Campus Recreation

Learning Outcomes: Part I

May 12, 2011

Accountability in Campus Recreation

Wallace Eddy, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Campus Recreation Services
University of Maryland (College Park)

Introduction & Overview

After reading this article, you will be able to articulate in your own words the main tenets of learning outcomes, describe the difference between indirect and direct assessment measures, and list at least two forms of assessment used to measure learning outcomes. How will I know if you have achieved these outcomes? I won’t, but after reading this article, hopefully, you will have a basic understanding of learning outcomes, a beginning point for developing learning outcomes for your department, and an understanding of the assessment issues involved in a learning outcomes program.

Why bother with learning outcomes? The notion of public accountability for what we claim to achieve in higher education is a trend that appears to have staying power. When our university was in the re-accreditation process, the area of primary focus of the accrediting body was assessment, and specifically on the assessment of learning outcomes. Of course, it is impossible to assess something that has not been explicitly stated. The university began a process whereby all departments in all colleges would develop a number of learning outcomes and assessment measures related to those outcomes resulting in assessment plans.

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Learning Outcomes in Campus Recreation: Part II

May 12, 2011

From Accountability to Enhancement

Wallace Eddy, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Campus Recreation Services
University of Maryland (College Park)

The first article on learning outcomes dealt with the “what” of learning outcomes; this second part deals with the “how.” Is there anything more daunting to creativity like a blank page, canvas, or slate? Although you may be just getting started in the process of creating learning outcomes documentation, the learning is already occurring. So you really aren’t facing a blank page. How do you identify the learning that is taking place in your department or organization? To illustrate the process, I offer a case study of sorts, using the Challenge Course Supervisor position at our university.

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Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire: Ready or Not?

May 12, 2011

April Boulter
Fitness, Aquatics and Special Events
Loyola University Chicago

The promotion of physical activity within a comprehensive recreation program is an important component for all Campus Recreation Departments. As part of a risk management assessment, many universities are evaluating the pre-activity screening process. While nearly all universities require participants of their Personal Training program to complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) as well as a health history questionnaire, very few universities require the general population to complete the same paperwork. Although most individuals are at very low risk for an exercise-related cardiovascular event, the risk of adverse cardiac events is considerably higher during or immediately after exercise, especially in habitually sedentary individuals engaging in vigorous physical activity (American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM], 2007). Researchers have concluded that, in general, risk of heart attack is about two to six times higher during strenuous exercise than during light physical activity or rest (Balady, 1998). The risk of a cardiovascular event is highest in persons with known heart disease.

An important challenge facing campus recreation facilities is to provide a motivation toward participation in an exercise program while minimizing the potential risk of an adverse medical event during or after exercise (ACSM, 2007). In years past, some lawyers and risk managers have recommended that fitness professionals not engage in pre-screenings. The advice was based on the concept that if the information was received from clients and misinterpreted, it could create liability for the facility in the event of a later injury to the client (Herbert, 1997). The American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines require that every facility offering exercise equipment must provide a general pre-activity risk assessment, e.g., Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), to all new/prospective members (ACSM, 2007).

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SHOOTINGS ON CAMPUS

May 12, 2011

IMPACT ON CAMPUS RECREATION

Christopher Tapfer
Emergency Management Coordinator
Washington State University

Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the fatal shootings at Northern Illinois University, the issue of an active shooter on campus has driven much discussion, many changes and considerable concern at colleges and universities throughout North America. While statistics will still indicate that shootings on a college campus are exceedingly rare, no college administrator will want to have to explain why their campus was not prepared for such an occurrence.

In the months following Virginia Tech, hundreds of reports and analyses of the tragedy were released. The result has been a number of changes at college campuses everywhere. These changes have ranged from the acquisition of new locks on buildings, classrooms and meeting areas; sirens and public address systems; text messaging or other communication systems to allow direct contact with students, faculty and staff and all manner of new communications tools that will increase the ability to provide warning and notification capability. Other changes include educational programs with training for students, faculty and staff on what to do and how to react if a shooter appears and the creation of threat assessment teams that can react to and address the issues the institution faces with troubled or problem causing students, faculty and staff and systems created that encourage the campus community to report troubled individuals so they can be reached with the help they need before a tragedy occurs. All these changes have the potential to make a difference and time will tell to see if they will have an impact on making college campuses a safer place to be.

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CAMPUS RECREATION AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS

April 12, 2011

Christopher Tapfer
Emergency Management Coordinator
Washington State University

Since the tragedy at Virginia Tech last year, a key topic of discussion on college campuses has been emergency communications. Some of the dozens of reports that were developed about the Virginia Tech incident criticized the University for failing to communicate the danger of the situation to its campus community until it was too late. This is a matter of debate, and won’t be discussed here, but the issue did focus attention on the need for a college to have an adequate supply of tools that can be used to inform, warn and notify a campus of emergency situations quickly and efficiently.

During the discussions about the incident at Virginia Tech, the topic of the Clery Act was brought up many times. The key issue related to the Clery Act was the requirements for “timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that pose an ongoing threat to students and employees” and whether or not Virginia Tech failed in their duty to comply with the Act. Again, this is a matter for others to decide, but it is important that you have an awareness of what the Clery Act is and isn’t, and how it can impact a college campus.

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Audit 911

April 11, 2011

Establishing an All-Inclusive Staff Training for a Multi-Purpose Facility

Jennifer Garis
Aquatic Director
Campus Recreation
Florida State University

On campuses across North America, Recreation departments are often known as having some of the best risk management practices. The student staff is generally certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED, and the lifeguards typically hold upper level health and safety certifications. However, are they prepared to work together in facilities that have up to 6,000 participants per day and 20 staff on duty at any particular time?

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