The Use of Information Communication and Technologies Tools to Maximise Students' Learning in Physical Education in Singapore Schools

Project Number
OER 15/16 KKT

Project Duration
January 2017 - December 2018

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
Due to the rapid development and popularisation of technology and gadgets, young generation is exposed to technologies like laptops, smart phones and iPads at an early age. Thus, a generation of young people savvy and excited by the use of ICT (Information and Communications and Technology) has emerged. However, the fluency in ICT comes with a price; they no longer take well to the traditional pen-and-paper style of teaching. Such changes in development have pushed educators to come up with more innovative and engaging ways to capture the tech-savvy generation’s attention and to motivate them. Educators today have found some successes in developing visually interactive programmes that excite these youths, coining the term “Visual Learners”. For academic subjects like Mathematics, there has been success in the use of ICT to promote self-directed learning. Students attend lectures on a topic, followed by practice on ICT platforms such as ILMS (Integrated Learning and School Management System). They are then given grades and are taught to review the solution upon completion. If students have a lack of understanding and require revision on previously taught concepts, they are directed to online resources to review lecture materials or would be given feedback via online portals. Such ICT-incorporated pedagogy promotes self-directed learning and regulates cognition. Unfortunately, in the field of Physical Education (PE), using ICT as an approach to impact students’ learning is currently lacking. Currently in Singapore, the Command and Practice style of teaching (under the Mosston’s Spectrum of Teaching Styles) is popular amongst PE teachers. Throughout the PE module, decisions are largely made by the teacher, while students carry out the teacher-prescribed tasks. There is little avenue for students to either engage their cognition or be self-directed before, during and after the PE lessons. In the new MOE PE syllabus, sports and games would be taught along with different game concepts, tactics and strategies, which requires greater cognitive engagement of the students. As the students advance through primary to tertiary levels, the focus of PE shifts towards developing psychomotor to cognitive and affective domains, with the aim to develop students who can pursue physical activities that interest them. Therefore, it is timely to investigate how ICT tools, supported by specific pedagogical strategy like Convergent Discovery Style, can be used to enhance PE teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and maximise students’ learning. There will be three phases in this project. Phase 1 sought to examine how outstanding PE teachers use ICT tools and strategies to facilitate their teaching through purposeful sample and face-to-face interview. Together with empirical evidence from the literature, the findings in Study 1 will be used for designing an intervention programme subsequently. In phase 2, eight PE teachers (four each from primary and secondary schools) will be invited to participate in the ICT-based intervention programme. They will be trained to use ICT tools and convergent discovery teaching style via a series of workshop to maximise students' learning before, during, and after lessons. In phase 3, the PE teachers will plan and conduct 6-week of ICT-based lessons to their students. Pre- and post-intervention data on students' motor engagement during lessons will be captured using ALT-PE and compared to determine teacher's effectiveness in teaching. We will also examine participants’ perception of the intervention through face-to-face interview. It is expected that the intervention programme will be perceived as effective tool to enhance teachers in using ICT tools and pedagogical approaches to complement their PE lessons. It is also expected that students will be more motivated in learning before, during, and after PE lessons, leading to efficient motor skills acquisition and cognitive development.

Funding Source
NIE

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