Virtual Learning at KU
The University of Kansas is committed to connecting passion to success by training sport management professionals to navigate modern hurdles in the industry and work within complex and varied organizations. The ultimate goal of our online master’s in sport management* is to help them step into their desired role and become an invaluable asset to their team.
To accomplish this goal, we built Jayhawkville, a versatile digital learning environment that gives students the chance to work through contemporary issues, handle relevant projects, and “see” sporting facilities and the communities they reside in from new and different perspectives.
Jayhawkville is the name of our interactive virtual learning interface as well as the fictional city it depicts. Graduates from our online program may go on to work in vastly different organizations around the country, so we’ve created a digital space that allows them to experience the realities of working in areas that have different demographic, economic, racial and ethnic characteristics, as well as varying levels of historical athletic success.
Jayhawkville helps prepare you for success with a hands-on virtual city that simulates real-world scenarios that may occur at golf clubs, community centers, media outlets, private colleges, universities, tennis clubs and other settings. As you navigate the Jayhawkville communities and associated facilities, you can view each site in-depth and access information related to hiring policies, demographic data, the number of students or members, and more. Navigating each of these areas and completing focused assignments with the provided data will help prepare you to face the unique challenges that arise in sport management and learn how to build solutions that work.
Below, we’ll show you how to operate and explore Jayhawkville, and how to access the numerous exercises and assignments that utilize it:
Points of Interest
Noteworthy sites throughout Jayhawkville are color-categorized and will direct you to important features within the virtual city, including sporting facilities, schools, universities and media outlets. These sites act as information hubs for course content and case studies, as well as create vital context in which you can practice making professional decisions.
- You can turn points of interest on and off throughout the map, enabling you to search broad areas of the imaginary community for specific elements
- You can scan for particular sites within the map either by using keywords (i.e., “baseball field,” “tennis club,” etc.) or with a unique location code. These specific location IDs allow faculty to customize Jayhawkville to augment and enhance specific course material
- Within your courses and assignments, you may visit points of interest to work through case studies relevant to various events and roles within the sport management field
As students interact with the dynamic map, they can activate different “lenses” which enable them to view all or part of Jayhawkville in precisely defined ways. This method of scanning this virtual city reflects how sport management professionals must monitor certain aspects of their organization's city or community in order to successfully operate within their roles.
- Demographic filters include school districts, racial and ethnic groups, socio-economic status, and more
- Customize the virtual environment according to individual course assignments or learning objectives by switching between the available lenses
- Some courses throughout the program will instruct you to utilize certain lenses within a specific region and use the information you’ve gathered to finish an assignment or more fully understand the current course topic(s)
The points of interest throughout Jayhawkville act as launch points for simulated case study exercises that will help you develop the skills to become a well-rounded and successful sport management professional. These exercises provide vital opportunities for students to process detailed information, work through logistical hurdles, and learn from mistakes within the safe confines of a virtual learning environment.
Some examples of the case studies include:
- Submitting a successful event bid to host a major tournament
- Deciding whether to sell the naming rights to an athletic facility
- Weighing the pros and cons of allowing children to play contact sports
For each of these scenarios, students must defend their decisions and actions with evidence found in Jayhawkville as well as outside sources.
*This program is a Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) degree in health, sport management, and exercise science with an emphasis in sport management.