Real World Assessments in Personal Training and Healthful Living

Instructor: John D. Strong
Course/Department: Science, Health, & Mathematics
Institution: Niagara County Community College
Subject: Personal Training and Healthful Living


In my Personal Training setting I use a final assessment where students are given a flawed exercise prescription for a client, and asked to “correct” the prescription based on theory learned in class. From there, students are asked to take this client (myself) through the prescription they have improved while assessing and correcting elements of form, tempo, breathing and more, again based on their in-class instruction. This “real world” application seems as close as I can get to them training an actual client while maintaining their legal safety before being certified trainers. Students find it very challenging and often remark on how challenging and worthwhile it is to bring together all the elements of curriculum in this comprehensive manner.

In my Healthful Living class I require a final paper that incorporates the areas of physical, mental, and relationship health, as well as premature causes of mortality and morbidity. Students are challenged to begin assessing and changing these behaviors within the very first week of class, and consistently throughout the semester reflect on how the subject matter presented affects them now and potentially in the future. The final “Wellness Portfolio” consists of a behavior change in these four areas, what steps the student actually took, what the challenges were, who their allies were, what’s happened since making these healthful changes, and how they seem themselves working with these new habits in the future. So much great reflection has come from these portfolios over the years I could scarcely find the room to share it all here, but believe me when I say that more than one individual has affirmed this methodology as “life changing”!

Recommended Number of Students: No more than 16 for Personal Training and up to 31 for Healthful Living
Time Requirements (Approximate): Can be completed in a semester time period

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