Information and communication technologies in university health programs implementation

Information and communication technologies in university health programs implementation


PhD, Associate Professor I.E. Koval'
PhD, Associate Professor L.V. Yarchikovskaya
Associate Professor S.M. Lukina
Saint Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg

Keywords: information and communication technology (ICT), physical education, health programs, assessment of effectiveness of training program.

Introduction. Dynamics of national innovative reforms determine changes in the content and quality of academic instruction in the “Physical Education” discipline. Today university education can be improved by implementing information and communication technologies (ICT) [1].

Physical education process optimization by means of ICT offers the possibilities for efficient planning of general physical activity of students, monitoring of their physical fitness, theoretical knowledge, functional state of the body, psychophysiological status in the process of educational program mastering [1, 2]. For this reason, special consideration is given to the implementation of ICT in teaching health technologies at a university.

Thus, in the modern context, ICT, multimedia tools and other computer-based educational technologies are widely used in the teaching process by the Department of Physical Culture and Sport of Saint Petersburg State University. This is due to the fact that the main pedagogical innovations presuppose employing interactive learning methods with well-organized teacher-student feedback with interactive bidirectional data communication [5].

Objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of training programs based on health technologies with the use of ICT at university physical education lessons. 

Methods and structure of the research. For the last three years the department has been employing the following methods and forms of physical education with the use of ICT [4]:

- making thematic multimedia presentations (at lectures, in practical and methodological classes);

- watching and analyzing video courses on the subject of health and recreation, including health programs developed by university students themselves and master-classes of specialists in the field of recreational physical education;

- taking oral exam in the project work on a self-developed health program; multimedia tools and online resources are used;

- organization of the teacher-student feedback via inter-university e-mail service and point rating system powered by Blackboard (BB) within the university-wide student information system;

- effective monitoring of functional state of the university students in special health groups with registration of test results in an electronic gradebook; online monitoring of the functional state dynamic pattern;

- searching on the Internet for the data on scientific conferences devoted to the issues of health technologies to be introduced in various universities in the Russian Federation and abroad; introductory orientation program for students;

- analysis of the scientific data from the Internet resources regarding health technologies in universities;

- online participation in scientific conferences on recreational physical education and sport (preparing and posting conference reports; using electronic mail for submitting application forms, uploading articles, outlining talking points of the conference publications);

- preparing model methodological recommendations and study materials, monographs in electronic form;

- using software applications for statistic processing of experimental data obtained in scientific research investigating the issues of recreational physical education.

The search for approaches to assessment of effectiveness of academic instruction in health programs with the use of ICT was conducted over period from 2014 to 2016 and involved 128 university students taking Nordic walking, fitness and yoga classes [3].

Four main criteria were used in education assessment; these criteria encompassed the analysis of:

1. the level of motivation and incentive that students have for studying based on health technologies (including individual health programs);

2. the students’ opinion on organization of the educational process based on ICT;

3. dynamics of labour input for the students taking an academic course and teachers running it;

4. the impact of ICT on education quality and competitiveness of the graduates.

According to the first criterion of the training program effectiveness assessment and dynamics of changes in students’ motivation for studying in groups, in which health programs were implemented, the results were evaluated by the point rating system powered by Blackboard (BB) within the university-wide information system in compliance with a specialized table (Table 1) developed at the department. The list of evaluation tools and corresponding assessed indicators is given in Table 1. Results presented in Table 1 in points for the type of activity were summed up and calculated in the point rating system through BB course management system.

Generalized rating of effectiveness of the educational process is evaluated in percent taking into account the total number of students. At the end of every semester the students were divided into three groups for further analysis; total attendance results are represented in percent as well.

Table 1. Assessment of results of academic activities performed by students engaged in health programs

Types of assessed activities

Assessed indicators

Points per indicator

Performance of various tasks in recreational physical education

Attendance of practical classes in the time appointed by the teacher


Good performance of individual tasks during practical health and recreation classes (plus completion of the previous item)


Knowledge of theoretical basics of physical education. Understanding and practical implementation of functional tests (plus completion of the previous items)


High readiness for unsupervised work: understanding the purpose and objectives of the developed individual health program, sequence of exercises, ability to use specialized developing and recreational means (plus completion of the previous items)


Assessment of students’ functional state

Monitoring (once a year)


Participation in physical and functional state testing (once per semester)


Examination tests

Theoretical test in the basics of physical education and sport (once a year)


Promotion and advocacy of healthy lifestyle

Participation in health promotion activities and events (points are awarded for every participation)


Unsupervised learning

Good completion of self-guided work without a teacher; keeping a self-monitoring journal


Network interaction

Active participation in the internet forums and discussions concerning health and recreation exercises; reporting on personal intermediate goals achievements; managing email; filling in online questionnaires







Participation in physical education and sports related scientific research work

Taking part in the Research Student's Club, conferences on physical education and sport


Results and discussion. Results of the conducted study are presented below.

1.      The first group: students with poor academic performance gaining less than 60 points per semester (i.e. curriculum material acquisition is incomplete)

- 27 percent in 2014/15 academic year;

- 22 percent in 2015/16 academic year.

2.      The second group: students with mediocre academic performance gaining between 60 and 70 points per semester (i.e. course of study is completed with a “good” grade)

- 44 percent in 2014/15 academic year;

- 46 percent in 2015/16 academic year.

3.      The third group: students with good academic performance gaining over 80 points per semester (i.e. course of study is completed with an “excellent” grade)

- 29 percent in 2014/15 academic year;

- 32 percent in 2015/16 academic year.

Public poll conducted among the university students revealed that the current assessment of their academic performance has increased their motivation for consistent and systematic studying during the semester. The suggested point rating system integrated into BB and an opportunity to check on their academic score daily facilitated their achievement of decent final results. Consequently, at the end of the semester the students were offered to perform bonus tasks in health programs so that they could improve academic performance by the beginning of the examination period.

According to other criteria (second, third and fourth), assessment of effectiveness of the training program was carried out in the way that was most suitable to this particular case (analysis of questionnaire results).

The questionnaires given in the BB learning management system consisted of 36 questions covering all aspects of the study framework with the implemented ICT. The questionnaire results were processed in the electronic system. The following positive answers were received to the questions concerning the assessment of effectiveness of ICT implementation in the educational process:

1) the use of electronic assessment tools, including the point rating system, powered by Blackboard has facilitated an objective assessment of the students’ academic progress (82 percent);

2) implementation of ICT in the educational process has increased the motivation for learning (71 percent);

3) acquisition of the learning material on the basis of ICT has systematized the educational process (62 percent);

4) the suggested system of studying and health programs learning has contributed to effective performance of unsupervised academic activities (32 percent);

5) dynamic introduction of the modern electronic and information technologies into the educational process has improved the competitive skills of students as future graduates (29 percent);

6)  labour input of the students mastering the curriculum materials has decreased (24 percent).

The majority of the university students were satisfied with the quality and form of academic instruction with the use ICT (61 percent of students rated it as “good”, 27 percent – as “excellent”). Regarding the issues of network interaction, most students state they prefer asking teachers controversial questions face-to-face in practical classes. For the current 2015/16 academic year the university students have sent 648 emails, 428 messages via inter-university e-mail service, checked updates 526 times.

Conclusion. Summing up the above said, it can be asserted that the use of the information and communication technologies in planning and implementation of health programs within university makes the educational process more effective and facilitates methodological and scientific research activities. 


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Abstract. The paper considers the specifics of academic instruction in the “Physical Education” discipline in Saint Petersburg State University on the basis of health programs implementation with the use of information and communication technologies. Assessment of effectiveness of training program aimed at introducing into health technologies is described. Study results are analyzed; options of the Blackboard learning management system in terms of organization of the students’ self-guided academic activities in the physical education course are presented. The obtained academic results are assessed by means of questionnaires and the Blackboard software features.