Boys and blended learning: achievement and online participation in physical education
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
The achievement of boys at secondary school in New Zealand has been a significant educational issue for decades. Many different approaches and initiatives have been used to raise boys’ achievement. Using Information Communication Technology (ICT) for education is just one of these strategies. A developing body of literature suggests that using ICT to teach in a blended format can raise student achievement and there is also evidence to suggest that boys appear to participate at a higher level when ICT is used in education. An action research approach was used to investigate my online teaching practice. A team teaching approach was used for teaching this blended learning module. Sixteen boys were taught a unit of work in a blended format based on a physical education achievement standard. Students were taught six lessons face-to-face in a traditional classroom setting and six lessons online using self-directed study in a computer lab setting. This study used qualitative data collection methods supported with descriptive statistics to gain an understanding of online module participation and NCEA achievement. In order to encourage participation, a social constructivist theory underpinned the design of the online module. Participants involved in the study were taught a unit of work in a blended format and completed a pre-course questionnaire. Following analysis of participation and achievement at the end of the online module, five students were selected to participate in individual post-course interviews. The results of this study showed that achievement of boys taught in a blended format was higher than that of students taught solely face-to-face. Findings also indicated a strong relationship between online module participation and overall achievement. Conclusions from this study revealed that student characteristics, technical difficulties, specific online activities and the role of the teacher, were important factors for the success of the unit of work taught in a blended format. Recommendations from this study may be useful to inform and guide future blended learning units of work within the secondary education sector - particularly for boys' schools.