Improving Teachers' Self-Efficacy and Knowledge for Including Students with Disabilities in Physical Education through Online Learning

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Nichols, Chad, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Block, Martin, CU-Kinesiology, University of Virginia

Many students with disabilities are being included in the general physical education (PE) class. However, PE teachers consistently report not feeling adequately prepared for inclusion (see Obrusnikova & Block, 2016, for a review). As a result, additional training is needed for PE teachers to learn how to feel competent when including students with disabilities into their general PE class. One possible solution to providing additional training for inservice PE teachers is through the use of online education. Online learning can be an effective method in providing inservice PE teachers the opportunity to receive additional training at a time and location that is convenient for them (Healy et al., 2018). However, to date there have only been a handful of studies examining online training for inservice PE teachers. Therefore, the purpose of this experimental study was to determine the effectiveness of an online training module for modifying team sport activities for students with disabilities based on adult learning theory and Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning. A pre/post design was used to measure the effectiveness of the online training module on knowledge and self-efficacy of PE teachers regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities into team sport activities in the general PE classroom. A total of 25 participants took a pretest to gauge knowledge of disabilities and modifications in PE and a pre self-efficacy survey before participating in the online training module. After completing the training module, participants once again took the knowledge test and the self-efficacy survey. A paired t-test was used to compare pre and post knowledge and self-efficacy scores. Results showed significant
improvements in posttest knowledge and post self-efficacy scores after participating in the training module, which provided support to the idea that online training can be effective at increasing teachers’ knowledge and self-efficacy on how to teach PE to students with disabilities. While the results are positive, caution must be taken when generalizing the results due to the small sample size and the lack of a comparison control group. Further research, with a more rigorous study design, and a larger, more representative population, is needed to confirm these results.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
adapted physical education, self-efficacy, online learning, online education, teacher preparation
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