Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Jessica Mutchler


Context: Standards for concussion management in clinical practice are essential to best practices in health care. Even with the heightened awareness of concussion education in medical professionals over the past decade, there have been no studies to date to investigate the educational practices of instructors at CAATE-accredited institutions and how they teach concussion assessment tools. Purpose: To evaluate the educational practices of instructors teaching the course on concussion assessment tools at CAATE-accredited institutions. Design: Mixed-methods, exploratory study. Methods: Nine instructors from CAATE-accredited Athletic Training Education Programs that varied in geographical and division completed a 34-item survey using Qualtrics (2015)©. A semi-structured interview based upon the responses on the survey was then completed using the phone or an online video chat. Quantitative data was analyzed using frequency tables and mode for the survey questions. Interview questions were analyzed using triangulation of themes. Results: The most common credential participants marked was ‘ATC’ (100%). Survey responses indicated that the most common teaching methods were: ‘Laboratory’ (100%), ‘Didactic’ (77.8%), ‘Lecture’ (88.9%), and ‘PowerPoint’ (88.9%). Common concussion assessment tools taught in the classroom were: SCAT2/3, SAC, BESS (88.9% respectively); while in the laboratory the most common assessment tools were: SCAT2/3, BESS, and cranial nerve assessment (100% respectively). The semi-structured interview found four overarching themes with multiple subcategories. The four major themes were: (1) characteristics of instructors teaching the concussion assessment tools and education, (2) factors effecting how the instructors teach concussion assessment tools and concussion education, (3) the components incorporated into a concussion assessment per the instructor, and (4) barriers and future solutions to teaching concussion assessment tools. Conclusion: This exploratory study shed light on the understanding that athletic training educators come from a variety of educational, clinical, and research backgrounds. The instructors’ foundational knowledge and experience level effects the teaching techniques they utilize and which teaching methods they employ in the classroom. Time is the number one barrier instructors find prevents them from doing more in the classroom for their students. Future studies should investigate athletic trainers’ knowledge of educational theory and teaching effectiveness.

Research Data and Supplementary Material