Using Enquiry-Based Learning in Sports and Exercise Sciences: A Case Study from Exercise Biomechanics

Mike Duncan, Mark Lyons


Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) has been used to develop student autonomy and independent thinking. However, few authors have documented how EBL has been integrated into sports-related courses. Fewer still have examined differences in the student experiences of EBL when it is introduced at different stages in the curriculum. This paper documents the student experiences of EBL when introduced to students in either a first year or second year undergraduate module. Following completion of each module, students participated in focus group interviews. Results revealed that, common across both year groups, students believed EBL to have developed skills and helped them engage in a more student-centred form of learning. Year 2 students also believed that EBL offered more in terms of social justice compared to traditional, lecture-led teaching. However, although Year 1 students saw the introduction of EBL positively, comments from year 2 students emphasised an assessment driven approach to learning and a preference to be ‘told’ what was needed rather than explore the subject in their own way. These results seem to indicate that EBL may be most effective when introduced early into the undergraduate curriculum to emphasise student’s autonomy for learning and to avoid an assessment driven approach being fostered in students.

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