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Open Access Sports Industry Meets Academia: The Pedagogical Development of an Ms Degree Program in Sports Product Design

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In the U. S., Portland, Oregon, is home to the sports product design industry. Jobs in this industry vary from entry-level retail assistants to CEOs, but the heart of it all revolves around designers and the inventive products they create. Becoming a successful designer can be very challenging and competitive, as undergraduate design and engineering programs in the U. S. provide basic skills but not industry-specific skills that fully allow designers to succeed in all divisions (apparel, footwear, and equipment) of the sports product industry. The University of Oregon, through a strategic initiatives effort, identified this opportunity and developed an integrative Master of Science graduate degree program in Sports Product Design. The program was created to include specialized courses from the departments of human physiology, journalism, business, and design to develop graduates proficient in using theories and creative problem solving skills to invent products that push the boundaries of athletic performance. Students learn how design can reduce athletic injuries and extend careers, improve performance, and address issues related to gender and diverse body types, including athletes with disabilities. This paper will review the creation of this one-of-a-kind program in the U. S., including pedagogical considerations, curriculum, and student inventions over the last three years.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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