Using Videotaped Athletic Contests within Mosston's Teaching Methods: Watching a Video in Physical Education May Contradict the Desire for More Activity Time, but Sometimes It Is the Most Efficient Means of Teaching a Skill or Strategy

By Seifried, Chad | JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, May-June 2005 | Go to article overview

Using Videotaped Athletic Contests within Mosston's Teaching Methods: Watching a Video in Physical Education May Contradict the Desire for More Activity Time, but Sometimes It Is the Most Efficient Means of Teaching a Skill or Strategy


Seifried, Chad, JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance


High school, college, and professional coaches, in a variety of sports all over the world, regularly use videotaped performances and practices to assess, demonstrate to, and motivate their players. In addition, other academic disciplines such as science and language arts have shown that video technology can improve their students' learning (Brinton, 1991; Graham & Barone, 2001; Kellough & Kellough, 2003). For instance, Graham and Barone found that replaying videotaped practices and performances enhanced discussions about student strengths and weaknesses on their oral presentation skills. Ultimately, these students appreciated using the videotape, because they gained valuable individualized feedback.

Despite the successful and popular use of videotaped performances in other academic fields and in competitive athletics, little research or anecdotal evidence exists about the benefits of using videotapes in physical education classes to enhance student learning (Darden, 1999). It is likely this occurs because physical educators do not associate videotapes with activity. Many physical educators probably remain hesitant about using videotapes as teaching tools because they recognize that physical education centers around movement, and therefore feel pressure to keep students physically active. The pressure comes in part from disappointing data about engaged activity time in physical education class. For example, Siedentop and Tannehill (2000) found that students engage in physical activity for only 30 percent of class time, waste 25 percent of their time waiting to participate, and spend nearly 30 percent of class receiving instruction or descriptions from the teacher. However, these thoughts and feelings concerning videotapes represent a narrow viewpoint (Darden, 1999) that fails to acknowledge how videotapes can help physical educators accomplish their main objective--helping students to learn and to perform more successfully in order to enjoy an active lifestyle.

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Generally speaking, assessing student learning is problematic because learning cannot be directly observed (Rink, 2002). Therefore, teachers and coaches must infer learning from performances or behaviors demonstrated by their students or players (Rink, 2002; Siedentop & Tannehill, 2000). Appropriately, many scholars suggest that physical educators should seek to obtain "consistent" performances by their students, because only consistency supports claims that learning actually occurred (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002; Rink, 2002). To facilitate consistent performances, researchers recommend a variety of teaching methods and tools to benefit students (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002; Rink, 2002; Siedentop & Tannehill, 2000).

This article proposes that using videotapes as a teaching tool is an appropriate method for physical educators who want to increase or expand student understanding of physical activities, to promote and provoke higher quality practices, and to convey correct information in an efficient and effective manner. In order to support this conclusion, this article will demonstrate how teachers can incorporate videotaped athletic contests into the various teaching styles detailed by Mosston and Ashworth (2002). Videotapes, as a flexible and adaptable resource, primarily accommodate the guided-discovery, divergent, and self-check methods of teaching to yield better, more consistent performances.

The Guided-Discovery Method

This teaching method helps students acquire sequential discovery skills in a cognitively economical manner, enabling broader concepts to be identified (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002; Rink, 2002). In essence, students "discover" answers to a series of questions that highlight the concepts the instructor wishes them to understand (Katone, 1949; Mosston & Ashworth, 2002; Rink, 2002). Physical educators can use videotapes of athletic contests to complement this method in order to identify a variety of simple or complicated concepts. …

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