An analysis of athletic training educators' use of questioning in the didactic instructional setting
Educational reform within the profession of athletic training has resulted in the expansion of Athletic Training Education Programs (ATEP). The Athletic Trainer's role is also expanding. Where the sports arena was the major work site, the classroom is now becoming a second work environment. The major focus of this study was to observe student-teacher interactions of the Athletic Training Educator (ATE) in didactic Athletic Training courses. The purposes of this study were (1) to observe and identify student-teacher interaction behaviors that occurred during instruction, (2) to compare student-teacher interactions based upon experiential level of the ATE, and (3) to observe and record ATE questioning levels. Three experienced ATE's and two non-experienced ATE's located at universities in the states of Mississippi and Alabama were observed a total of nine observations each. The student participants within the classes were included in the observations. The researcher performed real time observations while using the Question-Response-Probe Sequential Event System-Athletic Training instrument to record student-teacher interaction patterns. Data generated was descriptively analyzed to identify relationships of student-teacher interaction patterns across observations. Summary statistics and rate per minute were also calculated. Frequencies were converted to percentages. The findings of this investigation revealed that both experiential ATE groups asked more convergent, or low-order questions than divergent, or high-order questions. Experience was not an influencing factor regarding the use of divergent or the frequency of questioning. However, both ATE groups exhibited lower percentages of convergent questions than what has been reported in literature. In addition, only the experienced ATE group exhibited a mean rate of one question asked per minute for convergent questions. Across all observations, both experiential ATE groups exhibited extremely low teacher behavior rates per minute. A wait-time of less than three seconds is a common occurrence in most classrooms (House, Chassie, & Spohn, 1990). Rarely did either ATE group allow the student a teacher wait-time greater than three seconds. They were also deficient in providing teacher probe methods. Both experiential ATE groups had high mean percentages for the same student-teacher interaction patterns: convergent/divergent, accepted, no probe. Further research is needed in Athletic Training education.