Wednesday, 2 March 2011

why this course?

Within our industry (sport) there are very few paid coaching positions. One of the biggest barriers for people volunteering (in my opinion) is the perceived lack of time. Another issue is the lack of training and self belief that people can coach.
In a previous role I was responsible for delivering coach education and it was a real struggle to get people to attend the traditional weekend courses. I did experiment with a correspondence type situation and that worked moderately successful. If we wish to engage with a large volunteer population my belief is we need to be  able to deliver material in a time and manner that suits them. We cannot expect them to make even more sacrafices to upskill themselves.
In addition to this I teach a level 5 course on the Graduate Diploma in Physical Conditioning. I taught this course for the first time in 2010. It is a flexible delivered course with intensive blocks. The face to face was  not a problem however my first illuminate teaching session, was MY WORST session ever!!!!! Wow did I feel inadequate. A steep learning curve and I managed to bluff my way through the year. Hopefully I can gain a better understanding to enhance my teaching.....



  1. Hi,Roger
    I read yours view and urs experience of the first day.I think it is common experience for all.But you are very talented and i congraluate for great success.

  2. It sure is a scary business facilitating the first web conference. I have also found that having a structure and a lesson plan works really well to remove some of the uncertainty. It is a different way of teaching, and it is helpful if you can be mentored into a role like this.

    Being able to provide versatility for the volunteer coaches sounds like a meaty challenge. I look forward to seeing how your ideas evolve.

  3. hi Roger. I listened to the web conference recording the other day to get me up to speed with the course, and listening to some of your experiences reminded me of discovering the absolute joy of online teaching, which is that as long as there's no live image of me as the facilitator, I can feel relaxed with all my material scattered on the table around me! I did several elluminates last year where I was able to have the answers to some very curly questions covered off by having the books open around me, so I could quickly refresh my memory and sound 'on top' of the material, even just having the course outline there proved useful. I would also have a couple of short powerpoints ready to load in case the discussion fell flat, then I could introduce something new to get everyone going again. I decided preparation was the key, and this year I have found myself far less nervous facilitating online. Yes, I agree that making the learning tools doable anytime would be valuable for a volunteer base - people will be more keen to engage at their own pace and in their own time, rather than commiting to a particualr time slot. Suzanne.

  4. Suzanne your suggestions sound like plan A, Plan B, Plan C etc. As you say it is so important to prepare and have a back up. The opportunity for synchronous interaction does help a class to feel more connected. The key is to have choice. I don't mean offer several web conference times on several different days or anything like that, you would be going crazy if you did that, rather have a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Then students can choose when they engage with others.

    One thing I find useful is suggesting students use the web conference classroom to meet in study groups. I also say to students, I will look into that and let you know, if I don't know something. However I do understand what its like to be teaching new material, and having the resources handy to answer the sticky questions is wise.

    How often do you ask your students to look for information to find answers to specific cases or problems, and bring it to class sessions?