Faculty Publications

Title

Online training for physical activity practitioners on evidence-based practices for clients with autism

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Autism, Evidence-based practice, Online learning, Physical activity

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Advances in Autism

Volume

7

Issue

4

First Page

283

Last Page

293

Abstract

Purpose: Physical activity professionals often lack the experience and knowledge to implement the pedagogical and behavioral strategies required to successfully work with people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To enable individuals with ASD to achieve the benefits of exercise, physical activity professionals must be knowledgeable and skilled in relation to delivering evidence-based practices (EBP). The recent worldwide coronavirus disease pandemic highlights the value and necessity of effective online learning. Recent research has suggested that online settings are a viable setting for professional learning. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to assess an online course’s impact on physical activity professionals’ frequency of use and self-efficacy toward using EBPs with individuals with ASD. Design/methodology/approach: The online program was developed to provide training for a wide-range of professionals interested in working with people with ASD. A survey was administered to participants prior to and after completion of the online course to collect data on sample demographics, and the participants’ perceived frequency and self‐efficacy in using EBPs. Eighty-six physical activity professionals participated in the study. Findings: Overall, their self-efficacy toward EBPs and frequency at which participants reported to use EBPs increased significantly from pretest to posttest (p < 0.05). The participants also reported using three of the nine covered EBPs more frequently at post-course completion. In addition, participants’ self-efficacy toward eight of the EBPs was significantly higher post-intervention. Originality/value: Findings from this study suggests that a well-structured online intervention has promise for preparing physical activity professionals to work with people with ASD.

Department

Department of Kinesiology

Original Publication Date

10-26-2021

DOI of published version

10.1108/AIA-04-2020-0026

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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