How Exercise Science classes are being conducted remotely

Sean+Ricketts+instructing+his+student-athletes+in+a+zoom+session.

Kyle Ayson

Sean Ricketts instructing his student-athletes in a zoom session.

Kyle Ayson, Staff Writer

Since classes have been switched to online for the foreseeable future, the Exercise Science Department has had to adjust to the new system, which made for a unique style of learning.

The Exercise Science Department has a diverse curriculum that contains an array of courses and programs that help those who want to complete an associate’s degree in Kinesiology and transfer to another institution for higher learning. Within the curriculum, there’s an introduction program that offers students the necessities for a lifetime of wellness that also includes students with disabilities through adapted activities and an intercollegiate athletic program that gives athletes opportunities for competition. The types of courses the class provides can vary from swimming, gymnastics, football, golf, yoga, dance and many more.

Before COVID-19, the exercise science classes were conducted in-person that required the use of facilities like the stadium, fields, gymnasium, and pool. But now, during the pandemic, classes are pushed to go online and be conducted remotely.

Sean Ricketts, an instructor and coach of the class,  said “The same as the rest of the campus. Online using Canvas and other distance education resources such as Zoom. Most of the classes are in an asynchronous format.” Depending on each class and format, Each Instructor/Coach makes the decision on how they structure their classes using the distance education formats, like Canvas and Zoom,” said Ricketts.

As the class pushed to go online,  there were potential drawbacks of the class.  Ricketts noted, “The online format takes away from the resources and facilities available to our students, the in-person classroom environment and social component that comes along with Exercise Science classes.” There were also positives. “ It keeps students involved and engaged online,” said Ricketts.

Sophomore Franky Varela is part of the men’s cross country team this year. “The class has been going pretty well for the most part. It’s definitely not the same feel as it would be if we were meeting in person. It could get quite difficult sometimes staying on top of tasks since most of the time it’s a solo workout and having the presence of others definitely helps keep yourself in check,” said Varela.

Sophomore Cameron Gregg, a member of the women’s cross country team, shared, “In an effort to maintain the team’s culture, we meet weekday mornings Monday through Thursday via Zoom. The zoom is where we are able to interact as a whole and talk to our coaches about our runs, academics and any issues regarding school or athletics.” 

“Within our team, we have been split up into ‘mini teams’. This is where we compete against each other to earn points. The more you participate in the zoom call the more points you will earn for your ‘mini team’. I think this method to keep us motivated is really dynamic” explained Gregg.

Whether it’s a pandemic or the class going online, the exercise science classes have found a way to adapt to these changing times. “Given our circumstances, our coaches have given us the best that they can and they are putting in such a great effort. I know that practice is not the same but I definitely feel that taking an exercise science class online is doable, especially when you have coaches believing in you and supporting you through it all,” said Gregg.