Sports Med Update (Sheila Sebastian)

Reinforcing online learning with live demonstrations

Sports Physical Therapy teacher Sheila Sebastian shows her class a skeletal model of the knee. “Sports Physical Therapy is a very hands-on class,” Sebastian said. “I miss my students. It’s hard to gauge if they are understanding the material and if they are paying attention in class.”

Sports Physical Therapy teacher Sheila Sebastian shows her class a skeletal model of the knee. “Sports Physical Therapy is a very hands-on class,” Sebastian said. “I miss my students. It’s hard to gauge if they are understanding the material and if they are paying attention in class.”

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sports Physical Therapy classes have to adjust to virtual learning, replacing the traditional hands-on activities with online forums. 

As part of the sports medicine pathway, Career Technical Education (CTE) classes aim to give students academic and vocational skills that will help them be successful in their future. This year, sports medicine students are learning these skills through slideshows and videos.

“There’s not a lot that we can do to fully grasp what we’re learning,” Introduction to Sports Physical Therapy student sophomore Jada Reimoninq said. “But I’m really looking forward to what steps I can take in the future [with this class] and expand to helping all different types of sports.”

Teachers are using online platforms like Quizlet, Quizizz and Kahoot to replace the in-person experience by helping them review terminology. Additionally, they perform demonstrations and have students watch videos of the procedures they cannot replicate at home. For example, Sports Physical Therapy teacher Sheila Sebastian uses a life-sized skeleton to teach her class the anatomy of the knee. She also shows YouTube videos about bones, muscles and injuries since students do not have access to the technical equipment in the classroom.

“They’ll give us instructions on what to do, but because there isn’t any hands-on practice, you don’t know what to expect when it really happens,” Advanced Sports Physical Therapy student senior Kent Zhang said. “That’s one of the bigger differences.”

Sebastian created a workbook for her students to ensure the quality of their training during distance learning, which included anatomy coloring worksheets, study guides and fill-in-the-blank notes. She incorporates Bitmoji to make her lectures more entertaining.

“I miss my students,” Sebastian said. “It’s hard to gauge if they are understanding the material and if they are paying attention in class. It’s hard for the students to get the full benefit from the class being online.”

However, learning online means that teachers have more time to delve deeper into each topic they teach.

“I didn’t think we would be going as in-depth as we are,” Reimoninq said. “I thought it was going to be more like ‘This is what you’re supposed to do.’ Instead, it’s more like, ‘This is exactly how it happened.’ It goes very very in-depth.”

Even though many of the activities in Sports Medicine cannot be completed this year, teachers are trying to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for their students.

“[Mrs. Sebastian] is very easygoing and free-spirited,” Reimoninq said. “She starts every day by asking us a question. I feel like it’s made us more outgoing in the class, knowing that she actually does listen and care.”

Distance learning and the changes within the sports medicine program mean that students are not able to receive a typical education they would in a traditional school year.

“I’m hoping we’ll be in actual school next year so I get to do more hands-on stuff,” Reimoninq said. “But we have to make the best of it.”

By Cathy Li, Staff writer
Photo by Cathy Li