School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Cristie McClendon


cognitive domain, affective domain, psychomotor domain, kinesthetic instruction, gatekeeper courses, engagement, movement with a purpose


Adult and Continuing Education | Education


The purpose of this qualitative, single holistic case study was to understand how community college instructors use kinesthetic instructional strategies to engage students enrolled in gatekeeper college courses at a community college in the Northeastern United States. The theory guiding this study was domains of learning theory, as it explains how faculty approach instruction according to how students experience the six levels of the cognitive taxonomy and provides a foundation for the consideration of how the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains are intertwined. A qualitative methodology with a single case study design was used to address the central research question, which was: How do instructors describe the implementation and effectiveness of kinesthetic instructional strategies in gatekeeper college courses? Purposeful and snowball sampling were used to recruit 16 instructors who teach gatekeeper courses at a community college. Sources of data included semi-structured interviews, two focus group meetings, and a participant hypothetical letter. Braun and Clarke’s six-step reflexive thematic analysis was employed to analyze data, which allowed for the development of themes that were utilized to visualize and report the data. Five themes emerged from the participants’ experiences. Themes included participants’ ideas on planning for and including kinesthetic strategies in gatekeeper courses. Participants also offered advice and recommendations on this process. Moreover, the participants felt that use of kinesthetic activities promoted student engagement and improved their retention of information and learning. The participants felt these strategies promoted classroom community and helped retain students in these critical gatekeeper courses.