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Exercise Sports Science Quality Improvement Plan

Department/Program: Exercise Sports Science
Review Date: November 5-7, 2019
Last Updated:

*Visiting Team Recommendations **Update on Actions Taken/ Current Status Completed Date
Exercise Physiology Lab needs upgrading and more space. The unused Athletic Training space in the CAC could be used for Academics instead of Student Life and storage. Equipment is unused and needs to be calibrated and certified as functional by vendors and evaluators. The equipment can only be used by certified athletic trainers/clinicians, leading us to wonder why this equipment still occupies this space. There is minimal equipment for bio-mechanics laboratory experiences. Other EXS graduates from peer institutions have equipment to develop skills competitive with their peers seeking employment in the industry. It’s good news to hear about the future renovation of the racquetball courts and the artificial turf scheduled to be installed on the field, south of the CAC.
We recommend that the EXS Faculty take a hard look at the electives in the four emphases to ensure that the possible choices are integral to the specific emphasis. For example, the Biomedical Science Emphasis has EXS 306 Sports Officiating and EXS 350 Medical and Wellness Tourism, which are more related to Sports Management than to Biomedical subjects. There are other examples like this.
We question why there were so many two-credit courses. Why are HLTH classes two-credit courses? Would they be better as three credits? We recommend the faculty review the two-credit courses to see if these could be adjusted to be offered for three-credits. This would result in easier calculation of faculty load and reduction in number of required courses for students and preparations for the instructors. An example is EXS 441 Adaptive Physical Education, which is generally offered as a three-credit course in similar EXS programs. Also, EXS 493 –Research Methods is two credits, could it be a better experience as a three-credit course?
We note several courses which appear to have similar curriculum and suggest possibly combining these courses into one course. For example, EXS 270 Sports Nutrition could possibly be combined with HLTH 115 Essentials of Nutrition; or HLTH 135 Health in Marriage and Pregnancy could potentially combine with HLTH 230 Health Issues and Problems. Three programs at BYUH teach Substance Use and Abuse courses, and even use the same text book. Could these be shared and taught by one instructor, instead of three? At least, cross-list them as EXS, PSYCH and SOCW. The review team acknowledges our limitations in knowledge about these courses, but provides this suggestion as a means of reducing faculty course preparations, as well as encouraging cross-curricular course offerings.
We point to the extensive responsibilities taken on by the program lead and suggest the possibility of sharing these responsibilities. For example, the Program Lead could assign fellow EXS Faculty to take on service assignments as the Assessment Coordinator for the program or Internship Supervisor for the program. New Faculty obtain valuable service experience with these shared program responsibilities, while also helping the program lead. Future rank advancement and CFS expectations will need these service opportunities. We recommend that the EXS Faculty review or eliminate EXS 441 Sports Nutrition Certification. Certification is a worthy goal, however, EXS does not prepare them to pass the certification.
We see a deficiency in the EXS Programs involvement with Institutional Learning Outcomes, Program Learning Outcomes and Course Learning Outcomes. We encourage the EXS faculty to develop rubrics, helping students and annual assessment projects to find out if learning outcomes are taught and learned. Page 24 and 25 of the Self Study shows that the EXS program has a yearly schedule to assess program outcomes, however the means of assessment could link to that program outcome. The current “Lifestyle Survey” and 85% score on internships and research projects need more specificity, followed with findings and actions. University leadership assists instructors and programs in connecting their course learning outcomes to the program learning, rubrics from the courses would be very helpful to share with all the EXS Faculty and know how course outcomes link from course to course, leading to PLOs. Embedded assessment, such as an 85% score, can be useful for program assessment but there needs to be more besides evaluation or final grades. We suggest the development of rubrics and yearly assessment projects involving colleagues outside of EXS.
We suggest examining Program Learning Outcomes –for example PLO #1, “will demonstrate a sound understanding and application” could be better phrased simply as “application,” leaving soundness and understanding as part of the application. Such re-writing will allow the Program instructors to more easily link their Course Learning Outcomes to a Program Learning Outcome, while also creating an easier task for assessment and aligning with the Institutional Learning Outcomes.
We recommend that the EXS Faculty focus on holistic issues centered on assessable outcomes, that is PLO 2, 3, 4. Outcomes are pointing to emphases not the overall program assessment, we recommend focus on the Core Requirements and re-write PLO 2, 3 & 4 to assess those Core Requirements not the Emphases. In the next Self Study, assessing Core Requirements is achievable, although challenging, whereas assessing four emphases becomes a huge workload.
We advise that PLO 5 be eliminated from the Program Outcomes, since it is not common to all the emphases in the EXS Academic Degree Programs. For example, in the Biomedical Science a student can elect to take four credits in Sport Fundamentals but could graduate without them. Please note that the review team acknowledges the value of the activity courses and does not recommend their removal from EXS course offerings. The suggested removal of PLO 5 only reflects the fact that these courses are not common to all academic DEGREE tracks.