Physical Educators’ Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Interactive Video Game Technology within the Physical Education Curriculum William D. Russell, PhD Dept. of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Missouri Western State University
Background • Childhood obesity has been a national epidemic - physical education programs have the potential to be an effective intervention point for school-age children(USDHHS, 2000). • Recent government-sponsored (Surgeon General) initiatives has targeted ways to improve fitness and physical activity levels in children and reducing overweight and obesity levels: • “50 schools in 50 states” initiative to improve the health standards of school-age children. • “Shaping America’s Youth.” brings together public/private organizations and advocacy groups to reduce problem of childhood obesity. • In the midst of PE curriculum dilemmas, daily PE programs have been advocated as a critical intervention point to providing students “tools for reaching academic success” including : • physical health improvement, mental health enhancement, academic performance improvement, reaching at-risk students, and ultimately reducing medical costs (PE for Life, July 2005)
Background (Cont) • Over last two decades, number of overweight and obese children in US has tripled (Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Obesity, 2004). • Major cause of overweight/obesity is lack of physical activity. • Lack of physical activity is traced to increased prevalence of TVs, computers, and video game activity by adolescents. • Children’s weight status has been clearly related to regular video game usage in national sample of children, with higher weights being related to higher rates of video games (Vandewater, Shim, & Caplovitz, 2004). • Recently, in examining male adolescents barriers for participating in physical activity, boys reported a preference to engage in technology-related activities such as video games and related computer activities. Under time constraints, they preferred to engage in time-consuming activities that involved computer technology (Allison, Dwyer, Golderberg, Fein, Yoshida, & Boultilier, 2005) .
Interactive Video Game Technology: • Paradoxically, recent popularity within video game industry has been interactive video game technology (IVGT). • With technological advances, there is realization that there may be further benefits to interactive gaming than simply entertainment including: • Using interactive technology to treat children with ADHD • Training and treatment of injured soldiers in rehabilitation • Educating college students in learning complex subject matters within medical fields • Reaching at-risk and special needs children within the physical education context (Lawler, 2005, personal communication) • Movement-based IVGT includes applications as Dance Dance Revolution, Xavix, Eye-Toy,Sportwall, Cybex Trazer, V-Cycling, Powergrid, Makato, and CatEye. • All contain either interfaces between a gaming system and exercise equipment or allow the use of video games to interact with a sport event from a 1st person perspective (Yang, Vasil, & Graham, 2005). • Given that technology is an important part of American culture and with increased targeting of adolescents with IVGT applications, it is surprising that little research has studied effects of IVGT on physical and affective outcomes, as well as their ability to increase motivation in PE students within the PE curriculum.
Xavix Dance Dance Revolution CatEye Bikes Eye-Toy (Playstation)
Sportwall V-Cycling PowerGrid Cybex Trazer
Purpose: • Given that video games are implicated as barrier for physical activity and PA levels decline during adolescence, objective, empirical support is needed for integration and effectiveness of various movement-based technology into PE programs. • In order to support “best practices”, support must be obtained for physical and psychological benefits in order to support a rationale for inclusion of these applications into PE programs. • Since practitioners’ knowledge, attitude and comfort toward new practices may be barriers to implementing these methods, it is important to determine feasibility of IVGT integration into the schools. • The major purposes of the study were: • To examine the attitude, skills base, knowledge, and anticipated usage of interactive video game technology within the PE curriculum • To examine perceived barriers of practitioners in the use / integration of IVGT into their programs.
Research Questions: • In addition to generating descriptive results on attitudes, knowledge, perception, and anticipated usage of both general and IVGT, the following were research questions in the present study: • Is there a relationship between teachers’ attitude between general technology, IVGT, and knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated use of IVGT? • Is IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated use related to whether teachers perceive barriers to IVGT integration? • Do attitudes about general technology and IVGT differ as a function of teacher age, gender, grade level, experience, and class format? • Is there a relationship between general technology experience and and knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated use of IVGT applications? • Does IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated use differ as a function of teacher age, grade level, and experience?
Procedures • Subjects were mailed surveys with informed consent and told to briefly indicate their responses in an anonymous fashion. • Physical education coordinators were also contacted and asked for their permission to survey K-12 physical educators through their offices. • Permission was obtained from school superintendents prior to administering the survey through the mail • A follow-up reminder was send to both the individual K-12 practitioners as well as the physical education coordinators Subjects – • 36 teachers completed surveys from the following Missouri school districts: • Saint Joseph, MO • North Kansas City, MO
General Descriptives: • 36 practitioners surveyed; (35 regular full-time, 1 district coordinator; males: n =17); females: n =19) • Are you the primary physical education teacher at your school? YES: 31 (86%) NO: 5 (14%) • Other responsibilities mentioned: Basketball (6), Track (4), Football (2), Health (2), Soccer, Cross-country, First aid, Tennis, Volleyball, Computers. • Elementary teachers (n=17); Middle school teachers (n=10); Secondary school teachers (n=9)
Attitudes Toward Technology Integration in Physical Education: Indicate how often you integrate some form of general technology into your PE curriculum --------- Never 13 (36%) Hardly Ever (once or twice a year) 13 (36%) Fairly Regularly (1-2 Times per month) 9 (25%) Regularly (weekly) 1 (3%) Always (almost every day or every day) How much do you believe that technology has changed or determined the way physical education program are taught? 12 (33%) Greatly 23 (64%) Somewhat 1 (3%) Not at All 1 (3%) No Opinion How do you believe that technology has changed/determined the way YOU teach your classes and plan your curriculum? 7 (19%) Greatly 23 (64%) Somewhat 5 (14%) Not at all 1 (3%) No Opinion How would you rate your understanding of how interactive video game technology can be used to facilitate teaching and learning in your classes? 15 (42%) Not confident 15 (42%) I am aware of this technology, but I do not know how to use it 5 (14%) I know how to use this technology, but don’t know how to use it to foster teaching 1 (3%) I am confident with using this technology and using it to foster effective teaching PE Which of the statements would BEST summarize your attitude toward use of interactive video game technology into your PE classes? 3 (8%) This type of application has no place in the PE curriculum 7 (19%) This type of technology application has limited function in the PE curriculum 3 (8%) This type of technology application may improve motivation, but will not improve physical activity 2 (6%) This type of technology application may improve physical activity but will not improve PA 16 (44%) This technology application has the potential to be effective only to the degree that teachers link activities back to learning objectives 5 (14%) This type of technology application must be integrated into the PE curriculum if student motivation and PA levels are to be enhanced
Teachers’ perceptions of student interest in video game technology: Variable (1=very interested; 5 not at all interested) MeanSD Hand-Held video games (GameBoy) 1.52 .88 Video Game Consoles (Playstation) 1.30 .63 Computer CD-ROM games 1.58 .73 Internet Games 1.72 .84 Internet-Based Games 1.72 .82 Interactive Video Games (Dance Dance Revolution) 1.72 .88 Discipline-Specific Technology currently being integrated (Q17): • Pedometers 33 (92%) • Heart Rate Monitors 9 (25%) • Tri-Fit Assessment 7 (19%) • FITNESSGRAM Software 3 (8%) • None 3 (8%) • BMI calculator (Internet) 2 (5%) • FITLINKS 2 (5%) • Video workouts 1 (3%)
Teacher’s Perceptions regarding IVGT Applications Knowledge: 1 = Lots of knowledge; 4 = no knowledge Experience: 1 = lots of experience, 4 = no experience Comfort: 1=very comfortable; 4= not at all comfortable Usage: 1 = daily; 5 = never
Results • Relationship between teachers’ attitude toward general technology, IVGT, and their knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage of IVGT applications: • More favorable attitudes toward general technology were associated with more positive attitudes toward IVGT integration (questions 12 and 21) (r =-.34, p<.05). • More favorable attitudes toward technology were also associated with a greater understanding of how IVGT could be used to facilitate teaching. (questions 12 and 20) (r =-.36, p <.05) • Significant relationships found for: • General attitude toward technology (Q12) and DDR knowledge (r =.35, p<.05) • Teachers’ understanding for how IVGT use to facilitate teaching (Q 20) and: • CatEye knowledge (r =-.34), Cybex Trazer knowledge (r =-.44), , V-cycling knowledge (r =-.46), Cybex experience (r =-.51), V-cycling experience (r=-.46), CatEye comfort (r=-.40), Sportwall comfort (r =-.40), Cybex Trazer comfort (r=-.43), and V-cycling comfort (r=-.43) (p<.05) • Favorable attitudes about IVGT integration into PE (Q 21) and: • V-cycling knowledge (r=-.40) and V-cycling experience (r =-.36) (p <.05)
Results (Cont): • Is IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage related to teachers’ perceptions of barriers to IVGT integration? • A one-way MANOVA examined whether IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage differed according to whether teachers’ indicated there were perceived barriers to integrating these applications into the curriculum. • No significant effect was found (Wilk’s Lambda (3,32) =.817, p >.05), indicating that knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage were not affected by their perceptions of barriers for integration. Barriers that would prevent IVGT integration into PE curriculum at your school? (Q26) YES: 15 (42%) NO: 21 (58%) Lack of money/funding 9 Lack of space and equipment 7 Difficulty engaging entire class 2 Lack of tech support 2 Lack of time to be trained 2 Lack of student interest 1 Installation 1 Physical education is low funding priority 1
Results (Cont): • Can attitudes about technology and IVGT be predicted by teacher age, gender, grade level, experience, class frequency format, and time block format? • Two separate multiple regressions were performed for (1) general technology attitude and (2) IVGT attitude, using age, gender, grade level, experience, class frequency, and time block as predictors. General Technology Attitude – • Significant overall regression equation (F (6,34) = 3.02, p <.05, R2 =.39). • Regression results indicated that teachers’ grade was most predictive of general technology attitude; secondary level physical educators had more positive attitude toward general technology than elementary teachers. IVGT Attitude – • No significant regression results for prediction of criterion from predictor variables (F (6,34) =1.02, p >.05, R2 =.18
Results (Cont): • Is there a relationship between teachers’ general computer technology experience and IVGT application knowledge, experience, comfort and anticipated usage? • Multiple correlations were performed across general technology experience and teachers’ IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort and anticipated usage to examine relationships across these variables. • Results of these correlation matrices were nonsignificant, indicating that, in general, teachers’ general technology experience was unrelated to their knowledge, experience level, comfort, or anticipated usage of various IVGT applications • Several correlations did reach significance: • Presentation software experience was related to: DDR knowledge (r =.33, p<.05), CatEye knowledge (r =.33, p<.05) and V-Cycling knowledge (r =.43, p<.01). Internet software experience was also related to V-cycling knowledge (r=.34, p<.05) • Presentation software experience was related to CatEye experience (r =.34, p<.05) and V-cycling experience (r =.38, p<.05); Internet software experience was related to V-cycling experience, (r =.34, p,.05); Drill/practice program experience was related to V-cycling experience, (r =.34, p<.05)
Results (Cont): • Does IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage differ as a function of teacher gender, grade level, and years of teaching experience? • 4 separate MANOVAs Gender (M/F), Grade Level (Elementary, Middle, Secondary) and experience (< 5yrs, 6-15 yrs, >15 yrs) as IVs and knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage on 9 IVGT applications as DVs • (DDR, EyeToy, Xavix, CatEye, Sportwall, Cybex Trazer, V-Cycling, Powergrid, Makato) • IVGT Knowledge: • 3 way (Gender, Grade, Experience) MANOVA on knowledge was significant (Wilk’s Lambda (8,36) =5.88, p<.001) • Significant Univariate ANOVAs for teacher experience on: • CatEye Knowledge (F(2,21) =5.66, p<.05) < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience. • Cybex Trazer Knowledge (F(2,21) =8.63, p<.001) < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience. • V-Cycling knowledge (F(2,21) =6.64, p<..001) < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience • Significant Univariate ANOVAs for grade level on: • DDR knowledge (F(2,21) =6.60, p<.001) Elementary > Middle, Secondary level teachers. • V-Cycling knowledge (F(2,21) =5.30, p<.05) Elementary > Middle, Secondary level teachers
Results (Cont): • Does IVGT knowledge, experience, comfort, and anticipated usage differ as a function of teacher gender, grade level, and years of teaching experience? 2. IVGT Experience: • 3 way (Gender, Grade, Experience) MANOVA on experience was not significant (Wilk’s Lambda (8,36) =4.58, p>.05). • IVGT Comfort: • 3 way (Gender, Grade, Experience) MANOVA on comfort was significant (Wilk’s Lambda (9,36) =3.07, p<.05). • Significant univariate ANOVAs for teachers’ experience: • XavixComfort (F(2,14) =4.81, p<.05 < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience. • Cybex Trazer Comfort (F(2,14) =4.86, p<.05 < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience. • IVGT Anticipated Usage: • 3 way (Gender, Grade, Experience) MANOVA on anticipated usage was significant (Wilk’s Lambda (9,36) =3.64, p<.05). • Significant univariate ANOVAs for teachers’ experience: • CatEye Usage (F(2,14) =3.75, p<.05 < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience. • V-Cycling Usage (F(2,14) =4.18, p<.05 < 5 yrs experience > teachers with 6-15 yrs or > 15 yrs experience.
Correlations: IVGT Comfort and Anticipated Usage: IVGT Anticipated Usage IVGT Comfort * p <.05, ** p <..001
Conclusions: • Teachers’ more favorable general technology attitudes were associated with more favorable attitudes toward IVGT applications and their possible integration into the PE curriculum. • Perceptions of potential barriers to IVGT integration did not factor into teachers’ attitudes toward IVGT applications, BUT THE TEACHERS IN THIS SAMPLE HAD VERY LITTLE KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, OR COMFORT WITH THESE APPLICATIONS. • Age, gender, grade level, experience, class frequency, and time block were not predictors of IVGT, probably due to the fact that few practitioners were familiar with these applications. • More positive attitudes toward technology in general were predicted by grade level, with secondary teachers’ level more predictive of a more positive attitude • There were no relationships between general computer technology experience and IVGT experience, knowledge, comfort, or anticipated usage. • If any teacher segment is familiar with various IVGT applications, it appears that : • Younger, less experienced teachers are more likely to have been exposed and thus have more IVGT knowledge • Younger, less experienced teachers are more likely to have more comfort to use certain IVGT applications • Younger, less experienced teachers are more likely to anticipate they would use the various IVGT applications in their programs
Recommendations: • For practitioners to effectively integrate new technologies and use them in teaching for learning, they must be knowledgeable, experienced, and comfortable in using this technology. • These survey results indicate a need to expose educators to IVGT more than they currently are. • Teachers must be given opportunities for professional development in technology integration if they are expected to work toward integration of technology in accordance with NASPE’s 9th PETE standard where: “Physical education teachers use information technology to enhance learning and to enhance personal and professional productivity.” (NASPE, 2001, p. 8). • There appears to be a disparity between recommended benefits of IVGT in PE curriculums (Yang, Vasil, & Graham, 2005) and teachers’ current knowledge, experience, and comfort levels – These barriers must be addressed before wide-scale IVGT application lead to “best practices” for motivation and PA enhancement in PE curriculums • Larger scale surveys addressing practitioners’ current knowledge and attitudes toward IVGT is warranted to further examine if these factors are barriers to widespread implementation.
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