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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(1), 76-93.
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'Just do some physical activity': Exploring experiences of teaching physical education online during Covid-19

Vaughan Cruickshank
University of Tasmania, Australia

Shane Pill
Flinders University, Australia

Casey Mainsbridge
University of Tasmania, Australia

This study aimed to explore teacher experiences of online delivery of physical education (PE). Research has noted the use of blended learning and flipped classrooms in PE, yet little is known about the delivery of fully online school PE. The move to online teaching required by Covid-19 suppression measures in 2020 provided an opportunity to explore the delivery of PE online. Data was obtained from teachers forced to shift to online teaching delivery of primary school PE in one Australian state during 2020. Semi-structured interviews occurred with 11 primary school PE specialist teachers providing qualitative data for analysis. The analysis of teachers' experiences indicated that in most cases PE did not happen, rather, physical activity provision was initiated or PE was marginalised to a movement break between subjects with perceived higher status and priority. The importance of teacher-student connection to the teachers and inconsistency surrounding the use of online learning platforms emerged as concerns of the teachers. The results show that the move to online provision of PE resulted in diminished educative purpose.
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Authors: Dr Vaughan Cruickshank is a former health and physical education teacher who taught mainly in primary schools. He is currently a lecturer in health in physical education at the University of Tasmania, where he is the program director of the Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) and (Science/Maths) programs.
Email: v.j.cruickshank@utas.edu.au

Shane Pill is Associate Professor in Physical Education and Sport at Flinders University, South Australia. He taught HPE and science in schools for 18 years. Shane is now author of over 150 academic and scholarly publications.
Email: shane.pill@flinders.edu.au
Web: https://www.flinders.edu.au/people/shane.pill

Dr Casey Mainsbridge is currently a lecturer in health and physical education and the director of student engagement in the school of education at the University of Tasmania. He is also a fitness instructor and former primary school health and physical education teacher.
Email: casey.mainsbridge@utas.edu.au

Please cite as: Cruickshank, V. J., Pill, S. & Mainsbridge, C. (2021). 'Just do some physical activity': Exploring experiences of teaching physical education online during Covid-19. Issues in Educational Research, 31(1), 76-93. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/cruickshank.pdf

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Created 4 April 2021. Last correction: 4 April 2021.
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