PURPOSE. This was a pilot project for an intended larger study to determine the most highly recommended published research papers for use in teaching introductory survey courses in exercise physiology at both the undergraduate and the master’s degree level.

METHODS. Using Web sites of relevant departments of selected colleges and universities in Texas, we identified 38 faculty members that likely had taught introductory, survey courses in exercise physiology, and their email addresses. We sent a survey to these 38 via email, requesting response via return email, and we sent a follow-up email reminder 15 days after the initial email. The survey requested demographic information that we thought might be related to recommendations of research literature. And for undergraduate and master’s degree levels separately, the survey instrument asked for response to: “I do not think there are any specific research papers that students . . . should be exposed to. . .[and] If you did not mark the previous statement, please list papers . . .”

RESULTS. Two persons replied that they had not taught introductory, survey courses. Twelve individuals who had taught such courses (33% of 36 potentially eligible survey recipients) responded to the survey. All 12 had taught an undergraduate course; for these, number of years of teaching ranged from 3 to 35 (mean = 15). Nine had taught a master’s level course; for these, number of years of teaching ranged from 3 to 25 (mean = 11). Of the 12 respondents who had taught an undergraduate course, eight (67%) recommended no specific research papers. The other four recommended a total of 24 specific papers, four original reports and 20 other types (e.g., reviews, position stands, editorials). No paper was recommended by more than one person. Six (67%) of the nine who had taught master’s level courses recommended no specific papers. Three reported that they required specific papers, but only one provided a list.

CONCLUSIONS. This pilot study suggested that the larger-scale study is feasible and would yield results of interest to faculty who teach introductory exercise physiology courses. The results suggest that most faculty do not recommend specific research papers that students should consistently be exposed to in introductory, survey courses in exercise physiology at either the undergraduate or the master’s degree level. The validity of generalizing these results is very low, however.



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