Interactive distance education technologies: physical education and sports educational process quality analysis

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor Yu.A. Veselovskaya1
PhD, Associate Professor N.V. Sidorova1
PhD, Associate Professor N.G. Kuzina1
PhD, Associate Professor I.V. Stolyarova1
1
Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University named after V.I. Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk

Keywords: interactive technologies, distance education quality, physical education and sports department students.

Background. Online and distance education technologies nowadays are commonly ranked among the top priority topics by the national and global education process researchers, with the modern online technologies being increasingly applied to facilitate the distance education process. Growing demand for the distance education services is explainable by the fast changes in the priorities and demand structure of the education service consumers. Distance education (DE) may be interpreted as the distant interaction of educator with students otherwise fairly standard in every educational process component including the process mission, content, methods, models and tools, with the only exclusion for the applied online communication technologies [4].

Benefits of the modern DE models may be listed as follows: accessibility, with only a computer with an internet access being required for the learning process; real-time feedback, with the teacher’s support being available almost any time; individualized pacing of the educational process, with some education modules/ topics being easily reiterated or skipped when necessary; efficient academic progress control tools, with the available automatic DE service systems making it possible to check progress more often than usual; user-friendliness of the DE system, with its interface being convenient for the teacher and student; education course correction options available for the educator when it is necessary to customize the course to the students’ preferences and priorities; and the high cost efficiency of the DE models in many process design and management aspects [3, 9].

Modern online technologies give the means to design efficient distance education models based on the available interactive educational process technologies. The education science literature gives growing attention to the modern interactive technologies that may be interpreted as the set of relevant communication methods, tools and equipment. Interactive education, in its turn, may be defined as the cognitive process format that implies an active interpersonal communication of the educational process actors. This means that the interactive education is designed on the most efficient communication technologies supported by the relevant cooperation competences developed in the students. An interactive education model secures every student being fully engaged in the educational process and at the same time provided with the time and means for analyses and reflections. Many modern innovative education methods apply interactive educational technologies. One of the special benefits of the modern interactive education technologies is that the training sessions are practice-driven, with this aspect being particularly important for future education specialists on the whole and physical education specialists in particular. Modern interactive education sessions are basically composed of practices (including role games, discussions, focus group disputes etc.) albeit no less important are the analyses, comments and conclusions with due contribution from every process actor [1, 5, 7].

Objective of the study was to step up the competence building process quality for the physical education and sports department students by the modern distant education model with application of the relevant interactive education technologies.

Methods and structure of the study. An educational experiment under the study was designed to test an interactive distance education model on 40 students majoring in 44.03.05 Pedagogical Education discipline (including the Physical Education course and Life Safety course), under the Information and Communication Technology Application in Education curriculum, with the sample being split up into Experimental Group (EG) and Reference Group (RG) of 20 people each. Applied in the study were the following methods: monitoring, questionnaire survey, and mathematical statistics using the square  criterion.

Study results and discussion. The DE technology based education quality, in our opinion, is determined by a variety of factors including the educational process content, mastery of the personnel, efficiency of the online tools applied by the DE technology etc. Having analyzed the study reports by I.K. Voytovich and I.G. Bartasevich [2, 6],  we would list the quality criteria of the modern distant education system as follows: system content, hardware, software, educational process methods and technologies, stage-specific competences formed at every educational process stage, and the relevant rating factors: see Table 1.

Table 1. Distant education (DE) process quality criteria and rating factors

DE quality criteria

DE quality rating factors

DE content

- Coverage, theoretical emphasis, topicality and accessibility of the education materials;

- Practical recommendations on how the education materials must be applied.

Hardware and software tools

- Necessary hardware for the educational process;

- Necessary software for the educational process;

- Technical capacity of the communication service tools in the software toolkit;

- Academic progress test system quality.

DE methods and technologies

- Applied DE technologies to facilitate communication of the DE process actors;

- Educator-student and student-student communication mechanisms;

- Efficient feedback system to facilitate the educational process missions;

- Academic progress test methods and tools.

Competences

- Competence formation levels.

As required by the study concept and logics of the experiment, a special emphasis in the above set of the DE quality criteria was made on the competences formed in the students by the DE process: see Table 2.

In the bachelor education under the curriculum and in the study process the bachelors were required to master the theoretical knowledgebase and test their practical skills in the electronic textbook development process. The bachelors were offered to develop an electronic textbook with a full set of multimedia files. The Reference Group was trained as required by the modern Moodle Distant Education model. The Experimental Group educational process was designed based on the same DE technologies plus the relevant interactive education tools, including those offered by the relevant Google service toolkit. The study gave a special priority to Google service toolkit for the reason that it is widely popular, accessible and user-friendly for the academic educational process design purposes.

Table 2. Competences building stages in case of general competences GC-4

Competences

Stage

Knowledge

Skills

Abilities

GC-4: resource/ database formation for practical missions in different fields

1

GC-1: process mission and goals, theoretical basics for the electronic education medium design and operation

GC-3: interactive education textbook design and content

GC-5: interactive education textbook design using either software tool

CG-4: resource/ database formation for practical missions in different fields

2

GC-2: knowledge of the interaction textbook potential for cognitive process activation; educational process individualization; and academic progress test system design and application logics

GC-4: skill to upload the electronic education textbook in the relevant electronic education resource

GC-6: interactive textual task design abilities using either software tool

In the experimental component of the present study we classified competences as follows: creative/ high, productive/ average and adaptive/ low competences. To rate the DE quality at the pre- and post-experimental test stages of the study, we used the students’ progress monitoring and test methods plus the expert diagnostic method. At the post-experimental stage, we found significant changes in the competence levels of the respondents. Thus only 1 respondent (5%) was rated with the adaptive-level competence in the EG versus 10 respondents (50%) in the RG; and 13 respondents (65%) were rated with the creative-level competence in EG versus 3 respondents (15%) in RG. This means that despite the close initial competence levels at the pre-experimental stage, the EG and RG showed widely different post-experimental competence rates due to the differences in their educational process technologies.

We applied the square criterion   to test validity of the study data i.e. check if the post-experimental data are different from the theoretically probable ones by the following formula: :  . We arrived at  =13.7. Since the produced  [8], we have good reasons to state that the bachelors’ post-experimental competences were largely generated by the new distant education technology.

Conclusion

  • Distant education is presently ranked among the most advanced educational process models designed to secure the expected education quality. The distant educational process quality criteria include system content, hardware, software, educational process methods and technologies, and stage-specific competences formed at every education process stage.
  • The bachelors’ competence levels attained by the distant education process were found to depend on the educational process design technology, i.e. the better is the interactive technology applied for the distant education process design the higher is the competences level attained.

References

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Corresponding author: veselovskaya.yulya@bk.ru

Abstract

One of the priority problems of the modern distance education system is the sagging service quality. The distance education quality may be rated by the following criteria: curriculum; hardware and software applied; educational process methods and technologies; and stage-specific competences built up ta every process stage. An educational experiment under the study was designed to test an interactive distance education model on 40 students majoring in 44.03.05 Pedagogic Education (including the Physical Education course and Life Safety course), under the Information and Communication Technology Application in Education curriculum. The experimental interactive distance education model was proved beneficial as verified by the bachelors’ progress in the competency building domain, with the academic progress found to be notably advanced when the most effective interactive education technologies are used.