Designing, implementing, and evaluatİng a professİonal learning community for group exercise instructors

Mehrtash, Shabnam
This study aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a Professional Learning Community (PLC) intervention for the Group Exercise Instructors (GEIs) working in a university setting "Sport for Health" program. To this end, initially, a six-week PLC intervention was designed by using the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2018) professional standards for GEIs. Then, the PLC implemented by the participation of six GEIs'. Progression of the six-week PLC intervention and immediate and effects of the intervention on the GEIs', and their practices were evaluated by qualitative methods, including long term observation and interviews with the participants. Field notes and fully transcribed interviews were analyzed by descriptive and pattern coding, and thematic analysis approaches. Findings indicated that GEIs motivation and satisfaction from the participating in PLC was high. PLC meetings implemented as intended and met the quality indicators of PLCs. GEIs comprehended the professional competency indicators on “participant and program assessment”, “class design”, “leadership and instruction”, and “legal and professional responsibilities”. By participating in the PLC meeting, they improved their knowledge of professional competencies. Observations and interview findings, four months after the PLC program, indicated that GEIs’ transferred the new knowledge and skills gained from the meetings to their exercise classes. In conclusion, well designed PLCs using professional standards as a framework are effective in developing GEIs professional competencies. Use of PLCs in the professional development of GEIs is strongly recommended.


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Citation Formats
S. Mehrtash, “Designing, implementing, and evaluatİng a professİonal learning community for group exercise instructors,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.