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SEP faculty member uses digital technology to expand teaching efforts

Students in the college’s sport and exercise psychology program are learning key concepts in the classroom with the help of digital media. As time and technology progress, faculty members are using different platforms to support networking in the sport industry. 

Dr. Scott Barnicle, teaching assistant professor and program coordinator, sport and exercise psychology, has played an instrumental role in the application of digital media within the classroom. Barnicle has applied a variety of techniques at WVU, including Skype, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Barnicle teaches a variety of courses and focuses on the use of technology in both SEP 272, Psychological Aspects of Sport, and SEP 312, Professional Issues in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

“The use of digital media within the classroom sparks a dialogue between students and further develops into a full class discussion. Digital media is somewhat like a catalyst for conversation that brings forth many interesting perspectives among my peers,” Blaise Robson, sport and exercise psychology student, said.

In his psychological aspects of sport course, Barnicle works with peers at Halmstad University in Halmstad, Sweden. Together, they have formed a class partnership during the semester, sharing online discussion boards, projects and cultural and campus presentations via YouTube. Additionally, the students have collaborated to spread WVU-Halmstad related projects on Twitter.

Barnicle’s professional issues course uses other forms of digital media to communicate main ideas. During the semester, he and his class have utilized Skype to hold guest lectures with professionals in the sport industry, who have shared wisdom and advice to those seeking to work in similar areas.

In all his courses, Barnicle takes advantage of PollEverywhere, a text-in web-based system designed to gain valuable insight and thoughts from students particularly in large classrooms, where individual contributions are often difficult to be heard.

To advance networking and learning inside the classroom, Barnicle believes social media is a productive tool to connect individuals. “I try to utilize Twitter as much as possible in my teaching or applied sport and exercise psychology work. Students may be more prone to check Twitter or Instagram rather than their email. I have found Twitter to be a wonderful way to spread the on-goings of my classes,” Barnicle said.

Barnicle says using digital media to promote networking within the sport industry has been a tremendous advancement in the field. “It is a great way to connect with our students and to spread teaching strategies and techniques utilized at WVU that could help our peers around the world,” added Barnicle, who earned his Ph.D. (2013) from the University of Idaho in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

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