Spotlight: Elite Sport Performance Course

LearnDash is being used to power elearning programs of all shapes and sizes.

Today I am excited to share with you the story of LearnDash customer Neil Martin and his training program: Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives

It won’t take you long to see that Neil has a good head on his shoulders – it’s not a surprise that his course is already turning into quite a success. 🙂

Tell us about yourself

My name is Neil Martin. I am a learning technologist based at the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia where I have been based for four years.

Previous to that, my background is in web design and for eight years (before emigrating to Australia), I was the manager of the web team at University College London, one of the UK’s premier universities.

I have always been interested in how to optimise the design of online courses. With the advent of of MOOCs and other open courses in recent years, I’ve now had the opportunity to do a PhD on the subject.

My PhD combines elements of motivational psychology, user experience design, and authentic learning design which has led to the design, release and evaluation of an open online course that aims to share with learners some of the psychological secrets of elite sports performance.

The course titled Elite Sport Performance: Psychological Perspectives covers mental training techniques for elite athletes such as building motivation, improving concentration, staying confident, using music and imagery to enhance performance, avoiding anxiety, and managing mood and emotions.

I created this course with my colleague Dr. Peter Terry PhD who has worked as a sport psychologist alongside elite athletes at nine Olympic Games and more than 100 other international events.

The course is endorsed by the Asian and South Pacific Association of Sport Psychology, a professional body for sports psychologists across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the Pacific region.

We have had nearly 450 registrations since launch, but would welcome many more. The course will remain open until the end of February 2016 and is free to register.

Tell us about your organization

The University of Southern Queensland where I study for my PhD has a reputation as one of Australia’s leading providers of on-campus and online (distance) education programs in Australia.

With more than 75 percent of students studying via distance or online, our delivery of external education resources continues to be a major priority of our university.

Our primary LMS is Moodle, but tools like LearnDash lends itself to a smaller course such as the one I have developed.

How do you use LearnDash?

Learndash has been used to structure the course which is made up of 10 Modules (Lessons) with four topics in each.

Learners can slowly unlock the course through the course progression functionality build into Learndash.

I have decided to not use the Quiz features in this course, but instead adapt Quizzes for evaluation purposes. This will allow us to measure to what extent the course is meeting people’s needs.

There is a certificate of completion at the end of the course via the Certificate feature.

I have also integrated BBPress, Thememylogin, UltimateVideoPlayer, Codesnippets and adapted the fantastic Invent theme for the frontend.

The strong visual style has been augmented by photos of elite athletes in action.

These photos are all open licensed Creative Commons images. In fact I’ve used Creative Commons images, videos and audio throughout the course.

These are Open Educational Resources (OERs) and both the course and its accompanying textbook titled Secrets of Asian Sport Psychology are also licensed through Creative Commons as OERs.

How would you describe your experience with LearnDash?

I’ve found LearnDash to be excellent. It is easy to use and get your course structure up quickly.

I also like the simplicity of workflow when creating courses, lessons, and topics. I’ve adapted the quizzes to act as built in evaluation questionnaires and once again it was the ease of use that makes Learndash such a great tool.

Also the integration of plugins means you can extend the capabilities of LearnDash considerably. I would recommend looking at bbPress and BuddyPress in the first instance.

What’s next for you and your organization?

The course has just gone live and we’ve been excited by the early response with over 2000 online sessions and nearly 10000 page views from 450 registrants in just over a week.

It’s early days, but we believe that LearnDash will allow us to share the professional knowledge of sport psychologists to a large audience around the world.

If you’re interested in creating your own online course similar to Neil, contact us today and let us know about your project. We’d love to help make it a reality!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. Hi Justin – Thanks for posting this interview/case study with Neil. It’s great to have this kind of first-person insight into how others are using LearnDash. I hope it’s the start of a series of similar posts every now and then!

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