Offered online every semester, KINE 310: Exercise Physiology I introduces Mason students to the physiologic, neuroendocrine, and biochemical changes of the human body that occur with exercise. KINE 310 is part of the BS in Kinesiology curriculum. This course covers numerous Knowledge-Skills-Abilities (KSAs) of the American College of Sports Medicine with topics ranging from exercise physiology, nutrition, and weight management to safety, injury prevention, and emergency management. With a focus on developing content knowledge, KINE 310 lends itself to the online environment and helps prepare students to apply that knowledge in the laboratory setting of KINE 410.

“My first year at Mason I taught KINE 310 face to face and realized that it could be transformed into an online course,” explains Dr. Joel Martin. “I think for certain classes and subjects the information can be taught just as well online as it can in a face to face format. I already had a good idea of how I wanted the class to be structured, and the biggest challenge was altering the materials so that they would be appropriate for an online version of the class.”

In KINE 310, students learn how to use lactate testing, or the measurement of lactic acid in the body, as an indicator of an athlete’s fitness level. Video courtesy of Dr. Joel Martin.

Dr. Martin provides lectures, videos, and assignments through Blackboard and students are able to take quizzes and exams, submit research papers, and create and share video presentations all within the course environment. Rather than ‘reinventing the wheel,’ he utilizes a wealth of informative and engaging videos available on YouTube as learning aids to help guide students through course content. In addition to the unlimited connection to supplementary resources, the flexibility of the online format is also one of the greatest benefits, as suggested by online KINE 310 student Adam Forbes.

“I like the quickness of diving right into the subject and being able to do an assignment ahead of its due date,” says Forbes. “For example, a class could have assignments due every week and two big projects spread out within the semester. I get assignments for weeks one and two done and have time to work on the big stuff, to continue knocking out assignments, or just relax.”

This flexibility is key to a meaningful course experience for students as well as professors. “Both students and instructors have more freedom and flexibility to perform tasks related to the class at a time that is convenient,” suggests Dr. Martin. “It allows students to study at their own pace. Some students may already have some knowledge in exercise physiology while others do not. The online format allows students to work at a pace that meets their needs.”

As described in this video, determining estimated maximum heart rates can help athletes set training zones and manage exercise intensity. Video courtesy of Dr. Joel Martin.

The research paper and presentation components allow students to pursue topics of personal or professional interest and to engage peers in the current conversations surrounding those issues. For Forbes, the course section on exercise and sports for children and teens was particularly relevant to his career path. He was able to use the final project to further explore the topic of childhood obesity and how it may relate to his future roles.

“Since I want to become a physical education teacher, learning about how to properly move, how the body responds to movement, and nutritional effects is part of my job,” says Forbes. ”What I learned is to look at the content and think about how this is relevant to my particular major.”

Interested in taking Physiology of Exercise with Dr. Martin? KINE 310 is available completely online each semester, including summer! See for more information.