Developing physical literacy through online physical education in community college

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Edward Stroffolino (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Erin Reifsteck

Abstract: Physical literacy involves being physically active throughout the lifetime (Whitehead, 2010) and has been referred to as a journey (Green et al., 2018). Developing each of the four domains of physical literacy - daily behavior, self-efficacy, motivation, and knowledge - can provide the tools necessary to maintain physical activity (PA) throughout the lifetime. The current literature does not adequately address the importance of the college years, specifically for individuals enrolled in a community college, as an opportunity to develop physical literacy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an online physical education (PED) course designed to promote physical literacy among community college students by assessing changes in PA knowledge, motivation, self-efficacy, and behavior. Educational activities were incorporated in the course to help students develop motivation, address barriers, explore different types of fitness activities, set goals, facilitate self-reflection, and place an emphasis on the importance of promoting positive, incremental change. Students logged their weekly PA using fitness trackers and completed weekly journals and reflection assignments. Twenty students (11 females, 9 males; M = 23.15 years old, SD = 7.07) completed several online questionnaires assessing physical literacy components during the first week of the course. Each of these questionnaires except for PA knowledge, which was assessed only at pre and post, were completed again at the midpoint of the course and during the last two weeks of the semester. At the end of the semester students also provided feedback through anonymous course evaluations. Pairwise comparisons (t-tests) for the main outcome variables were performed using a nonparametric bootstrapping procedure with 10,000 replications. Knowledge, scheduling self-efficacy, and task self-efficacy scores significantly improved from pre to post. Intrinsic regulation significantly increased from mid to post, and all students who completed the end of semester survey (n = 11) agreed that the course increased their motivation for PA. Weekly minutes of self-reported moderate to vigorous PA significantly improved from pre to post and from mid to post, but there were no significant differences in device-measured PA. Overall, the results of this study are promising and suggest an online PED class can improve aspects of physical literacy, which could increase the likelihood of continued participation in PA. This research should be replicated in larger samples to inform continued development of optimized online courses that promote physical literacy in community college students.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Assessment, Community college, Online, Physical activity, Physical education, Physical literacy
Physical education and training $x Study and teaching (Higher)
Community college teaching
Web-based instruction

Email this document to