Methods: Participating teachers were three student teachers judged as exemplary by their program coordinator. Each student teacher was randomly assigned to one of three groups (lecture, homework, and lecture/homework combined). Each teacher was given lecture and/or homework materials for 10 lessons focused on muscular strength and endurance, based on materials from the Fitness-for-Life text and ancillary materials (Corbin & Lindsey, 2007). A total of 200 students, enrolled in fitness-for-life courses, from three high schools in the Southwestern U.S. participated. The students were given a 50-point pre-test exam and 50-point post-test exam.

Analysis/Results: One-way ANOVA found significant differences (F(2, 198) = 13.44, p < .001) between schools on pre-test scores. Since there was a significant difference in pre-test scores between groups, the difference in pre- to post-test scores were used as the dependent variable in the final analysis. A 3 x 2 (School x Gender) Factorial ANOVA found no difference in pre- to post-test score differences by school (p = .425) or gender (p = .381), but a significant main effect for gender x school was found (F(2, 167) = 4.60, p = .011). Males in the lecture/homework group improved more (m = 3.89) than females (m = .88), but females in the lecture only (m = 5.00) and homework only (m = 4.69) groups improved more than males in the lecture only (m = 2.52) and homework only (m = 1.93) groups. Finally, paired samples t-tests revealed that all groups demonstrated significant increases in pre- to post-test scores (lecture, p < .001; homework, p < .001; and lecture/homework combined, p = .001).

Conclusions: Results suggest that teachers can assign homework or give a lecture with similar results on student comprehension. Teachers may choose to assign homework to allow for more PA time during a fit-for-life class without sacrificing cognitive objectives.

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