Podcasting and Motivation in Physical Education

Friday, April 3, 2009
Exhibit Hall RC Poster Sessions (Tampa Convention Center)
Erin E. Nordmeyer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Grundy Center, IA and Darla Castelli, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Purpose: Despite advances in health care, one-third of American youth are either obese or at risk of becoming obese (Desjardins & Schwartz, 2007). Physical education is one place where youth can participate in physical activity and be encouraged to continue their activity beyond formal instruction. Motivation has been linked to academic success, as one's beliefs influence performance (Giota, 2006). There is growing evidence that adolescent motivation toward academic achievement (Walters-Parker, 2007) and health behaviors (Rhodes, 2007) can be modified through school-based intervention. Multimedia has had positive effects on student motivation (Choi & Johnson, 2005). A podcast is a media file that can be viewed on a computer, handheld device, or over the Internet. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of podcasting on student motivation and physical activity engagement through physical education instruction. Additionally, student perceptions as well as facilitators and inhibitors were identified.

Methods: The 2 x 2 motivation framework was applied to understand adolescent motivation (i.e., mastery and competence) in the physical education. With IRB approval, three teachers and 136 (69 males) participants enrolled in 9th grade physical education, at a Midwestern high school, were recruited for study. The AGQ-PE motivation survey, 7-D physical activity recall, reflection questions, oral opinionnaires, and teacher questionnaires were used to collect information about participant motivation, engagement, perceptions about technology, and facilitators and inhibitors of technology integration. Student participants were randomly assigned to high tech (podcasting) or low tech health-related fitness lessons once a week for 50 minutes over a semester.

Analysis/Results: All data sources were analyzed individually and collectively. T-tests were used to determine differences between the pre/post survey and ANOVA was used to determine class, gender, or age differences. Motivation for the control group decreased from (M = 151.63; SD = 17.45) to (M = 147.27, SD = 24.54), while motivation in the treatment group significantly increased from (M = 145.63; SD = 21.35) to (M = 152.00, SD = 19.56, p < .01), thus suggesting that podcasting does increase student motivation. However, podcasting did not significantly increase physical activity (high tech Mpost = 996.38, SD =514.03 and low tech Mpost = 955.50, SD = 431.89).

Conclusions: Although, positively perceived and integrated with minimal inhibitors, podcasts alone did not increase participant engagement in physical activity. Podcasting could be a viable means for increasing adolescent motivation toward physical activity engagement when introduced during physical education and continued in the home environment; however, further study is warranted.