Evaluating Graduate Student Out-of-Class Learning: The Professional Field Trip

Rebecca Achen
Illinois State University

Clint Warren
Illinois State University

Amanda Fazzari
Illinois State University

Hannah Jorich
Illinois State University

Kenneth Thorne
Illinois State University

Out-of-class experiences provide important learning opportunities for students; however, limited research has explored the value of these experiences to graduate students. The purpose of this study was to evaluate graduate sport management students’ professional field trip experiences to determine if they met student expectations and achieved trip learning objectives. Results from pre- and post-trip surveys, a student focus group, and industry professional interviews suggested the trip exceeded expectations overall. Specifically, it improved students’ professional preparation, helped them connect to course content, and increased their connection to the academic program. Students perceived the trip to be a valuable educational and social experience. Sport management faculty should consider coordinating field trips for graduate students, as they perceive them to be beneficial to their learning and graduate student experience. Also, evaluating out-of-class experiences is valuable for improving institutional support and providing evidence of student learning outcomes.

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