Students will create a portfolio of evidence throughout their time working towards the IOPN Diploma in Sports Nutrition qualification. Assessments within the portfolio include:

Class-wide discussions

Students will be prompted to engage in group discussions at key topic junctions within the programme. Discussions may be focused on aspects of metacognition (e.g., thinking about one’s thoughts), controversial ideas (fostering debate), perspectives on contemporary events (e.g., how to approach things in current times) and approaches towards managing scenarios in practice. Moreover, discussions may be based on a recent ‘We Do Science.’ podcast episode. Students will be encouraged to share their views and perspectives for each discussion. Participation in class-wide discussions will not be mandatory for a student, but they will receive participation points (5 points) when they engage, which will assist with their total module score. In many class-wide discussions, students can send their feedback via written or video post, depending on their preference.

Reflective activities

At the beginning and end of each unit, students will receive a chance to complete a written or video-recorded reflection. These activities aim to help the student become more introspective about the topics discussed, pulling from their own experiences as a student and as a practitioner. The first reflective assignment will encourage students to focus on their experiences. In contrast, the second entry will invite students to reflect on how this new knowledge has influenced their current perspective. Although the reflective journal contributes to a student’s final grade (20 points per reflection), no qualitative feedback on a student’s entry will be provided. There are no “correct” or “incorrect” responses for a reflection. Students should be aware that to graduate, all reflection exercises must be completed.

Reading assignment

Students will receive a scientific article to review for each unit. They will also receive an active learning worksheet to improve their comprehension of the material and note-taking. The first segment of the active learning worksheet is focused on the KWL framework. ‘KWL’ is an acronym for “Know”, “Want-to-Know”, and “Learned”. This approach provides an effective method for reading with purpose and improving knowledge retention. Furthermore, the second segment of the active learning worksheet is a note-taking framework to help organise student learning for future reflections and retrieval. The note-taking framework provides a method for contextualising notes, thereby making it easier to review, retrieve and expand upon their learnings in the future. The main objective of the active learning sheet is to provide a series of science-supported learning techniques to improve a student’s ability to learn, recall and apply their learnings. Submission of the active learning worksheet is not mandatory, but it is encouraged.

Oral lecture

Students will receive lectures by experts in sport and exercise nutrition, providing an overview of a specific topic, contextualising the research, discussing any applicable findings for practice, and sharing their own experiences. To improve comprehension, students will engage in two active-learning tasks: the KWL method (discussed above) and a retrieval task. Students will be encouraged to set a 15-minute timer for the retrieval task when reviewing the oral presentation. At each 15-minute interval, students are encouraged to pause the recording for two minutes and write down everything they can recall from the previous segment. Recalling the lecture’s teachings from memory rather than rewinding the lecture will improve retention and comprehension of the material. The submission of a student’s active learning worksheets is not mandatory, but it is encouraged.

Quiz assignment

Multiple choice quiz (MCQ) assignments that focus on higher orders of learning using Bloom's Taxonomy (we will not use true and false questions in our MCQ) will be given after the oral presentation. Quiz assignments will have ten questions to answer, with 30 minutes to complete the assignment. Students will have just two attempts at the quiz assignment with 10 points available.

Case-based scenarios and Case study portfolio assignments

Students are presented with a real-world narrative “Case” and are required to work through the information to generate solutions to the questions posed. Case-based scenarios translate theory-based concepts into actionable, real-life scenarios, thereby uncovering the potential nuances and how they can be viewed and applied in the real world. No rubric guidelines will be provided for this exercise as we want to give the students the freedom to interpret and explore the questions in their own way. Using this format, students will be graded based only on submitting an answer for each prompt. Students will be given indirect feedback for their answers, with a member of the IOPN providing their answers to the questions as a reference. In addition, a student’s learning experience will be enriched further by observing the answers of their fellow students. These will be made visible to students once they have submitted their own responses to the prompts. Students will be required to deliver their answers in a written format. A total of 40 points are available for each case-based scenario.

The case study portfolio assignments are longer-form versions of the case-based scenarios that students will engage with over the course of each module, comprising between 4-8 tasks. These assignments have been created to provide students with a diverse array of practical scenarios to translate their theory into practice and are mandatory to complete to pass the course; in addition to achieving their IOPN Specialist (Grad) accreditation which will last for 12 months, once a student officially completes the course. The Case Study Portfolio assignments provide students with experience longitudinally working with a case subject, which applicants who want to become Certified IOPN Specialists must illustrate via a real-world client case study. A total of 200 points are available for each Case Study Portfolio.

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