Center for Faculty Innovation

Improving Student Academic Performance through Exercise (Workshop)

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Location:  UREC 200, Main Conference Room

Researchers have begun to make the case that facilitated use of exercise has shown positive outcomes on both brain development and academic performance. This workshop will review research on exercise and brain development and what is currently being done here at JMU to educate students on this important topic. Facilitators will also cover techniques for implementing these ideas into current syllabi and classrooms. This will be a hands-on session to give faculty the tools to influence student behavior around exercise as well as ways to bring physical activity into classes that will improve learning and academic success. This session will replicate a variety of classrooms from auditorium seating to movable desks for participants to explore. Finally, UREC’s “Spark” Consultation Service will be introduced.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these program outcomes:

  • Identifying the benefits of exercise on brain development and learning,
  • Articulating the options for students to exercise before and during class, and
  • Developing a plan to engage the students to fully participate in linking exercise to improved academic performance.

Faculty participants will make progress toward these teaching outcomes: 

  • Appreciating pedagogy—the art and science of teaching and learning--as a significant higher education endeavor, and
  • Integrating knowledge of student development models in teaching philosophies and practice.


Steve Bobbitt, BS Education Virginia Tech, MA Recreation Services Radford
Aaron Combs, BS Sports Management Shepherd University, MS Sports Administration Western Illinois University
Mary Healey, BS Health, Leisure & Exercise Science University of West Florida, MS Sport Psychology Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Erica Estes, BS Exercise Science JMU, MS Sports Management Southern Mississippi

Authentic Partner: University Recreation

If you require non-dietary accommodations to participate in this program, please email the CFI at or call (568-4846) immediately to convey your needs.  We will work with the HR department to provide you with reasonable accommodations, if time permits.

Back to Top