Solutions Lab 34: Virtual Telehealth Placements for Exercise & Sports Science Students

With the campus closed and access to most workplaces, public services and facilities restricted, it has been a real challenge to ensure students can benefit from WIL/ placement experiences in their courses. Moreover, with restrictions placed on the number of ‘simulated hours’ which can be accredited by governing bodies, many teams have had to think creatively about how to provide students with authentic professional/work experiences.

In this session, Vincent Atkinson (RMIT Sports Academy) explors how his team have successfully managed to give 22 students a placement experience using a Telehealth approach. Under normal circumstances, students would be placed in gyms or sports clubs to gain valuable hands-on experience. Without access to these, the team had to find a way to give students direct access to clients, remotely. They cleverly designed a scheme which not only benefited the students, but also the wider RMIT community, by offering a free, supervised Personal Training programme to University Staff.

Speaking from his experience as a placement supervisor, Vince explained how the 8 week placements have worked. He reflected on what students have learned throughout their journey – from the first Initial Assessment session, through weekly supervised 1-2-1 catch ups, to the final design of a self-managed exercise program – and will highlight instances where students have had to think creatively (using household objects and self-made videos) and develop new skills (coaching and verbal cuing). Sharing insights from the teaching and assessment perspective, he will conclude with some ideas for developing and adapting the approach in future years/contexts.

The video below is an edit of the session, Q&A and technical glitches removed.

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