Face-to-face versus online physical education classes: A comparative study

Vasileva, Fidanka
Gontarev, Serjoza
Prats Puig, Anna
Vasilev, Angjel
Bjelica, Dusko
Katanic, Borko
Georgiev, Georgi'
Physical education (PE) curriculum is consisted of specific motor content that requires practice and movement. The main goal of the PE curriculum is development of motor abilities. The objective is to compare the effectiveness of both - face-to-face and online PE classes, in achieving the main goal of the PE curriculum. Data were extracted from the archive of records of the academic transcripts for 118 participants - school adolescents aged 14-15 years: 1) N=56 students (32M & 24F) from the academic year 2018/2019 (face-to-face classes); and 2) N=62 students (34M & 28F) from the academic year 2020/2021 (online classes). Motor abilities (abdominal muscle strength, lower back muscle strength, upper limbs muscle strength, lower limbs muscle strength, explosive leg power and flexibility of lower back and hamstring muscles) were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the second school term. Percentage change between the beginning and the end of the second school term in terms of these particular motor abilities was calculated as proposed by Weir & Vincent (2021). Subsequently, Student's t-test was applied to compare the changes induced by face-to-face and online PE classes. Cohen's D was also calculated to assess the magnitude of the difference between the changes induced by face-to-face and online PE classes. All statistical analyses were performed with SPSS 23 statistical package. Higher improvement in abdominal muscle strength, lower back muscle strength and explosive leg power was induced by face-to-face classes. These findings indicate that face-to-face classes appear to be more effective than the online PE classes ​
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