Mass online physical education course application experience in academic studies

PhD, Associate Professor A.M. Burkova1
Master student Е.S. Yagudina1
1Ural Federal University n.a. the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Yekaterinburg

Keywords: physical education, students, mass open online course, MOPEC, mixed training model.

Background. Modern developments in = educational systems, including the globalization trend and life-through-education methods facilitated by the growing access to information flows and innovative technologies give rise to a variety of new education models and tools, with the modern mass online education courses (MOEC) being one of the most popular and contradictory ones. Experts of the Moscow-based Skolkovo Management School rank MOEC among the most promising educational technologies that are expected to progress for the period up to 2028. [5]. MOEC may be defined as the online interactive open-access educational technology ranked by many among the most efficient electronic/ remote education tools.

As things now stand, more than 700 universities the world over offer above 7,000 courses in MOEC formats. The MOEC service, however, is still limited to a degree by the high costs claimed by MOEC projects that are not always affordable for universities. Tyumen State University may be ranked among the national universities demonstrating high progress, with its persistent and successful institutional and infrastructural reforms, new inclusive education technologies and actively implemented electronic information and educational environments [4].

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of the Mass Online Physical Education Course (MOPEC) in the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline in the inclusive bachelor training model at Tyumen State University.

Study results and discussion. The academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline is ranked among the key components of the general cultural bachelor training service, under Unit 1 of the valid bachelor general education curriculum. This education service is provided at Tyumen State University by the Health Physical Education Center of the Institute of Physical Education [3]. Presently the MOPEC service in Russia is provided at Peter-the-Great Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University (https://openedu.ru/course/spbstu/PHYSCUL/) with its Open Education Platform; and at Tyumen State University (http://lms.eduardo.studio/courses/course-v1:Tyumen_State_University+101649+1/about) with its Eduardo Platform.

The Academic Council of Tyumen State University, acting pursuant to the Ministry of Education and Science Order #816c of August 23, 2017, approved its Statute of Mass Online Academic Course Development, Selection and Implementation in the Academic Education and Progress Assessment/ Reassessment at Tyumen State University, to facilitate implementation of the modern MOEC technologies in the academic curricula. The existing regulatory framework makes sound provisions for the online education service and ranks it among the regular components of the modern academic education curricula.

The Mass Online Physical Education Course (MOPEC) taking 72 hours (23ET) under the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline was developed under leadership of Professor I.V. Manzheley by the Open Technologies Development Department team of the Institute of Remote Education of Tyumen State University, with special contributions from S.N. Chernyakova, PhD, Senior Trainer, and Y.S. Yagudina, Master student. The MOPEC is offered to the non-sporting department students and other categories of trainees interested in the modern health physical education tools and healthy lifestyles.

The MOPEC is intended to facilitate the academic physical education and personality progress by a creatively customizable set of health-centered physical training, sport and tourist practices to help build up a sound mental and physical fitness for the professional service and personality progress goals. The MOPEC service is designed with a clear schedule, systemic content, progress tests and final tests, with its design being fairly close to the traditional ones in terms of the course framework, video-lectures, synopses, progress/ final tests, additional study materials and discussions on the forum. The MOPEC system includes 6 weekly modules, each of the modules offering 4 themes per week: see Figure 1.

Module 1

 Role of physical education in the bachelor humanitarian training course

Theme 1.1: Legal and regulatory framework of physical education: 9.30 min

Theme 1.2: Key terms and notions for the physical education and sports sector: 8. 44 min;

Theme 1.3: Self-reliant physical trainings: 7.13 min)

Theme 1.4: Physical progress via sports: 10 min

Figure 1. Module 1 content

Each of the weekly modules includes a video-lecture taking up to 12 min; additional materials (glossaries, classical course of lectures in a PDF format, presentation); basic and additional literatures on the topic; materials for self-reliant trainings (learning videos, online crosswords etc.); and the progress testing materials.

As provided by L.N. Glebova and Y.A. Platonova [2], the educational content visualizing component should be designed on the assumption that ‘the electronic text evolves into one of the key knowledge presentation formats in the modern world’. We agree with the authors in appreciating benefits of the ‘multi-modality textual formats’ including the visual, textual and auditory formats most common and understandable for the modern students. Every video-lecture gives the minimum necessary textual material on the screen with the most clear diagrams and images: see Figure 2.

Figure 2. Visualized education content

The online course MOPEC was implemented in the second half of the academic year of 2017, with the admission scheduled for August 31 to October 9, 2017. On the whole, 2,139 students were admitted to the course, including the first-year bachelors of the Institute of Social Humanitarian Sciences in the following disciplines: history, international relations, philology, journalism, linguistics, pedagogy, document processing, and archive keeping; and the third-year bachelors in other TSU disciplines.

Success of the MOPEC was rated by a questionnaire survey. The survey showed a high degree (4.6 points on a five-point scale) of appreciation of the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline by the trainees. 100% of the respondents rated MOPEC as the ‘most convenient model’ for the physical education theory and practice, with the following benefits particularly underlined: individual timing of the sessions; individual learning paths and paces, with a wide range of learning process options (at home, in transport etc.). The free optional education formats were found very friendly for the modern generation of the Internet-living students. Our analysis of the individual progress paths showed most of the time being assigned to video-lectures (64%) followed by the progress tests (36%).

As demonstrated by the statistical data in Table 1, the trainees have been highly active in the course, with some gradual sag of interest in the period of Week 1 to Week 6 mentioned by many analysts among the key problems of the modern MOEC formats. This is the reason why the lectures of top interest for the trainees cannot be found at this juncture. A special study is needed to explore the students’ motivations for this purpose.

Studies by Y.M. Bazanova and Y.Y. Sokolova [1] demonstrated that ‘practical benefits of a course are critical for its success, with the education process being ideally designed to address the real issues of importance for the trainees’; and that MOEC shall ‘refer to the past experience of the trainees’ to be efficient and effective. We accepted this idea when designing our MOPEC, with due references to the school physical education, biology, life safety and other relevant knowledge to help activate the latent knowledgebase in the trainees.

Table 1. MOPEC Physical Education Theory and Practice modules: attendance statistics

 

Section

Course attendance on  Eduardo Platform

Course attendance on YouTube

Course overview

Design of the course

900

-

Progress tests

1068

-

Communication rules

663

-

Certification

638

-

Modules

Chapter 1: Role of physical education in the bachelor humanitarian training course

1890

402

Chapter 2: Human movement

1590

153

Chapter 3: Physical Self understanding

1454

113

Chapter 4: Health basics and modern health physical education systems

1372

104

Chapter 5: Sport trainings and physical qualities

1132

68

Chapter 6: Physical education for professional career

1201

60

The questionnaire survey of the TSU students found the following motivations for the Physical Education Theory and Practice in MOPEC format: ‘academic progress tests’ (100%); ‘interesting experience’ (25%); ‘knowledge building’ (20%); and ‘interesting training format’ (11%). It was the practical benefit of the course that was rated the key motivation (80%) that prevents an outflow of students from the MOPEC. Respondents highlighted the following difficulties for the course: ‘shortage of time’ (20%); ‘need for additional education materials’ (12%); ‘technical failures of the platform’ (6%); and ‘poor feedback capacity’ (4%). Given in Table 3 is the academic progress statistics of the trainees.

Table 2. MOPEC Physical Education Theory and Practice: academic progress statistics

Module

Points scored

Trainees

  1.  

0 – 19

446

  1.  

20 – 39

340

  1.  

40 – 59

455

  1.  

60 – 79

572

  1.  

80 - 99

312

  1.  

100

3

The survey data and analyses demonstrated benefits of the new MOPEC service. The attendance rates of the course were modest enough, albeit 63.1% of the MOPEC trainees succeeded in the academic tests in the first attempt. The survey found only 12% of the respondents referring to synopses in the studies, with the rate increased to 27% in preparations for the tests: 11% reported relying on their own knowledge; 62% reported using the Internet sources; and 86% confessed that materials in form of diagrams and images were better memorized. Progress tests were fairly challenging for the motivated trainees; 11% of them succeeded in the tests; 67% faced some difficulties; and 22% faced serious problems (11 people).

The MOPEC offers home tasks to complement the video-lectures, with the problematic issues additionally discussible in the practical offline physical education sessions so as to facilitate progress, discuss issues of interest and advance the individual education projects in the inclusive education formats.

Conclusion. It should be mentioned that the study data and findings need to be further analyzed and supported by further studies. On the one hand, the MOPEC provides ample opportunities for educational experiments and professional progress, with its integration in the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline welcomed by the academic community as highly relevant for the new challenges, students’ expectations and needs and offering a great development resource. On the other hand, it should be emphasized that an online education course should neither be viewed as a mechanical substitute for the academic education formats and hours, nor as an excuse for the staff reduction initiatives. It should rather be applied as an extra service tool to improve the academic staff service efficiency, manage the academic load etc. i.e. neither MOPEC format may be viable enough unless duly controlled and advanced by the academic personnel. For a MOPEC format being successful enough, both the students and faculty should have perfect self-control, self-management and data processing and communication skills.

References

  1. Bazanova E.M., Sokolova E.E. Massovye onlayn-kursy po akademicheskomu pismu: upravlenie motivatsiey obucheniya studentov [Mass online academic writing courses: management of students' motivation to learn]. Vysshee obrazovanie v Rossii, 2017, no. 2 (209), pp. 99-109.
  2. Glebova L.N., Platonova Y.A. Multimodalny obrazovatelny tekst massovykh otkrytykh onlayn-kursov (MOOK): rekomendatsii po vizualizatsii kontenta [Multimodal Educational Text of Mass Open online courses: recommendations for content visualization]. Nauchny dialog, 2016,no. 10 (58), pp. 336-348.
  3. Manzheley I.V., Chernyakova S.N. Fizicheskaya kultura: teoriya i metodika. Uchebno-metodicheskiy kompleks. Rabochaya programma dlya bakalavrov 3-go kursa ochnoy formy obucheniya vsekh napravleniy podgotovki Tyumenskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [Physical education: theory and methodology. Teaching materials. Work program for 3rd year full-time bachelors of all majors of Tyumen State University]. Tyumen, 2015, 32 p.
  4. Manzheley I.V. Sredovy podkhod v formirovanii sportivnogo stilya zhizni studencheskoy molodezhi [Environmental approach in students' sports lifestyle cultivation]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2016, no. 12, pp. 38-40.
  5. «Epokha „grinfilda“ v obrazovanii» [“Greenfield Epoch” in Education]. Skolkovo: MSM. October 10 2013: Available at: https://www.skolkovo.ru/public/media/documents/research/education_10_10_... (Accessed 20.01.2017)

Corresponding author: d_narkhov@mail.ru

Abstract

The study analyzes benefits of the Mass Online Physical Education Course (MOPEC) in the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline in the inclusive bachelor training model at Tyumen State University., with a special attention to the design and content of the new course; its implementation stages; acknowledgement of the new course by the students; and bottlenecks in its practical implementation process. The study demonstrates benefits of the MOPEC as verified by the growing interest of the students and relevance for their education needs; high efficiency of the education tools; and the great resource that may be used to support other academic education curricula.

It is underlined that the study data and findings need to be further analyzed and supported by further studies. On the one hand, the MOPEC provides ample opportunities for educational experiments and professional progress, with its integration in the academic Physical Education Theory and Practice discipline welcomed by the academic community as highly relevant for the new challenges, students’ expectations and needs and offering a great development resource. On the other hand, it should be emphasized that an online course should neither be viewed as a mechanical substitute for the academic education formats and hours, nor as an excuse for the staff reduction initiatives. It should rather be applied as an extra service tool to improve the academic staff service efficiency, manage the academic load etc. i.e. neither MOPEC format may be viable enough unless duly controlled and advanced by the academic personnel.