Optimizing Student Learning Outcomes of Collegiate Recreational Sports Participation

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recreational sport, student development, learning outcomes, diminishing return


Higher education theorists have long since proposed student involvement in educational programs is directly proportional to student learning (Astin, 1999), neglecting potential non-linear relationships. The purpose of this study is to determine the presence of non-linear relationships between collegiate recreational sports (CRS) participation and student learning outcomes. Data from the NASPA Assessment and Knowledge Consortium were analyzed through ordinary least squares multiple regression to determine if there is a point of diminishing returns in student learning outcomes of CRS participation. The results demonstrate a significant curvilinear relationship for depth and breadth of CRS participation, supporting a point of diminishing returns. The point of diminishing returns in student learning outcomes occurs at a CRS participation frequency of 8 times per week and number of different CRS activities of 30 activities per week. These findings have implications for CRS programming, marketing, and mentoring


This article was originally published as Lower, L., Forrester, S., Beggs, B. A., Elkins, D. J. (2020). Optimizing student learning outcomes of collegiate recreational sports participation. Journal of Campus Activities Practice and Scholarship, 2(1), 31-44.