Because of the flexibility and accessibility of course material, athletes can focus on their training and less on mandatory seat time.
In the early 1990s, Olympic downhill gold medalist Kerrin Lee-Gartner, while training vigorously to represent Canada at the 1992 games, was also a high school student. And while the rest of her classmates had the luxury of sleeping in and sitting through their daily lectures, Kerrin was pushing her athletic abilities to their limit. At the same time, she struggled with her studies, saying that completing her education while training was “nearly impossible.” [source]. Maintaining a school-life balance is a challenge for most students as it is. Adding the demands of Olympic training is a monumental feat. For Kerrin, it meant having to maintain her course load through mailed correspondence. But then, this was 28 years ago. Students in post-secondary institutions are facing similar challenges, particularly those also undertaking serious physical training. New Learning Management Systems (LMS) have tools specifically tailored to address the needs of both K12 as well as higher education students at every learning level. This makes learning paths and student engagement far easier to maintain than through written correspondence, or even over email. But let’s take a look at college athletes in training and what they’re facing.
Higher education LMS provides flexibility
For the college student in sports training, being able to have the same quality of education, access to teachers, feedback and attention is difficult without a higher education LMS. If the institution allows it, students can take more time to complete assignments. Despite their erratic schedule and remote training locations, athletes (or any student in a competency-based program) can still be in constant contact with their professors, peers and course material and progress at a rate that suits them best. Deeper accommodations can be made to these students when courses, content and learning paths are built into an online system. Professors become facilitators, helping their students to maintain their focus, while monitoring progress in practically real time. Content can be viewed on mobile devices. Automated triggers can provide students with additional material, remedial material, and even emails with words of support from their professors.
Toronto FC forward pays homage to online learning
A higher education LMS provides the tools needed to keep students at all levels involved with their personal paths to academic success. This article tells the story of how professional soccer players are taking advantage of online learning due to the partnership between Major League Soccer and Southern New Hampshire University. Toronto FC forward, Jozy Altidore is one of their student success stories, who attributes not only his athletic career success, but more importantly, his academic career. Online courses are available to suit the complicated schedules and lives of these professional players. And of course, it provides the same benefit to all students, regardless of learning level or life circumstance.
When you watch the 2018 Winter Olympic games this year, consider how many of these athletes have put their academic paths to success either on hold or at risk. In the end, the greater accomplishment isn’t only representing one’s nation, but also remaining dedicated to an education to become champions within one’s community. Visit https://www.d2l.com/higher-education/ to learn more about the full range of tools available to professors, administrators and students.