As younger generations become increasingly reliant on technology, higher educational institutions must continually attempt to stay with or ahead of the curve to foster 21st century teaching and learning. College and university physical activity courses (PACs) are encouraged to incorporate technology for effective pedagogical practices. No qualitative research has specifically examined the culture of PACs instructors’ attitudes and experiences with technology as a pedagogical tool. A mini-ethnographic case study explored the use of technology among seven graduate teaching assistants who shared their pedagogical experiences, teaching practices, and perceptions of technology within PACs. Using an interpretive phenomenological analysis, composite narrative accounts were presented to highlight unique characteristics of PAC instructors and develop meaning from their lived experiences. The findings revealed that PAC instructors use varying forms of technology, but all instructors rely on learning management systems as a pedagogical tool, which can be influenced by campus environment, pedagogical experiences, and social support. This pilot study contributes to the current gap in research related to technology in PACs and addresses the need to properly prepare instructors to teach in the digital age.


Technology, Physical Activity Courses, Graduate Teaching Assistants, Mini-Ethnographic Case Study, Professional Development

Author Bio(s)

Dannon G. Cox is a doctoral student in the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado with an emphasis in sport pedagogy. His research interests include physical activity in higher education and digital media as a pedagogical tool. Correspondence can be addressed directly to: dannon.cox@unco.edu.

Dr. Jennifer M. Krause is an associate professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Her research interests include educational technology integration and training in physical education/teacher education. Correspondence can also be addressed directly to: jennifer.krause@unco.edu.

Dr. Mark A. Smith is the dean of McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State University. His research interests include teacher/coach expertise and teacher/coach effectiveness. Correspondence can also be addressed directly to: markasmith@missouristate.edu.

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