There has been growing interest in establishing and sharing best practices to improve the teaching and learning of biomechanics. Many of the researchers in the field of biomechanics are educators themselves, whether formally serving as course instructors or being active in biomechanics outreach. An increasing number of these educators have begun to apply their research skills to rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching pedagogies, as well as the specific approaches, activities, and learning innovations they implement. While there is currently no central hub for disseminating these findings, an increase in education-related conference presentations and publications in various journals has been observed. Such work is important because it informs the field and helps educators teach more effectively so that student learning and outcomes can be maximized.
Journal of Applied Biomechanics now welcomes the submission of original research articles focused on the teaching and learning of biomechanics. Articles may focus on work done in either formal learning environments (eg, Pre-K – 12th grade schools and universities) or in informal learning environments including extracurricular clubs, outreach events, or museums. All articles will be peer- reviewed adhering to standard Journal of Applied Biomechanics practices. Articles should detail the teaching-learning innovationor pedagogical approach, as well as a thorough summary of the methods and results used to evaluate its effectiveness on student learning, with quantitative results preferred over qualitative. Articles that only introduce a teaching-learning approach or innovation, without sufficient evaluation and assessment, will not be considered for publication. Preference for publication will be given to those papers that have the greatest potential to impact the field of biomechanics education. Within their Discussion sections, authors are encouraged to include guidance for other instructors who may wish to adopt a similar approach. When possible, it would be beneficial for the authors to provide an indication of how the learning approach or innovation could be implemented, and how it would be expected to fare, in a different course, a different learning environment, and/or for students at a different level.
The scholarship of teaching and learning of biomechanics encompasses a very wide variety of topics. Papers focused on innovative biomechanics education and outreach efforts will be considered across all scales, including: global or national initiatives; community partnerships and programs; interdisciplinary university programs; biomechanics curriculum; specific course structure or approach; teaching pedagogies; and specific approaches, activities, and learning innovations. In addition to more traditional educational experiences, original research articles focused on topics such as graduate student mentorship, undergraduate research experiences, scientific literacy, responsible conduct of research, and scientific advocacy will also be considered.
To commemorate the start of Journal of Applied Biomechanics accepting education-related submissions, the 2020 October issue will have a dedicated section for education-related papers. To be considered for this edition, papers must be submitted to the journal website (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_JAB/) no later than May 31, 2020, with a final decision made by July 31, 2020. Please direct questions to Section Editor Kimberly Bigelow, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org).
After this issue, we anticipate publishing such papers regularly. While the vast majority of papers published in Journal of Applied Biomechanics will continue to be studies of human movement, we hope that adding education-related papers will continue to advance the impact of the journal on the field.