2022 Volume 19 Pages 73-83
There is a strong interest in ‘student-centered’ learning in higher education. Previous research has identified a system for teaching self-preservation skills in the water in university swimming classes, but that research did not aim to design a specific class. The purpose of this study is the design of a university swimming class aimed at strengthening self-preservation skills in the water. This is undeniably the most fundamental prerequisite for any water-related activity. To that end, the following objectives were set: i) understand the characteristics of underwater exercise; ii) improve underwater skills, water-safety knowledge and ability to cope with water-related accidents; iii) understand the dangers of water through exercises and aquatic sports; iv) improve self-preservation skills through active learning; v) evaluate water safety both objectively and subjectively; and vi) improve the skills and knowledge of students to intervene safely and effectively in water-related accidents. To accomplish these goals, tasks were set from the perspectives of knowledge, skills, and ability to cope with water-related accidents. In order to facilitate learning, the lesson was divided in five sections: i) pre-study; ii) practice; iii) skill test; iv) instruction on how to cope with accidents in the water; and v) reflection. During the instruction, tasks, possible hazards and skills to be developed by the students are set in advance. A series of water exercises (e.g. swimming with clothed) and aquatic sports (e.g. water polo, rhythmic swimming) are provided for that purpose. The other sections of the lesson are to help students to understand their own limitations, plan ahead of the practice, evaluate their skills and ultimately improve through a full PDCA cycle. Although there are differences in terms of facilities and number of teaching hours, the swimming lessons designed in this study can be easily adopted in universities to develop and reinforce the self-preservation skills of students in water activities.