APUS SPHS508 All forums

APUS SPHS508 All forumsWeek 1Forum 2 – Professional vs. Consumer Sources  One of the most important skills a professional needs to develop is the
ability to critically evaluate published materials related to your
professional field. The development of this skill is a major focus of
this course. For this forum, your goal is to identify a topic of
interest to you related to your professional/career interests. Note:
This should be ONE VERY SPECIFIC topic (for example, someone who is
interested in nutrition might want to look at the Atkin’s Diet). Then,
examine information that is available related to this topic from several
sources ranging from those readily used by the general public (such as
websites) to those normally reserved for professionals (such as
peer-reviewed journals). These sources may also include how the topic is
portrayed on TV or by professionals in the field that you work
around. Discuss the differences between the manner in which this
information is discussed, explained or utilized depending on the type of
source in which it is found. Describe your perception of the quality or
trustworthiness of the information between the differing source types
and what shaped your perception of the quality of the information.

Here is one quick example to help you start thinking in the right direction:

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You could look around the internet and find many websites touting the
value of throwing your running shoes in the garbage and running barefoot
to do away with all of your running injuries. Over and over again,
these websites, news stories and professionals in the field will cite a
research study by Lieberman, et al. from 2010 claiming that this study
showed that those who run barefoot habitually have fewer injuries than
those who run in shoes. However, if you go look at that article,
Lieberman, et al. discussed how the examined biomechanics of running
barefoot may expose a runner to less of certain forces that may lead to
injury but they did not examine if it actually is true.

This is just a single example of comparing information on a single
specific topic found in varying resources. Sometimes the information
found on the internet or in a peer-reviewed journal is both correct and
trustworthy; the bigger question is: How do we evaluate the information
we find and decide what we should trust to shape our beliefs and
practices in the field of Sports and Health Sciences?
Week 2
Forum1
Forum
1 – Current Issues Identified by Practicing Professionals
An important source of professional growth and development
is mentoring from other professionals in your field. For this forum, you
need to identify an individual in your professional field of interest and have
a short conversation with him/her. Your goal is to find out from him/her
what he/she thinks are the important “current issues” (or “hot topics”) in that
field and why. How does his/her understanding of these issues affect
his/her practice of the profession on a daily basis?
Forum
2 – Common Statistical Procedures in Research

Many of you will find this to be the
most difficult forum of the course but understanding the issues related to the
use of statistics in your field is an important part of becoming a skilled
professional. For this forum, examine several studies from peer-review
journals in your field in the last 2 years. Compare the statistical
procedures used in these studies to those used in several studies from 5 years
ago or more. Have the typical statistical procedures utilized to examine
research data in your professional field changed over time? If so, why? If
not, what is the nature of the research in your professional field that still
makes the procedures that are typically utilized the most valuable.
As a hint: In answering that
second part (why have or haven’t the common procedures utilized changed over
time?), it can be valuable to do some general Google-type searching as to what
experts in your field might say on websites, commentaries or discussion
boards. If you haven’t realized it yet, for any professional field, there
is a discussion board on the internet of experts in the field discussing the
pertinent issues. The websites I have listed on the syllabus represent a
few such sources. You may want to join such a discussion board and begin
interacting with professionals in your field.
Week
3

.apus.edu/portal/tool/b24cb165-ca44-460a-90e4-5db83b51bebc/discussionForum/forum/dfForumDetail” title=” Forum 1 – Dietary Prescription / Fad Diets”>Forum 1 – Dietary Prescription /
Fad Diets

Any discussion of current issues related to nutrition have
to include an examination of dietary prescriptions, specifically those we
would refer to as “Fad Diets”. Please do some research about a fad diet
that is or has been popular in recent years. Describe the implementation
of the dietary plan, the underlying theoretical foundations for its supposed
success (physiological, biochemical, lifestyle, etc.) and fully summarize at
least 2 citations/studies examining the actual affects and/or successes of
the diet. Finally, how would you characterize what the professional’s
role should be in promoting or prescribing this or any such dietary plans or
“Fad Diets.”

Forum
2 – Nutritional Supplements and Ergogenic Aids
The
worlds of sports, training, medicine and human performance are inundated by
issues related to nutritional supplements and performance enhancers. Like
diets, supplements and ergogenic aids become popular for a time and then are
replaced by another only to emerge again in the future.

Please
research a nutritional supplement or ergogenic aid that has been a “hot topic”
in your field and discuss this substance. Examples of what to consider
including might be things like its physiologic effect, its positive and
negative effects, any controversial issues related to the substance, the
opinions of leading professionals in your field, how the use has changed,
etc. Please fully summarize at least 2 citations/studies examining the
effects of the substance.Week 4
Forum
1 – Ethical Issues
Within every field there are ethical issues that arise as
important areas of discussion. Please examine an ethical issue that
experts in your field are confronting currently. Why does the
ethical debate exist and how is it affecting your field? Provide a
discussion of all pertinent opinions framing the ethical debate and describe
your own personal philosophies related to this issue within your professional
practice.Forum
2 – Sports Psychology
Please research some of the latest theories and practices
that are shaping the advancement of the field of Sports Psychology. As a
reminder, examining what experts in the field are fighting with each other
about on discussion boards can be a helpful place to start. Summarize at
least 2 citations/studies examining a theory or practice that is currently a
“hot topic” in the field and describe your impression of its practical
importance overall and specifically within your field.Week 5
Biomechanics

Much of our understanding of human performance is based on
our understanding of the underlying biomechanics of human motion. This
week, go find out what biomechanists are talking about as pertinent
contemporary issues for discussion. These may be debates about actual
theoretical approaches or about the best ways to take what we know and apply it
to areas like sports performance, injury prevention, etc. Discuss what you
find with appropriate summaries of at least 2 citations/studies related to the
biomechanical topic you are examining. As always, be sure to frame the
information you are discussing within the context of your specific area of
professional practice.Forum
2 – Motor Learning
Spend some time thinking about a
motor task (the more complex, the better) that you have mastered by this point
in your life. Examine the process by which you attained this skill and
discuss it in terms of the motor learning processes you have studied in your
coursework in this area. Describe how our understanding and fostering of
your acquisition of this motor skill has changed over time – for example, would
experts in the field of motor learning prescribe the same manner of skill
acquisition today as they would at the time you learned the task? Based on
our most contemporary understandings of motor learning, how would experts today
describe the underlying theory of how this skill would be mastered and how
might they foster the development of the skill in varying individuals (such as
child, disabled person, or adult) based on that understanding?Wweek
6

Forum
1 – Strength Training
This forum requires a bit of historical research on your
part. In order to understand the “current issues” of any topic, it is
necessary to understand the past. In the world of strength training, there
are many philosophies about which practices provide the best results and
why. Your job is to examine some of these philosophies and describe how
they are put into practice in contemporary settings. What are the
underlying theories as to why it is the best approach? What components of
the historical progression of strength training practice have shaped the formulation
of this theory? What does the current body of literature say about the
efficacy of this theory? Summarize at least 2 studies/citations related to
the approach you are discussing.Forum
2 – Exercise Physiology

Please
examine current research in the field of exercise physiology and identify one
of the current areas/trends in this area of research. Summarize several
studies that demonstrate how this topic is being researched. How has the
current research in this area been shaped by the findings of the recent
past. And most importantly, so what? All research is only as good
as the useable information we can derive from interpreting its results. In
the end, the most important question is: Why are researchers devoting time to
this area of study – what do they hope it will reveal or tell them about the
some pertinent practical concept?Week 7Forum
1 – Optimal Performance

The
goal of many of our professional fields can be summarized with the term
“optimal performance.” Optimal performance in any number of specific areas
within our professional fields will likely contain components of motor
learning, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports psychology and other
aspects. Describe how you would describe optimal performance within the
context of your specific area of professional practice. Based on the
cumulative knowledge you have gathered during this course (and in previous
courses) describe a model for obtaining that picture of optimal
performance.
No idea what a “model” should look
like? Here is an example of how we could model optimal endurance
performance, ie. how optimal endurance performance is determined.
Forum
2: Future Current Issues
A major focus of this course has
been “Current Topics” within your professional field. We have identified,
examined and discussed many of these topics and by now, you should be well on
your way to becoming a knowledgeable professional capable of evaluating current
trends in your field and shaping your beliefs, philosophies and practices based
on the most up-to-date knowledge and research in your field. As you become a
truly mature professional, you will find yourself understanding the state of
your field to the point of realizing and predicting where the field is heading
and what the next “hot topics” will be.

For this forum, using the knowledge you have developed in your field up to this
point, describe where you think your profession is heading in the next 5-10
years. How do you think the profession will change? What will be the hot topics
that you as a practicing professional will have to address and face in the
years to come?Week 8Forum
1 – Reflections
As you reflect on the course over the last 8 weeks, please
discuss any areas where your professional attitudes, beliefs, philosophy or
knowledge have been significantly altered from your experiences in this
course. What fostered these changes and developments and how will these
new outlooks alter and direct your future practices as a professional in your
field?

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