Creating Student-Centered Learning Experience through the Assistance of High-End Technology in Physical Education: A Case Study

By Wang, Lin; Myers, Deborah L. et al. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Creating Student-Centered Learning Experience through the Assistance of High-End Technology in Physical Education: A Case Study


Wang, Lin, Myers, Deborah L., Yanes, Martha J., Journal of Instructional Psychology


Student-centered learning is an approach in education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators (Blumberg, 2009). This approach has many implications for the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses (O'Neil & McMahon, 2005). Major tenets of student-centered learning include understanding of the material, active learning on the student part and increased responsibilities on the student' part, increased instructor responsibilities on creating an environment that facilitates the learning process, assessment process is intergraded with feedback providing, and both parties (the instructor and the students) share some of the decision making responsibilities (Blumberg, 2009; Lea, Stephenson, & Troy, 2003).

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Student-centered learning has been practiced through varied means in physical education. Several different approaches similar in nature, including problem-based instructions, project-based learning, and constructivist approach, contribute to the idea of student-centered learning in physical education. Problem-based learning, supports engaging students involved in problem solving, was used to enhance team and player development in youth soccer (Hubball & Robertson, 2004). Problem-based learning has also been recommended to enhance physical education courses (Chu, Tsai, & Louie, 2008). Gubacs (2004) incorporated project-based learning by asking students to participate digitizing through the use of technology. Getting through the process of learning the software and completing the project led to meaningful learning. Another approach, constructivist approach exerts the student engagement in cognitive involvement. Azzarito, Solmon, & Afeman (2003) explained and provided empirical support to the use of constructivist approach to enhance pre-service teachers learning. Technology improvements nudged the transforming from traditional instructor-centered learning (conducted through lecturing and assessing students achievement through exams based on instructor's standards) to student centered learning (multiple ways of connecting to students and using rubrics) (Blumberg, 2009; Lepczyk, 2009).

"Let's take a look at how your swing was so you can correct your swinging timing" is a statement that can be easily made. However, providing instant visual feedback to someone's swing cannot be easily done. Providing visual re-play of one's own performance, an effective augmented feedback (Coker, 2009), engages students in the learning process actively (Heynen, 2008). Visual representations as well as visual feedback are critical information transferring channels for motor skill learning to occur (Schmidt & Lee, 2005). The two-way channels need to be efficient in order to enhance modeling's impact and skill improvement. By watching the model's performance, relative motion or pattern on the skill to be acquired is conveyed; at the same time, by viewing someone's own performance, errors of performance are displayed (Magill, 2006). It not only improves motor skill acquisition but also develops thinking skills, creativity and problem solving (Heynen, 2008). Inclusion of technology also enriches the learning environment and experience for students (Edginton, Kirkpatrick, Schempp, & Jones, 2008).

Traditional instructional methods are limited in the ability to accomplish the goal of providing instant visual feedback. Regular procedure relies on the instructor's verbal description on the associated error. This effort also relies on the assumption that learner's vague memory on the past performance could * be recalled accurately. However, with the assistance offered by technology, it is much easier to provide instant visual feedback on the learner's performance (Heynen, 2008). Cameras, video-cameras, etc., are simple examples of technologically advanced equipment that make visual feedback available (Lira, Pellett, Pellett, 2009). …

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