Annually basic instruction programs (BIPs) provide thousands of students with formal opportunities to enhance their overall fitness and to develop sport-related skills. Maintaining the vitality of BIPs has been largely dependent on effectively meeting the expressed needs and physical activity interests of the student body they serve. This research represents a two-year effort to document and evaluate the enrollment motivations and perceptions of students (N = 5,291) enrolled in BIP courses offered by a major southeastern doctoral-research university. The purpose of this questionnaire-oriented study was three-fold: (a) to examine general demographics of students enrolled in BIP courses; (b) to identify their motivations for enrollment; and (c) to investigate factors impacting their expressed level of satisfaction with their BIP course educational experience.
The primary data collection instrument was a Web-based questionnaire (Savage, 1998; Soudan & Everett, 1981) developed to evaluate the students' motivations for participating in BIP courses as well as gather relevant demographic characteristic data. Quantitative data were analyzed and descriptive statistics, including means and frequency, counts were generated with the use of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0. Qualitative data obtained from open-ended questionnaire items were analyzed using traditional techniques such as coding categories, constant comparison between responses, and analytic induction techniques and theme development.
Findings related to participants' demographic characteristics included: (a) 34.9% and 65.1% were male and female respectively; (b) the majority of participants held the academic rank of seniors (37.4%) and juniors (29.2%); and (c) 52.7% of respondents participated in vigorous physical activity outside of class at least three times a week. Participants reported, quantitatively and quantitatively that in light of expressed objectives for physical education the primary reasons for enrollment in respective BIP course included: (a) having fun; (b) getting regular exercise; and (c) developing habits associated with regular physical activity. Lastly, in regards to the respondents' level of satisfaction 40.7% and 41.3% of participants reported a high or moderate level of satisfaction respectively. Qualitatively, factors impacting the participants' level of satisfaction included: (a) student-teacher interactions; (b) variety of curriculum content and activities; and (c) perceived instructor knowledge and competence.
In summary, this research offers valuable insights about students' demographic characteristics, motivations for enrolling in BIP courses, and factors impacting student satisfaction. Conclusions can provide BIP administration with vital data which can be utilized to take informed steps to enhance the administrative, curricular, and pedagogical processes impacting the implementation of BIP course offerings.