Developing Career Ready Skills Through a Service Learning Project in a Exercise Course
AffiliationUniversity of Southern indiana
TitleDeveloping Career Ready Skills Through a Service Learning Project in a Exercise Course
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Context: Two sections of the course Program Design for Healthy and Special Populations in the USI's exercise science program. There were a total of about 20 students per section.
The course objectives were:
- Recognize the characteristics of individuals with various disabilities and chronic diseases.
- Describe the specific effects of various disabilities and chronic diseases will have on exercise testing and training.
- Perform exercise testing on various populations with knowledge of specific recommendations and special considerations.
- Create and present exercise programs directed at specific special populations
Approach: I assigned a common service learning project within my classroom. Service learning is a common teaching approach in the health professions majors where the faculty and students partner up with a community member that is in need of services (1). The students then reflect about the services they provided to the community partner (1). In my classroom, I partnered with Jacobs Village who were in need of volunteers to provide exercise to their community. Jacobs Village is community with residential appartments and group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities and lower socioeconomic older adults. The students enrolled in the course worked in groups of 2-4 people to provide 10 exercise sessions to those residents at their community center. I was also present during each session to observe the students providing exercise for the Jacobs Village residents. After each exercise session, the students turned in the exercise prescription and answered four questions to reflect about the exercise session. The students also completed 3 exams.
Results: Based on the reflections, exams and my observations over the 10 sessions, the students grew by becoming more confident and did well in their skills for prescribing and executing an exercise program. I also observed them communicating better with their client over the 10 sessions.
1. Seifer, S.D. (1998). Service-learning: Community-campus partnerships for health professions education. Academic Medicine, 73(3)273-277