Method: Participants in this study consisted of 198 undergraduate students enrolled in a resistance training methods course at a university located in the Southwest United States, from which IRB approval was obtained prior to the start to the study. Participants were degree-seeking students in the programs of PETE, human performance management, and athletic training. The curriculum for this two-credit semester course included lectures, and lab work (i.e., learning and practicing exercises/lifts in a weight room). To answer the study’s research question, pre- and post-test scores were collected using a 90-question examination developed specifically for the secondary-school physical educator/coach population (McGladrey et al., 2014). At the start of the semester students would complete the exam as a pre-test; the same exam was administered as the final exam at the course’s completion.
Analysis/Results: An analysis of results showed a significant difference in post-test scores (M = 86.38, SD = 10.92) when compared to pre-test scores (M = 61.06, SD = 11.20); t(197) = -27.08, p < .001. When compared to the exam’s passing score of 75%, the pass rate for participants on the pre-test was 11%, while on the post-test it was 90%. These results suggest that completion of a single academic course can positively influence students’ acquisition of content knowledge in resistance training principles and methods.
Conclusions: The pass rate for participants on the pre-test (11%) was similar to findings reported by McGladrey et al. (2014), in which 16% achieved a passing score (≥75%); however, the pass rate on the post-test was considerably higher at 90%. The significance of this study is that its results suggest that PETE program directors should consider including a methods course (at minimum) in resistance training as part of the PETE curriculum.