith (1990) indicated that some athletes continue to participate in sports although they do not want to in order to avoid letting down coaches or family members (as cited in Thorton, 1990).

The purpose of this study was to compare athletes and non-athletes on levels of self-esteem and approval motivation. The researchers proposed the following hypothesis. First, there would be a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes in levels of self-esteem and approval motivation. Second, for non-athletes, as supported by past research, there would be a negative correlation between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation. Finally, for athletes, the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation would be positively correlated.

Methods
Four hundred ninety-two undergraduate students over the age of 18 attending core courses at a small southern university volunteered to participate in this study. There were 94 athletes and 398 non-athletes with the participant’s ages ranging from 18 years to 49 years, with a mean age of 21.95 years. Participants were provided with a description of the project and inform consent forms prior to receiving the questionnaire.

After returning the signed informed consent forms, participants were given a questionnaire that contained a demographics sheet, Revised Martin-Larsen Approval Motivation Scale (MLAM) (Martin, 1984), and the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSS) (Rosenberg, 1989). The MLAM is a questionnaire consisting of 20 statements designed on a five point Likert-type scale. This instrument measures an individuals level of approval motivation “by assessing both the desire to receive positive evaluations and social reinforcements and avoid negative evaluations and social punishment” (Martin, 1984, p.509). The MLAM has a total range of summative scores from 20 to 100 and a total range of mean scores from one to five. Higher scores indicate a greater need for social approval while lower scores indicate a lower need for approval. This scale has stability coefficients ranging from .73 to .93, and a reliability coefficient of .79.

The RSS is a ten item Guttman scale designed to measure an individuals level of self-esteem. It is unidimensional, which means that individuals may be ranked along a single continuum from very low to very high. Scores range from 10 to 40 with higher scores indicating a higher level of self-esteem and lower scores indicating a lower level of self-esteem. This measure has been found to have a test-retest reliability of .85 (Rosenberg, 1989).

The survey required approximately 35 to 40 minutes to take and participants were allowed to withdraw at any time without penalty. Participants did not place their names on the answer sheet and their signed informed consents were kept separate from their answer sheets to insure anonymity. All participants were treated according to the ethical guidelines concerning research set forth by the American Psychological Association.

Results
The data was analyzed using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) to determine if there was a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation. The MANOVA revealed that there was a significant main effect found between the two groups (see Table 1). The results of the MANOVA also revealed that there were no interaction effects between the two groups. This supported the first hypothesis that there was a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation.

Table 1
Degrees of Freedom, F Values, and Levels of Significance for Self-esteem and Approval Motivation
df F Sig.
Self-esteem 1 21.8685 .0001
Approval motivation 1 4.2735 .0392

A Pearson r correlation was computed to examine the nature of the relationship between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation for both the athlete and non-athlete groups. For non-athletes, a negative correlation was found to exist between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation (r = -.4503, p< .001). This finding is consistent with the findings of past research that examined the relationship between self-esteem and approval motivation in the general population (Larsen, Martin, Ettinger, & Nelson, 1976). The second hypothesis of this study was supported.

A negative correlation was found to exist between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation for the group consisting of college athletes (r = -.4534, p< .001). Resulting in the rejection of hypothesis three. This finding suggests that athletes, like non-athletes, exhibit a negative correlation between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation.

Discussion
The findings of this study suggest that there is a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation. These findings mirror those of Kumar, Pathak, and Thakur (1985) who found that athletes have higher levels of self-esteem than non-athletes. In this study, a portion of the subjects were Division I college aged athletes. There are several factors that may have contributed to these athletes having higher self-esteem than non-athletes, such as receiving special treatment. For example, many of these athletes may have received scholarships to college for their athletic skills, been allowed to travel to other schools to compete, and had access to uniforms and other athletic wear that served to set them apart from their non-athletic peers. In addition, these athletes may have received special attention from the press and fans, and received certain rewards that non-athletes have not received. Further, athletes have the unique opportunity to develop close friendships with team members and identify with the team itself.

Results of the current study indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variable of approval motivation. However, despite being statistically significant there is some question as to whether these findings have everyday applicability (see Table 2). Further research is needed to determine if there is a true behavioral difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variable approval motivation, and if so what aspect of athletic participation is responsible for this difference.

Table 2
Means and Standard Deviations for Athletes and Non-Athletes
on the Variables of Self-esteem and Approval Motivation
Mean Standard Deviation
Self-esteem Approval Motivation Self-esteem Approval Motivation
Athletes 34.1064 2.5840 4.6315 .4373
Non-athletes 31.3668 2.7045 5.2139 .5234

There are a number of possible reasons why the need for athletes to receive praise or to avoid the rejection of others, is met through sport participation. Athletes, especially at the collegiate level, receive many benefits from participating in sports. For example, athletes receive praise and support from their parents, peers, coaches, fans, and community. In addition, personal rewards are obtained through the athlete’s athletic prowess and identity with the team. Many of the athletes competing at the Division I collegiate level bring with them to college successful high school experiences in athletics. Therefore, athletes in this study may have received approval for a number of years through athletic participation. Due to the history of approval and reward associated with athletic participation, athletes may not need to engage in further approval seeking behaviors.

It should be noted that the athletes in this study are most likely the elite athletes from their high school programs. They are good at what they do and have excelled in athletics for many years. Therefore, the athletes in this study due to their history of athletic success, may be more likely to participate in Division I athletics. Athletes with low self-esteem and high needs for approval may not be as likely to reach Division I college athletics. Future research may wish to examine approval motivation and self-esteem in youth sports and high school athletics to determine if there is consistency of findings.

As predicted, there was a negative correlation found between self-esteem and approval motivation for non-athletes. This finding was consistent with those of Larsen, Martin, Ettinger, & Nelson (1976) who also examined the relationship between approval motivation and self-esteem in the general population. However, what was not predicted was the negative correlation that was found between the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation for the group of collegiate athletes. Although there was a significant difference between athletes and non-athletes on their levels of approval motivation, these results imply that athletic participation does not alter the negative relationship between self-esteem and approval motivation. The results of this study suggest that athletes are more likely to view themselves positively and see themselves as worthy and are less likely to engage in approval seeking behavior than non-athletes.

The findings of this study lead to several additional questions concerning the difference between athletes and non-athletes on the variables of self-esteem and approval motivation. Future research may wish to explore factors that contribute to the differences found in self-esteem and approval motivation for athletes, such as the number of years experience, ethnicity, gender, and types of athletic experience.

References
Baumeister, R.F., Tice, D.M., & Hutton, D.G. (1989). Self-presentational motivations and personality differences in self-esteem. Journal of Personality, 57, 547-579.

Carron, A.V. (1980). Social psychology of sport. Ithaca: Mouvement Publications.

Coopersmith, S. (1967). The antecedents of self-esteem. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company.

Geen, R.G. (1991). Social motivation. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 377-399.

Harris, D.V. (1973). Involvement in sport: A somatopsychic rationale for physical activity. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.

Kawash, G.F. & Scherf, G.W. (1975). Self-esteem, locus of control, and approval motivation in married couples. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 31, 715-720.

Kumar, A., Pathak, N., & Thakur, G.P. (1985). Self-esteem in individual athletes, team members, and nonathletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, 178.

Larsen, K.S., Martin, H.J., Ettinger, R.H., & Nelson, J. (1976). Approval seeking, social cost, and aggression: A scale and some dynamics. The Journal of Psychology,94, 3-11.

Martin, H.J. (1984). A revised measure of approval motivation and its relationship to social desirability. Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 508-519.

Prasad, M.S. & Thakur, G.P. (1977). Manual and directions for Self-esteem Inventory. Agra: Agra Psychological Research Cell.

Rosenberg, M. (1986). Conceiving the self. Malabar, FL: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company

Shulman, A.D. & Silverman, I. (1974). Social desirability and need approval: Some paradoxical data and a conceptual re-evaluation. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 13, 27-32.

Smith, R.E. & Flenning, F. (1971). Need for approval and susceptibility to unintended social influence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 36, 383-385.

Smoll, F.L., Smith, R.E., Barnett, N.P., & Everett, J.J. (1993). Enhancement of children’s self-esteem through social support training for youth sport coaches. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 602-610.

Thornton, J.S. (1990). Playing in pain: When should an athlete stop? The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 18, 139-142.

Taylor, D.L. (1995). A comparison of college athletic participants and nonparticipants on self-esteem. Journal of College Student Developement,36, 444-451.

2013-11-27T17:35:44-05:00February 11th, 2008|Contemporary Sports Issues, Sports Coaching, Sports Management, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Athletics as a Predictor of Self-esteem and Approval Motivation

Music in Sport and Exercise: Theory and Practice

This article has been inspired
by six years of doctoral research in which I found that the “right”
music can have a very positive impact on sport and exercise performance.
I am grateful to the Academy for cultivating my interest in the
area of psychophysical responses to music during my master’s
programme in 1991/92. I am also pleased to be invited to share
my findings with you, the coaches and fitness professionals.

How Does Music Aid Athletic
Performance?

A review of this area (Karageorghis & Terry, 1997) based
on a meta-analytic study I conducted at the Academy, revealed
four main ways which music may aid performance in sport and exercise.
First, during submaximal repetitive exercise such as running,
music can narrow a performer’s attention and as a consequence,
divert attention away from sensations of fatigue. This is a technique
which many marathon runners and triathletes refer to as dissociation,
i.e., focusing on stimuli unrelated to the task such as the surroundings
or conducting mental arithmetic. Effective dissociation tends
to promote a positive mood state through the avoidance of thoughts
that relate to the fatigue component of mood.

Second, music alters arousal levels and can therefore be used as a form of stimulant prior
to competition or as a sedative to calm over-anxious athletes
(see Karageorghis, Drew, & Terry, 1996). One of the interventions
I often use involves the production of audio cassettes containing
stimulative music combined with verbal suggestions as a psych-up
strategy. Similarly, I use sedative music as a backdrop for relaxation
techniques that are administered via verbal instruction.

Third, music is beneficial
as a result of the similarities between rhythm and human movement;
hence, the synchronization of music with exercise consistently
demonstrates increased levels of work output among exercise participants
(see Karageorghis & Terry, 1997, for review). Fourth, in
relation to the previous point, the rhythmical qualities of music
also emulate patterns of physical skills; therefore, music can
enhance the acquisition of motor skills and create a better learning
environment. There is evidence from both gymnastics and swimming
in support of this (Chen, 1985; Jernberg, 1981).

Selecting the “Right”
Music

Our recent work (Karageorghis, Terry, & Lane, 1997) indicates
that there are four key factors that influence the motivational
qualities of music. First, owing to the fact that people have
an underlying predisposition to react to rhythmical stimuli,
the Rhythmic Response to the music is the most salient factor.
Second, the melodic and harmonic aspects of music shape the listener’s
interpretation and influence mood state. I refer to this factor
as Musicality. Third, the Cultural Impact of music will influence
the listener’s response through socio-cultural upbringing and
previous exposure to music. Fourth, the Association factor which
relates to the extra-musical associations evoked by music, i.e.,
sound can promote sounds that inspire physical activity. The
Rhythmic Response and Musicality factors are internal to the
composition of music, whereas the Cultural Impact and Association
factors are external to the music relating to personal interpretation
of music (see Figure 1). Our research shows that the internal
factors are more important in predicting how a person will respond
to a piece of music than the external factors.

We have developed and validated a questionnaire to rate the motivational qualities of music which
is called the Brunel Music Rating Inventory (BMRI: Karageorghis
et al., 1997). For a piece of music to truly inspire the listener,
it must have strong rhythmic qualities that match the activity
at hand and also a tempo which matches the predicted heart rate.
The melody and harmony of the music should promote a positive
mood state; that is, they should energize the listener and increase
vigor. The music should also stem from the listener’s socio-cultural
background and comply with their preferences. Finally, it is
ideal that for the music to be associated with physical activity
either through the lyrics, e.g., Work Your Body!, or its association
with other media such as film or TV. A classic example of such
a track would be Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, which
was a theme from the Rocky series.

There are three additional
considerations when selecting music: a) Variety in the music
tends to maintain athletes’ interest in the activity; b) the
volume of the music should not be obscured by the noise of the
exercise environment; and c) if synchronizing music with exercise,
the tempo must concur with the preferred work rate. For example,
if you are swimming using the breast stroke at a rate of 100
strokes per minute, it would be sensible to use music playing
at 100 beats per minute (bpm). Alternatively, breast stroking
at a rate of 60 strokes per minute a tempo of 120 bpm can be
used as the swimmer can take one stroke every two beats.

Music and Flow State
Our most recent research (Karageorghis & Terry, 1998) has
revealed an interesting link between music and the attainment
of flow state during aerobic dance exercise. Flow involves an
altered state of awareness during physical activity in which
the mind and body function on “auto-pilot” with minimal
conscious effort. Some coaches refer to this as being “in
the zone”; it is an almost trance-like or hypnotic state.
Flow has been associated with optimal psychological state and
represents complete enjoyment of and immersion in physical activity.
Our study involved 1,231 aerobic dance participants who were
asked to rate the motivational qualities of the music used during
a class on completion of their workout using the BMRI. They also
rated flow using the Flow State Scale, a 36 item questionnaire
developed by Jackson and Marsh (1996). The results revealed a
very significant association between ratings of music and ratings
of flow. We concluded that music may have a considerable effect
on enjoyment levels during exercise an selecting the “right”
music may be a key factor in maintaining adherence to exercise.

Conclusion
Music is an often untapped source of both motivation and inspiration
for sport and exercise participants. One important point to remember
is that musical preference is very personal indeed; that is the
reason for which I have avoided suggesting which music you should
prescribe for your athletes and exercise participants. That is
entirely your decision. However, you should now be aware of some
factors that make listening to music more rewarding in sport
and exercise settings. Happy listening!

Dr. Costas Karageorghis is
a BASES accredited scientific support and research sport and
exercise psychologist. He is a member of the British Olympic
Association Psychology Advisory Group and lectures in sport psychology
at Brunel University’s Department of Sport Sciences. Further,
Dr. Karageorghis is an alumnus of the USSA MSS program and acts
as the United Kingdom academic representative. E-mail: costas.karageorghis@brunel.ac.uk

2013-11-27T17:36:10-05:00February 11th, 2008|Sports Exercise Science, Sports Studies and Sports Psychology|Comments Off on Music in Sport and Exercise: Theory and Practice