Fitness Education

Innovation in fitness education

Recently I was having a conversation about innovation and how new media can be used in the education of fitness professionals.  Innovation is an interesting concept by definition it is related to the introduction of new ideas, concepts or methods of working.  We are at an exciting time within education with many new tools and resources allowing us to bring our message to learners in new ways.

Within the fitness industry innovation is seen all around us with massive leaps being made in the use of new media and technology to deliver fitness as a product in new ways.  With an increasing number of services being taken digital or on-line.

The education of our fitness professionals is no different, we have seen a drastic increase in the numbers of learners who wish to study remotely.  This has a number of key benefits for learners in that they do not have to travel to attend courses, they can study around other commitments and these courses are inevitably cheaper.  This in turn has initiated a flurry of training companies that are seeking to cater for this demand.

The morality and effectiveness of distance learning in such a practically grounded industry has been keen area of discussion amongst those within those involved in fitness education.  With some believing that fitness as a subject should be wholly delivered within a classroom.  Where as others have embraced new technology and media and recognise how this may be used in the modern world of education.

It is not as clear cut as this subject is practical so it should be delivered in a practical way.  Where as another subject is more theory based therefore it is more acceptable for online delivery.  Really the design of courses should take into account what is the best learning tool to get a given concept across to the learners. In some cases you can not beat being face to face learning with an experienced instructor.  In other cases this is not so important and the consideration of how technology might be used should be considered.

The use of e.learning is nothing new with it being used extensively in many industries for a number of years.  Personally I remember my first e.learning course and it was pretty much a single .pdf document, really the only e part of it was that the document was e-mailed.  Thankfully we have taken leaps and bounds from this point with some of the learning I have been involved with developing including much more interactive elements that cater for a wide range of learning styles.

The use of podcasts, video lectures (both live and pre recorded), forums, chat rooms, social platforms, quizzes, and gameification are all things that I have used and do advocate.  It is of vital importance that training providers and their course developers understand that although many of the above approaches may look flash and represent a cost saving to the training provider…  They are merely tools for the job, the skill and in my book innovation lies in weaving these methods together to create exciting and most of all engaging learning opportunities which build up to create fully rounded and educated fitness professionals.

Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. He is a specialist in rehabilitation, exercise referral and helping other fitness professionals to improve their business. He is also involved with course development, teaching, assessing and IQA of a range of training courses. He is always willing to meet other professionals so please do contact him via social media with any questions or just to say hello.

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