An "Eye In The Sky"

An "Eye In The Sky"

Thursday, 02 March 2017

Website Pic Learning at NIE 5

by A/P Govindasamy Balasekaran & Dr Thomas Browne
Physical Education and Sport Science Academic Group


The technologies available to support coaching, teaching, learning and assessment in sport and PE are already readily available. The next exciting era is now evolving with the usage of drones as an important component of gathering data for innovative learning and assessment.

The cutting edge technology of droning is particularly suitable for teaching of PE and sport due to its ability to provide a "bird's-eye" view of performance, a view not normally available from the ground. Droning can be used in the teaching of many PE courses including coaching, sports courses such as basketball, soccer, floorball and finally courses that train students to develop their skills in the teaching of PE such as Instructional Methods, Instructional Strategies, and Fundamental Movement Skills. In fact, the potential is limitless! 

A pilot research study was done on the use of droning to capture performance data and the results have been very promising. This feasibility study investigated droning as an innovative method for accurate analysis of assessment needs, and its ability to provide early insight into the performance of coaches, teachers and players. Participants reported that droning permitted the collection of extensive and complex performance data. Coupled with the usage of simple and effective software to measure efficacy, the provision of this unique and until recently unobtainable aerial perspectives of performance and resulted in more accurate profiling of the performance of the differing roles of teacher-coach-player. 

Encouraged by the positive findings from the pilot study, Physical Education and Sport Science Academic Group then embarked on a real-life case study on how droning can improve the performance of our students in an actual physical education class conducted by Dr Thomas Browne. Real-time data was captured of NIE students playing, and an active discussion followed. The many advantages of droning are clearly evident from the pedagogical perspective. For a start, a drone can be easily deployed whether indoors or outdoors as it does not require complex set up such as the use of tripods. More importantly, the ability to collect extensive and complex performance data allowed students to have personalised feedback as they take ownership of their own learning by dissecting and analysing their own performance. This form of learning also leads to closer interaction between the lecturers and students. All in all, students are able to improve their performance.


As important aspect of pedagogy is the ability to accurately assess performance using performance indicators and competencies. There is a dearth of tools to accurately profile and analyse performance. Droning holds huge potential in gathering important data on performance analytics. The Physical Education and Sport Science academic group is excited to be in the forefront  of this new technology as we believe that the use of drones will dramatically change the way we teach PE and sport.