Multimedia blogging in physical education: Effects on student knowledge and ICT self-efficacy
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Multimedia blogging in physical education: Effects on student knowledge and ICT self-efficacy

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Marina Papastergiou a,*, Vassilis Gerodimos a, Panagiotis Antoniou b

Marina Papastergiou a,*, Vassilis Gerodimos a, Panagiotis Antoniou b

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  • 1. Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Computers & Education journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compeduMultimedia blogging in physical education: Effects on student knowledge and ICTself-efficacyMarina Papastergiou a, *, Vassilis Gerodimos a, Panagiotis Antoniou ba University of Thessaly, Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Karyes, 42100 Trikala, Greeceb Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, University Campus, 69100 Komotini, Greecea r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c tArticle history: The main idea behind this study was to explore the educational potential of multimedia blogging forReceived 29 January 2011 academic disciplines such as Physical Education (PE) that are not heavily based on written discourse andReceived in revised form where multiple representations are important in learning. A class blog was utilized as a means for PE9 May 2011 students to reflect on and showcase their performances of four specific basketball skills, through creatingAccepted 10 May 2011 multimedia posts on these skills and receiving comments from their instructors, peers and an external expert. The effectiveness of multimedia blogging was evaluated, in terms of the acquisition of knowledgeKeywords: of the specific basketball skills and the self-efficacy in Information and Communication TechnologiesComputer-mediated communicationMedia in education (ICT), as compared to that of an equivalent multimedia website which lacked the blogging component.Learning communities Students’ responses to the blogging activity were also investigated. The sample were 70 undergraduateApplications in subject areas PE students who were assigned to two groups, one of which used the class blog (Group A, N ¼ 35) andPost-secondary education the other one the website (Group B, N ¼ 35), both for 11 weeks. The study followed a pretest/posttest experimental design, taking before and after measurements of each group through written question- naires. Participation in the blogging activity did have a positive impact on students’ ICT self-efficacy, given that Group A students exhibited significant gains in Internet self-efficacy as well as in multi- media processing and blogging self-efficacy, whereas those of Group B did not. Students’ responses to the blogging activity were also positive. However, within both groups no significant increase was found in students’ knowledge of the basketball skills. The implications of the findings for higher education and future research are discussed. Ó 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.1. Introduction1.1. Blogs and their potential for higher education Web 2.0 technologies have revolutionized the way people use the Internet, and the interest in their utilization in higher education isincreasing (Weller, 2007). Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis, multimedia sharing services and social networking systems, enable thecreation of Web content by the user as well as content sharing and collaboration among users (Franklin & van Harmelen, 2007). Compared tothe Web 1.0 era, when most Web users were passive consumers of the content created by few authors, the Web 2.0 era is much moreparticipatory given that any user can produce content and share it with other users (Crook, Cummings, Fisher, Graber, Harrison, Lewin et al.,2008; Franklin & van Harmelen, 2007). Among Web 2.0 tools, blogs -a contraction of the terms ‘Web’ and ‘logs’- have gained popularity as a medium for information publicationand sharing as well as for reflection, debate and collaboration (Boulos, Maramba, & Wheeler, 2006; Bruns & Jacobs, 2006). A blog is a websitewhere a single user or a group of users can easily edit and publish articles (named ‘posts’) on a topic. The posts may comprise text, images,audio, video and hyperlinks, and appear in reverse chronological order (Boulos et al., 2006). The readers of the blog can interact with itsauthor(s) through a built-in commenting mechanism. Most blogging systems also provide functions such as archiving of posts, keyword-based searching, and annotation of posts with tags (Fessakis, Tatsis, & Dimitracopoulou, 2008). * Corresponding author. Tel.: þ30 2431 0 47028; fax: þ30 2431 0 47042. E-mail addresses: mpapas@uth.gr (M. Papastergiou), bgerom@pe.uth.gr (V. Gerodimos), panton@phyed.duth.gr (P. Antoniou).0360-1315/$ – see front matter Ó 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.05.006
  • 2. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 1999 Blogs are considered as potentially valuable tools for the support of teaching and learning processes in higher education for a number ofreasons: a) the affordances offered by blogs (e.g. the commenting mechanism, through which instructors, peers or external reviewers canprovide feedback on student-created content) can serve social constructivist approaches to learning that emphasize students’ activeparticipation in knowledge construction through social interactions (Ferdig & Trammell, 2004; Fessakis et al., 2008; Franklin & vanHarmelen, 2007), b) blogs can simultaneously serve as vehicles for both individual self-expression (through the posting mechanism) andfor social connectivity (through the commenting mechanism), thus supporting both autonomous and collaborative learning (Farmer, Yue, &Brooks, 2008; Williams & Jacobs, 2004), c) blogs can promote authentic learning offering students spaces to express their creativity and tomake the products of their learning processes available to a real audience (Crook et al., 2008), d) blogs allow the easy incorporation ofmultimedia content (Fessakis et al., 2008), and e) blogging may help students become more reflective and gain diverse perspectives throughreading, writing and receiving instructor- and peer feedback (Ferdig & Trammell, 2004), and may foster students’ critical thinking skills,writing skills, social skills and motivation toward learning (Hernandez-Ramos, 2004; Krause, 2005; Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Blogs can beused in higher education courses in a variety of ways, including reflective journaling assignments, sharing of learning resources amongstudents and formation of learning communities on specific topics (Boulos et al., 2006; Oravec, 2003). Within a course, students cancontribute to a whole class blog, collaborate in teams using group blogs or even set up individual blogs.1.2. Literature review The published empirical research indicates that blogging has thus far been utilized in higher education, mainly in courses heavily basedon written speech, as a means to promote: a) presentation of students’ work, opinions and experiences, b) students’ reflective writing anddiscourse regarding the subject matter, c) commenting on students’ work and reflections by instructors, peers and external experts, d) peerlearning, collaboration and support, and e) creation of a sense of community within a course. Prior research findings, which are mostlyderived through self-report instruments (e.g. student surveys or interviews after participation in blogging activities), suggest that in suchcourses, blogging may increase students’ satisfaction, perceived learning and interaction with peers. Specifically, in a study by Williams andJacobs (2004), the participants (postgraduate students in business administration) were asked to contribute posts on course-related topicsin a class blog and reported that the blog enhanced their learning and increased student interactivity. Enhanced learning of course materialand social connection with classmates were also reported by students that had engaged in group blogging for discussions on scientific andprofessional issues within a postgraduate public health course (Goldman, Cohen, & Sheahan, 2008) and an undergraduate physiotherapycourse involving clinical fieldwork (Ladyshewsky & Gardner, 2008). Along similar lines, satisfaction with the blogging activity and theperception that it was beneficial from educational and social perspectives were reported by students, who had kept individual blogs forreflective writing on course-related topics, within online courses on health education (Oomen-Early & Burke, 2007), e-learning for graduatepractitioners (Kerawalla, Minocha, Kirkup, & Conole, 2008) and decision making for information professionals (Glogoff, 2005). In certain prior studies, use of self-report instruments is complemented by content analysis of students’ textual blog entries. The findingsof these studies suggest that blogging may indeed promote the formation of reflective learning communities. Specifically, class blogs havebeen used as a means to promote critical reflection on ethical issues for medical professionals (Chretien, Goldman, & Faselis, 2008) and onteaching methods for student teachers (Yang, 2009), group blogs have been used in order to support collaboration among student teachers(Fessakis et al., 2008), and individual blogs have served as reflective journals for information science students (Hall & Davison, 2007) andpharmacy students attending professional communication courses (Bouldin, Holmes, & Fortenberry, 2006). Most students’ posts were foundto be reflective, and the students valued the blogs as useful platforms for reflection and peer support. Very few prior studies are based on objective measures of student learning and involve control groups or baseline measurements. Ina study conducted within an undergraduate dental terminology course (El Tantawi, 2008), the final course examination grades of thestudents that had participated in a class blogging activity were found to be significantly higher than those of non-participants. In anotherstudy on undergraduate political science students who had kept individual blogs split into a group that received peer feedback and anotherthat did not (Xie, Ke, & Sharma, 2008), students’ reflective thinking level was found to increase significantly over time for both groups, andwas associated with higher course grades. Finally, although a substantial body of research on mainly text-based blogging in higher educationsettings does exist, research on the utilization of multimedia blogging in such settings is still scarce and mostly limited to the use of audioblogs in foreign language courses. Within this strand of research, Sun (2009) and Hsu, Wang, and Comac (2008) evaluated the use of a classblog and individual blogs respectively within courses of English as a second language, where students were asked to record and upload oralassignments, reporting positive student responses.1.3. Issues that need to be researched The afore-presented review of prior research indicates several issues that need to be further investigated. Firstly, the majority of priorstudies concern disciplines or courses heavily based on written discourse. The educational applications of blogging in disciplines wherevisual and auditory representations are important in learning, and hence multimedia communication is needed, are still very scarce andneed to be further researched. In particular, the authors’ bibliographical searches for published peer-reviewed empirical studies oneducational blogging in Physical Education (PE), their area of interest and discipline of that type, did not yield any results. Secondly, studiesthat are based on objective measurements of student learning and involve comparison groups and baseline measurement are still veryscarce. Such studies, which could lead to a conclusion of causality regarding the impact of blogging on student learning, are thus needed.Thirdly, most prior research has involved samples of postgraduate students, mature distance students or undergraduate students alreadyattending practicum or professional development courses, namely samples of self-motivated students, by whom blogging has been wellreceived. However, the effects of blogging activities on undergraduate students, who generally are less self-motivated, have not beeninvestigated to such a degree. Fourthly, there is a lack of research on the potential impact of educational blogging activities on students’ skillsor self-efficacy regarding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Today, it is widely acknowledged that students should behelped to develop ICT skills and ICT self-efficacy through appropriate ICT experiences during their academic studies (Papastergiou, 2010). ICTself-efficacy is an individual’s belief regarding his/her ability to utilize ICT, and plays a positive, significant role to decisions involving ICT
  • 3. 2000 M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010adoption and usage (Compeau & Higgins, 1995; Hsu & Chiu, 2004; Torkzadeh, Chang & Demirhan; 2006). ICT self-efficacy is considered to befar more important than competence in specific ICT skills, given that individuals with high ICT self-efficacy have adequate flexibility and theconfidence to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of ICT applications (Rush, 1998; Sam, Othman, & Nordin, 2005). Blogging activitiesthat require students to create and manage digital content and to engage in online interactions might contribute to the development ofstudents’ ICT self-efficacy. However, this assertion has to be tested through empirical research.1.4. Aim and contribution of the study The study presented in this paper attempts to fill in the afore-mentioned gaps in the research literature. Its purpose was to evaluate theimpact of PE undergraduate students’ active participation in a multimedia class blog -having as a topic four specific basketball skills- onstudents’ knowledge regarding the execution of those skills and on students’ ICT self-efficacy, as compared to a multimedia websiteencompassing identical learning objectives and content but lacking the blogging component. Furthermore, the study investigated students’responses to the blogging activity. The central research question was whether participation in an educational blogging activity that engagesstudents in the creation of multimedia content (text, images and video) regarding basketball as well as in social interactions based on thiscontent yields better learning outcomes in terms of basketball knowledge and ICT self-efficacy in comparison to use of an educationalwebsite, where the same multimedia content is merely consumed by students and where possibility for social interactions is not available. The study is original in the following respects. Firstly, it addresses the educational utilization of blogging in PE, a discipline that does notrely heavily on written discourse and where multiple representations are needed for the construction of understanding. In PE, educationalmultimedia applications have been used at higher education level (e.g. Antoniou, Derri, Kioumourtzoglou, & Mouroutsos, 2003; Kirkwood,Sharp, De Vito, & Nimmo, 2002; Wiksten, Spanjer, & La Master, 2002), and the importance of digital image and video in the process oflearning concepts and motor skills has already been stressed (Anderson, Mikat, & Marinez, 2001; Mohnsen, 2008). For instance, pictures andvideo clips of students while performing specific skills and techniques can be captured, subsequently discussed with the instructor andpeers, and eventually compared to digitized model performances (Mohnsen, 2008). However, although blogs can support the sharing ofmultimedia content and at the same time provide a platform for social interaction around this content, their educational use in PE has notyet been studied. Secondly, the study is based on objective measures of students’ domain knowledge, includes baseline measurement andinvolves a comparison group. Regarding the latter, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no other study has compared the effectiveness ofa Web 2.0 activity to that of a “counterpart” Web 1.0 activity. Thirdly, this is the first study to address the effects of participation in a bloggingactivity on students’ ICT self-efficacy. The findings of the study could provide the research and the academic community with useful insight into the effectiveness of bloggingas a learning activity in disciplines such as PE and as a vehicle for the development of students’ ICT self-efficacy.2. Method2.1. Research design In this study, the participants were assigned to two groups, one of which engaged in the educational blogging activity (Group A or‘blogging group’) and the other one used the educational website (Group B or ‘non-blogging group’). The study followed a pretest/posttestexperimental design, taking before and after measurements of each group, in order to explore the effects of the type of activity in whichstudents had engaged (blog or website) on students’ achievement, as measured by a basketball skills knowledge test, and on their ICT self-efficacy, as measured by an Internet self-efficacy questionnaire and a multimedia blogging self-efficacy questionnaire. After the interven-tions, Group A students’ responses to the blogging activity were elicited through a feedback questionnaire. All instruments are describedlater in this paper. The hypotheses of the study were formulated as follows: I. Within Group A, there would be a significant increase in knowledge of the four basketball skills from the pretest to the posttest, whereas within Group B the respective difference would not be significant. II. Within Group A, there would be a significant increase in Internet self-efficacy from the pretest to the posttest, whereas within Group B the respective difference would not be significant. III. Within Group A, there would be a significant increase in multimedia blogging self-efficacy from the pretest to the posttest, whereas within Group B the respective difference would not be significant. IV. The students of Group A would have positive responses to the blogging activity.2.2. Sample The participants were 70 undergraduate students of the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science (DPESS) of the University ofThessaly (Greece). Among them, 36 (51.4%) were male and 34 (48.6%) female. Their mean age was 20.77 years (SD ¼ 4.55). In the DPESS, allstudents attend a common corpus of compulsory courses, which is complemented by a number of elective courses. All participants in thisstudy had already attended “Teaching basketball” and “Computers”, two compulsory courses which are taught during the first semester ofundergraduate studies in the DPESS. “Teaching basketball” is a course aimed at providing students with basic knowledge and skillsregarding the sport of basketball and its teaching, whereas “Computers” is a course aimed at arming students with basic ICT knowledge andskills (e.g. file management skills, word processing skills, web search skills). In this study, Group A (the blogging group) consisted of thestudents that were attending the elective courses “Informatics in Education” and “Computers in Physical Education Teaching” during thespring semester of the academic year 2009–2010, whereas Group B (the non-blogging group) consisted of the students that had opted toattend the courses “Sport Pedagogy” and “Sociology” during the same semester. The students in each group were unique (i.e. a student couldnot belong to both groups). Eighty-six (86) students participated in the pretest, and 79 students in the posttest. The students that
  • 4. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 2001participated in both tests (70 students) formed the sample of the study. Among them, 35 belonged to Group A and 35 to Group B. Theprincipal investigator (MP) was the instructor of the two afore-mentioned ICT courses.2.3. Materials Two similar learning environments were set up for the purposes the study: a) a multimedia blog, and b) a multimedia website.2.3.1. The blog The blog (entitled “Basketball Techniques”: http://pe-basketball.blogspot.com/) was set up through Blogger, Google’s free bloggingservice (http://www.blogger.com/). In order to preserve its academic character and protect students’ personal data, access to it was grantedonly to authorized users, namely to: Group A students, the instructor of the ICT courses (MP), the instructors of basketball courses in theDPESS (VG and two teaching assistants), and an external faculty member, expert in ICT in PE (PA). The blog layout was set up as follows. Theblog title appeared on the top of the initial page. The posts were displayed on the left pane. The right pane contained: a brief welcomingmessage, a basketball-related slideshow, the blog’s post archive, a search field and button, and the list of the blog’s contributors. Before the students (of Group A) were granted access to the blog, the instructors (of the ICT and basketball courses) had posted fiveinitial posts on it. The first one was an orientation post, which informed the students that the blog was aimed at the learning of fourbasketball skills (namely: chest pass, control dribble, catching a pass, shooting), and contained detailed guidelines about what the studentswere expected to do. Each of the subsequent four posts comprised the description of one of the four skills, in the form of explanatory text,photos of its basic positions (initial position, execution position, final position), and video illustrating the execution of the skill (see Fig. 1).As explained in the orientation post, the students had: a) to carefully read these four posts, b) using a digital camera or a mobile phone, totake photos of themselves in the basic positions of each of the four skills, and c) using a digital camcorder or a mobile phone, to shoot videoclips depicting themselves while executing each skill (one clip per skill). In order to take the photos and shoot the videos, they had tocollaborate in pairs of their own choice (one student had to photograph or shoot the other). Then, each student had to: a) publish on theblog four posts (one post per skill), each containing the photos and the video clip that depicted him/her while executing the skill,accompanied by a brief textual description of their content focused on critical points of the skill execution, and b) comment on eight postsmade by his/her peers on the blog (addressing the appearance of the photos and videos, the correctness of skill execution, and proposalsfor their improvement). An orientation sheet was also created to inform students (of Group A) about the following: a) that they had to process their photos andvideo clips in order to improve them and render them suitable for uploading to the blog, following detailed written instructions on the use ofimage and video processing software, which they could download (e.g. they had to: adjust photo brightness and contrast, trim video clips,convert video files into formats acceptable by Blogger), b) that each post should have a title comprising the student surname, so that the postauthor could be identified, and should be tagged with the name of the skill with a view to facilitating content searching within the blog, andc) that the instructors and the external expert would also comment on students’ posts.2.3.2. The website The website was created through Articulate Presenter ’09 (http://www.articulate.com/products/presenter.php), a software that enablesthe creation of Flash-based e-learning material from MS PowerPoint slides. It contained four lessons, each dealing with one of the four Fig. 1. Instructors’ initial post describing the skill of shooting.
  • 5. 2002 M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010basketball skills. The lessons comprised exactly the same text, photos and video clips as the four initial posts made on the blog by theinstructors. However, although the students (of Group B) could browse this content, contrary to the blog, they could not create any content.Furthermore, the website did not offer them any tools for social interaction. The website was hosted on the departmental web server, butone had to know its web address in order to access it (there was no hyperlink pointing to it). Each lesson consisted of a number of slides including explanatory text on the specific skill, images of its basic positions, and a video clipdepicting its execution (see Fig. 2). The titles of the slides were displayed as a navigation menu in the left pane of the lesson interface. Theright pane displayed the current slide. The student could pause or resume the presentation of a slide, and could navigate the slides througha player toolbar below the right pane. Alternatively, he/she could jump to any slide of the lesson through the navigation menu. The slidescould be revisited an unlimited number of times and the four lessons were accessible in any order. Using the website only demanded a Flash-enabled web browser and basic web browsing skills. An orientation sheet was also created for the students (of Group B). It contained the website address together with an explanation of thewebsite purpose and content and detailed instructions on how to browse this content. Then, it prompted the students to access the website,navigate the content and try to learn the four basketball skills presented in it.2.4. Instruments The impact of the interventions was examined both quantitatively and qualitatively through three paper-based questionnaires (a pretest,a posttest and a feedback questionnaire). The pretest questionnaire first elicited students’ biographical data (e.g. gender, age), and comprised four subsequent parts. The first partwas aimed at assessing students’ familiarity with ICT. Through two closed questions, students were asked whether they had a computer andan Internet connection at home or not. Then, they were asked to rate their overall computer and Internet experience on a 5-point scale(1 ¼ ‘Very insufficient’, 5 ¼ ‘Very sufficient’), and their frequency of use of seven common ICT tools on another 5-point scale (1 ¼ ”Never”,5 ¼ ”Everyday”). Those tools were: word processing software, spreadsheet software, presentation software, search engines, electronic mail(e-mail), social networking services and media sharing services. Students were also asked whether they had used a blog before or not, and incase the answer was positive, the purpose of blog use was elicited. The second part was a Basketball Skills Knowledge Test (BSKT), developedby the authors and approved as to its content validity by a panel of experienced basketball instructors. It was aimed at measuring students’knowledge of the four basketball skills under study, and comprised 20 multiple-choice questions, such as: “In the initial position of the chestpass the ball is held: a) with the two hands at the height of the chest, b) with the two hands at the height of the neck, c) with the two hands low atthe height of the pelvis, d) where convenient for the athlete according to his/her height”. A correct answer was graded with 1, whereas anerroneous with 0. Possible scores on the BSKT, thus, ranged from 0 to 20, with high scores indicating high levels of basketball knowledge. Thethird part consisted of the Internet Self-Efficacy (ISE) scale, which is a set of 19 Likert-type (1 ¼ ‘Strongly disagree’, 5 ¼ ‘Strongly agree’) itemsdeveloped by Hsu and Chiu (2004), on the basis of an instrument originally proposed by Torkzadeh and Van Dyke (2001), in order tomeasure an individual’s perceived ability to use the Internet and perform Internet-related tasks, such as to: navigate the Web, post messageson online discussion forums, download/upload files, complete and submit online forms. Example items: “I feel confident navigating the WorldWide Web by following hyperlinks”, “I feel confident posting messages on an online discussion forum”, “I feel confident uploading files toa website”. The items of the ISE scale were translated from English into Greek by a bilingual Greek, and the translation was independently Fig. 2. Slide illustrating the execution position of the chest pass.
  • 6. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 2003checked by a Greek English teacher. The score for the scale is equal to the total points on the scale divided by the number of the scale items.High scores indicate high levels of Internet self-efficacy. Cronbach’s alpha of the ISE scale was 0.917 for the pretest, indicating a high degreeof internal consistency. The fourth part consisted of a Multimedia Blogging Self-Efficacy (MBSE) questionnaire, namely a set of 13 Likert-type(1 ¼ ‘Strongly disagree’, 5 ¼ ‘Strongly agree’) items constructed by the authors in order to measure a student’s perceived ability to performtasks relevant to multimedia blogging, such as to: use digital devices to capture photos or video, use image and video processing software,create multimedia posts. Example items: “I feel confident using a digital camera to take photos”, “I feel confident using video processingsoftware”, “I feel confident using a blog to publish multimedia content”. The posttest questionnaire was identical to the pretest questionnaire except that it did not comprise the first part. The feedback questionnaire elicited students’ responses to the blogging activity, and was constructed by the authors based on ideas takenfrom prior research (Chretien et al., 2008; Farmer et al., 2008; Goldman et al., 2008; Hsu et al., 2008; Ladyshewsky & Gardner, 2008). Itcomprised twenty-five 5-point Likert-type (1 ¼ ‘Strongly disagree’, 5 ¼ ‘Strongly agree’) items that elicited: a) students’ perceived learninggains from the blogging activity, b) the extent to which students found the overall experience and the specific tasks of the blogging activityinteresting, c) students’ preoccupations during the blogging activity, d) students’ eventual difficulties during the blogging activity. Finally,through two open-ended questions, students were asked what they liked the most and the least about their experience of participating inthe blog.2.5. Procedure Official leave to conduct the research was obtained from the DPESS Committee of Bioethics and Deontology. The blog and the educationalwebsite were set up before the beginning of the semester under study. During week 1 of the semester, the students attending the courses“Informatics in Education” and “Computers in Physical Education Teaching” (Group A), and those attending “Sport Pedagogy” and “Soci-ology” (Group B) completed the pretest questionnaire anonymously, at the university, after being informed about the purposes and theprocedures of the interventions. After the pretest, at the end of week 1, the principal investigator sent e-mail invitations to the students of Group A and to the externalexpert to participate in the blog (the basketball instructors already had access to it). Best practices regarding educational blogging, which areconsidered to ensure student participation (Bouldin et al., 2006; Farmer et al., 2008; Hsu et al., 2008; Huann, John, & Yuen, 2005; Kerawalla,Minocha, Kirkup, & Conole, 2009; Tekinarslan, 2008), were applied. These included: a) helping students understand the purpose of theactivity and the requirements of their participation in terms of numbers of expected posts and comments, b) providing students withconcrete guidelines regarding the content of their posts and comments, c) helping students gain initial, ‘hands-on’ familiarity with thetechnicalities of blogging, d) providing students with constructive feedback during the activity, e) providing students with proceduralsupport when needed, and f) integrating blogging as a graded assignment into a course. The application of the first two practices has alreadybeen detailed (see Subsection 2.3.1.), whereas the application of the rest is addressed in what follows. In week 2, the students of Group A were shown the blog “Basketball Techniques”, were handed the orientation sheet, were asked tocarefully read the instructors’ initial posts and were given 11 weeks to complete what the orientation post and sheet asked them to do.Within the framework of the ICT courses, through instructor-guided sessions in the computer laboratory, during week 2, they were alsoshown how to set up an account in Blogger and how to create a profile, a post and a comment on the blog, whereas during week 3, they wereshown how to process images and video and how to insert them in blog posts. The students were free to participate in the blog from anyplace with a computer and an Internet connection. The blogging assignment was compulsory and contributed to students’ grades in the ICTcourses. Similarly, in week 2, the students of Group B were shown the educational website, were handed the orientation sheet, were asked toread it carefully, and were given 11 weeks to do what the sheet asked them to do. In week 3, through instructor-guided sessions in thecomputer laboratory, they were shown in detail the four lessons of the website, and how to navigate the slides contained in them. They weretold that they were free to access the website from anywhere, and that the assignment was compulsory and contributed to their grades inthe pedagogy and sociology courses. During the 11 weeks, the instructor of the ICT courses provided technical and procedural help, whenneeded, to the students of both groups (face-to-face and through e-mail). Furthermore, together with the co-authors of the study and thebasketball teaching assistants they commented on students’ blog posts. The posttest took place after the completion of the 11 weeks, anonymously, at the university. Both groups completed the posttestquestionnaire, whereas Group A also completed the feedback questionnaire. It should be noted that both groups did not receive any formalinstruction on basketball skills during the time period between the pretest and the posttest. Furthermore, during the same period, students’only formal practical involvement with ICT was the educational blogging assignment for Group A and the educational website assignmentfor Group B. For the matching of the pretest and posttest questionnaires, pseudonyms that the students were asked to adopt and note downon their questionnaires were used.2.6. Data analysis Quantitative data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, namely frequencies and percentages, means (M) and standard devia-tions (SD). Eventual differences between the two groups as to biographical variables and initial familiarity with ICT were assessed throughone-way between-groups analyses of variance (ANOVA) and chi-square tests for independence. The effects of the interventions onstudents’ knowledge of basketball skills, Internet self-efficacy and multimedia blogging self-efficacy were examined through one-waybetween-groups ANOVA, one-way between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), two-way ANOVA and principal component anal-ysis (PCA). All analyses were performed using the SPSS statistical package. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Qualitative data, namelythe students’ answers to the open-ended questions in the feedback questionnaire, were grouped into categories according to theiremergent common themes (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996). Each of the answers was assigned to one or more (if it had multiple references) of thecategories.
  • 7. 2004 M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 Fig. 3. Student post on the skill of catching a pass.3. Results A total of 188 posts were made on the blog by the students of Group A [see Fig. 3 (the student’s surname has been removed from thefigure)]. This exceeded the expected number of 140 (¼35 Â 4) because certain students made more than one posts regarding the same skill(e.g. one containing photos and text and another one containing video). The posts received a total of 355 comments (1.89 comments per poston the average), by the students, the instructors and the external expert. Students’ comments publicly acknowledged their peers’ perfor-mances (e.g. “Very good technique Yannis my friend. Congratulations!”), did so simultaneously highlighting elements for performanceimprovement (e.g. “That’s it Eleni. Your hands should be a little bit lower, near your chest.”) or were purely humorous (e.g. “Take off your glassesKostas!”). The instructors’ and the expert’s comments praised students’ performances (e.g. “Good execution. Perfect stretching of the hands”),pointed out performance errors offering suggestions for performance improvement (e.g. “Maria, the execution is good. It would be better if youkept your hands stretched at the end”) or contained remarks and suggestions regarding the appearance of students’ photos and videos (e.g.“The camera should be closer to the subject and not opposite the light because it’s reflected off the parquet floor”).3.1. Comparison of the two groups as to biographical variables and initial familiarity with ICT The analysis of students’ biographical data did not show any statistically significant differences between the two groups. In Group A,mean age was 21.74 (SD ¼ 4.83), whereas, in Group B, 19.80 (SD ¼ 4.09). Although Group A students were older than Group B students, anone-way between-groups ANOVA showed that the difference did not reach statistical significance [F(1,68) ¼ 3.297, p ¼ 0.074]. Group Aconsisted of 21 male (60% of the group) and 14 female (40%) students, whereas Group B consisted of 15 male (42.9% of the group) and 20female (57.1%) students. A chi-square test showed that the two groups did not differ significantly as to gender composition (X2 ¼ 1.430,df ¼ 1, p ¼ 0.232).Table 1Frequency of use of ICT tools by group (N ¼ 70). Frequency of use Group A(N ¼ 35) Group B(N ¼ 35) Difference M SD M SD F p Word processing software 3.83 0.75 4.00 0.69 1.000 0.321 Spreadsheet software 2.49 1.01 2.51 1.12 0.013 0.911 Presentation software 3.34 0.97 3.23 0.84 0.277 0.600 Search engines 4.40 0.85 4.63 0.60 1.700 0.197 Electronic mail (e-mail) 3.80 1.30 3.83 1.29 0.008 0.927 Social networking services 3.89 1.53 4.31 1.21 1.693 0.198 Media sharing services 3.74 1.29 4.23 1.03 3.023 0.087
  • 8. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 2005 Table 2 Pretest and posttest BSKT scores by group (N ¼ 70). Test Group A(N ¼ 35) Group B(N ¼ 35) M SD M SD Pretest 12.94 1.41 11.69 2.32 Posttest 12.91 1.69 11.51 2.28 Adjusted meansa 12.65 – 11.78 – a Adjusted means using pretest scores as a covariate. Initial familiarity with ICT did not differ significantly between the two groups. The percentages of computer and Internet connectionowners were high in both groups. In Group A, 33 students (94.3% of the group) had a computer at home and 2 (5.7%) did not, whereas inGroup B, 34 students were computer owners (97.1% of the group) and one (2.9%) was not. A chi-square test was not possible to performbecause of the very small number of computer non-owners. In Group A, 24 students (68.6%) had an Internet connection at home and 11(31.4%) did not, whereas in Group B, the respective numbers were 25 (71.4%) versus 10 (28.6%). The proportions of Internet connectionowners and non-owners did not differ significantly between the two groups (X2 ¼ 0.000, df ¼ 1, p ¼ 1.000). A one-way between-groupsANOVA that compared overall computer experience between Group A (M ¼ 3.71, SD ¼ 0.83) and Group B (M ¼ 3.77, SD ¼ 0.88) showed nosignificant difference [F(1,68) ¼ 0.079, p ¼ 0.780]. Furthermore, no significant difference in overall Internet experience was found betweenGroup A (M ¼ 3.77, SD ¼ 0.84) and Group B [M ¼ 3.80, SD ¼ 0.80; F(1,68) ¼ 0.021, p ¼ 0.885]. Table 1 presents descriptive statistics and results of the ANOVAs that compared frequency of use of basic ICT tools between the twogroups. As shown on Table 1, the most frequently used tools were search engines, social networks, media sharing services, word processorsand e-mail. Although for most tools, frequency of use was greater in Group B than in Group A, no statistically significant difference was notedin any of them. Finally, only 12 students (17.1% of the sample) had used a blog before the interventions, as readers to get informed aboutpolitical or sport issues. In Group A, 7 students (20% of the group) had used a blog and 28 (80%) had not. In Group B, the respective numberswere 5 (14.3%) and 30 (85.7%). The proportions did not differ significantly between the groups (X2 ¼ 0.101, df ¼ 1, p ¼ 0.751).3.2. Effects on students’ knowledge of the basketball skills A one-way between-groups ANOVA showed a statistically significant difference in pretest BSKT scores in favor of Group A (M ¼ 12.94,SD ¼ 1.41) as compared to Group B [M ¼ 11.69; SD ¼ 2.32; F(1,68) ¼ 7.480; p ¼ 0.008], which indicated that Group A students had greaterbackground knowledge of the four basketball skills. Given this difference, a one-way between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) wasconducted to compare the effects of the two interventions on students’ basketball knowledge. The independent variable was the type ofintervention (blog, website), the dependent variable consisted of posttest BSKT scores, whereas pretest BSKT scores served as a covariate tocontrol for the pre-existing difference between the groups. Before conducting the ANCOVA, preliminary checks were performed to confirmthat there was no violation of the assumptions of normality, linearity, homogeneity of variances and homogeneity of regression slopes(Pallant, 2001). Descriptive statistics for the ANCOVA are presented on Table 2. After adjusting for BSKT scores in the pretest, there was no significant difference between the two groups on posttest BSKT scores[F(1,67) ¼ 3.454, p ¼ 0.067]. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs that compared pretest and posttest BSKT scores within each groupshowed no significant differences neither within Group A [Wilks’ Lambda ¼ 1.000; F(1,34) ¼ 0.006; p ¼ 0.937] nor within Group B [Wilks’Lambda ¼ 0.993; F(1,34) ¼ 0.223; p ¼ 0.640]. Thus, the two interventions were equally ineffective in increasing students’ basketballknowledge. Hypothesis I was, thus, not supported.3.3. Effects on students’ Internet Self-Efficacy (ISE) A one-way between-groups ANOVA showed no statistically significant difference in pretest ISE scores between Group A (M ¼ 3.81,SD ¼ 0.73) and Group B [M ¼ 3.81; SD ¼ 0.63; F(1,68) ¼ 0.00; p ¼ 0.993]. A two-way ANOVA with one repeated factor (time) and oneindependent factor (type of intervention) was performed to test for differences in ISE changes after the interventions for the two groups. The Table 3 Results of PCA for multimedia blogging self-efficacy (n ¼ 70). Item Factors 1 2 Transferring photos from a mobile phone to a computer 0.929 Using a mobile phone to shoot video 0.903 Using a digital camcorder to shoot video 0.840 Using a mobile phone to take photos 0.838 Transferring video from a mobile phone to a computer 0.833 Transferring photos from a digital camera to a computer 0.827 Using a digital camera to take photos 0.801 Transferring video from a digital camcorder to a computer 0.785 Using a blog to read multimedia content 0.894 Using a blog to comment multimedia content 0.878 Using a blog to publish multimedia content 0.874 Using video processing software 0.786 Using image processing software 0.722 % of variance explained 44.7% 29.2%
  • 9. 2006 M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 Table 4 Perceived gains from the blogging activity (N ¼ 35). My participation in the blog . M SD 1 Increased my knowledge of the four basketball skills 3.46 0.98 2 Helped me improve in the execution of the four basketball skills 3.43 0.98 3 Improved my general ICT skills 4.00 0.84 4 Improved my image processing skills 4.14 0.60 5 Improved my video processing skills 4.17 0.71analysis showed a significant type of intervention by time interaction [F(1,68) ¼ 6.29, p ¼ 0.015]. Examination of the pair-wise comparisonsrevealed that for Group A there was a significant increase in ISE following the intervention (p ¼ 0.011), whereas for the Group B nosignificant difference emerged (p ¼ 0.353). For Group A, the mean posttest ISE score was M ¼ 4.04 (SD ¼ 0.57), and for Group B, M ¼ 3.73(SD ¼ 0.69). The blogging activity, thus, had a significant positive effect on students’ ISE, whereas using the educational website did not alterstudents’ ISE. Hypothesis II was, therefore, confirmed.3.4. Effects on students’ multimedia blogging self-Efficacy (MBSE) The students’ pretest answers to the 13 items that addressed MBSE were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA), in order toexamine their underlying factor structure. The suitability of the data for PCA was previously assessed. There were many coefficients of 0.3and above in the correlation matrix, whereas the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin value was 0.832 (>0.6) and the Bartlett’s test of sphericity wasstatistical significance (p < 0.001), as recommended (Pallant, 2001). Two factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 were found, explaining51.4% and 22.5% of the variance respectively. To aid in the interpretation of these factors, Varimax rotation was performed. The rotatedsolution (see Table 3) explained a total of 73.9% of the variance. As shown in Table 3, it was possible to extract two factors. Factor 1(‘Multimedia capturing and transfer’) regroups tasks relevant to the capturing of multimedia and their transfer to the computer. Factor 2(‘Multimedia processing and blogging’) regroups tasks relevant to multimedia processing and to handling multimedia content on a blog. In order to analyze initial differences in MBSE between the two groups, two scores were calculated for each student: the means of thestudent’s answers to the pretest questions corresponding to the two factors. A one-way between-groups ANOVA showed no significantdifference in pretest scores in Factor 1 between Group A (M ¼ 4.28, SD ¼ 0.85) and Group B [M ¼ 4.44, SD ¼ 0.84; F(1,68) ¼ 0.636; p ¼ 0.428].Furthermore, no significant difference was found in pretest scores in Factor 2 between Group A (M ¼ 2.71, SD ¼ 1.06) and Group B [M ¼ 2.75,SD ¼ 1.07; F(1,68) ¼ 0.018; p ¼ 0.893]. Thus, initially, the two groups did not differ in terms of MBSE. The same calculations were performed on students’ answers to the relevant posttest questions. Two-way ANOVAs with one repeatedfactor (time) and one independent factor (type of intervention) were performed to test for differences in changes in Factor 1 and in Factor 2following the interventions for the two groups. Regarding Factor 1, the analysis showed that the type of intervention by time interaction wasnot significant [F(1,68) ¼ 2.32, p ¼ 0.132]. No significant main effects were found for time [F(1,68) ¼ 0.26, p ¼ 0.613] and type of intervention[F(1,68) ¼ 0.00, p ¼ 0.950]. For Group A, the mean posttest score in Factor 1 was M ¼ 4.38 (SD ¼ 0.74) and for Group B, M ¼ 4.24 (SD ¼ 0.88).Regarding Factor 2, the analysis showed a significant type of intervention by time interaction [F(1,68) ¼ 21.82, p < 0.001]. Examination of thepair-wise comparisons revealed that for Group A there was a significant increase in Factor 2 following the intervention (p < 0.001), whereasfor Group B no significant difference emerged (p ¼ 0.126). For Group A, the mean posttest score in Factor 2 was M ¼ 3.57 (SD ¼ 0.92),whereas for Group B, M ¼ 2.49 (SD ¼ 0.87). The educational blogging activity, thus, had a significant positive effect on students’ self-confidence to process multimedia and to handle multimedia content on a blog, whereas using the educational website did not have anyeffect in this respect. However, the blogging activity did not yield any significant increase in self-confidence to capture and transfermultimedia (and neither did the use of the website). This might be attributed to the fact that, before the interventions, the students alreadyhad high levels of self-confidence in their media capturing and transfer skills (as revealed by the relevant pretest scores), which did not leavemuch space for improvement. Hypothesis III was, therefore, partially supported.3.5. Students’ responses to the blogging activity Table 4 shows students’ views on the learning gains from the blogging activity. As shown on Table 4, the means of students’ responses toall items of the relevant question were above the middle point of the 5-point scale used, which indicates that the students believe that theactivity had positive effects on them. Specifically, they found that it mostly improved their multimedia processing skills, whereas they weremore reticent regarding the gains in basketball knowledge, which seems to agree with the findings previously presented in this study. Table 5 presents students’ views on the interest of the blogging activity. The students found both the overall experience and the specifictasks involved in the activity interesting, with the most interesting tasks being accessing and commenting on their peers’ posts. Table 5 Interest in the blogging activity (N ¼ 35). It was interesting for me . M SD 1 To participate in the blog 3.94 0.59 2 To take photos for uploading to the blog 3.86 0.65 3 To shoot video for uploading to the blog 3.86 0.73 4 To process photos for uploading to the blog 3.89 0.72 5 To process video for uploading to the blog 3.86 0.69 6 To see my peers’ posts on the blog 3.91 0.66 7 To comment on my peers’ posts on the blog 3.94 0.73
  • 10. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 2007Table 6Preoccupations during the blogging activity (N ¼ 35). While blogging . M SD 1 I wanted my posts to look good 4.31 0.53 2 I wanted the photos of my posts to look good 4.17 0.66 3 I wanted the video clips of my posts to look good 4.26 0.70 4 I did not want the photos and video clips of my posts to depict errors in the execution of the four basketball skills 4.26 0.66 5 I was glad when someone commented on a post of mine 4.06 0.80 Table 7 Difficulties during the blogging activity (N ¼ 35). I had difficulties in . M SD 1 Creating an account in Blogger 2.63 1.21 2 Creating my profile on the blog 2.31 0.99 3 Processing photos 2.69 1.02 4 Processing video 2.89 1.08 5 Inserting photos in my posts 2.57 0.98 6 Inserting video in my posts 2.63 0.97 7 Creating posts 2.40 0.91 8 Creating comments on posts 2.06 0.94 Students’ preoccupations during the activity are shown on Table 6. Students were highly interested in making their posts and multimediaelements look good. They were also very careful in avoiding skill execution errors in their photos and videos, and felt glad when someonecommented their posts. Table 7 presents students’ eventual difficulties during the blogging activity. The means of students’ answers in all question items werebelow the middle point of the 5-point scale used, which denotes that the students did not encounter particular difficulties. The mostchallenging tasks were: processing photos and video, uploading video, and creating an account in the blogging platform. What the 35 students of Group A liked the most about the blogging activity were: a) the opportunities for social interaction beyond timeand space limits (mentioned by 12 students, e.g. “That we could communicate with fellow-students and instructors after the courses at theuniversity. Communication was not lost”), b) the opportunities to enhance their ICT skills (9 students, e.g. “That I learned how to process photosand videos and how to publish them on the Internet”), c) the demystification of the way blogs work (8 students, e.g. “I learned how to uploadfiles to a blog, how to post and comment posts, and generally how to browse the space of a blog and how to share useful information with others”),d) the experience of an innovative learning mode (6 students, e.g. “It was an alternative way of learning”), e) the originality of the activity(4 students, e.g. “It was something different to what I had done thus far in the DPESS”), and f) the opportunity to better understand the fourbasketball skills (2 students, e.g. “The photographs and the videos that we took helped us better understand our own errors regarding the fourskills”). Finally, 13 out of the 35 students answered that there was not anything particular that they did not like about the blogging activity, whichthey found interesting and fruitful, whereas the rest of them mentioned: a) the fact that it demanded a lot of student time (10 students, e.g.“It was a time-consuming procedure”), b) the photo or video processing (6 students, e.g. “The processing and the conversions that we had to do inorder to post the video”), c) the blog topic itself (2 students, e.g. “The topic was boring”), d) the fact that students had to upload photos andvideo clips depicting themselves (2 students, e.g. “That the photos and videos had to show me”), and e) the fact that every blog user had accessto the comments that they received (2 students, e.g. “Everyone in the course could read the comments to my posts“). As deduced from the results presented in this section, students’ responses to the blogging activity were positive overall, whichcorroborates Hypothesis IV.4. Discussion & conclusions The main idea behind this study was to explore the educational potential of multimedia blogging for academic disciplines such as PE,which are not heavily based on written discourse and where multiple representations play an important role in learning. A class blog wasutilized as a means for PE students to reflect on and showcase their performances of specific basketball skills, through creating multimediaposts on these skills and receiving comments from their instructors, peers and an external expert. The effectiveness of multimedia bloggingwas evaluated in terms of acquisition of knowledge of basketball skills and ICT self-efficacy as compared to that of an equivalent educationalwebsite lacking the blogging functionality. Students’ responses to the blogging activity were also investigated. In what follows, the mainfindings and their implications are discussed. As deduced from the results of the study, after the interventions, the blogging group did not exhibit higher levels of knowledge of thespecific basketball skills than the non-blogging group, whereas within each group, no increase in such knowledge was noted. Thus, contraryto what had been hypothesized, participation in the educational blogging activity (which involved active production of multimedia contentand social interactions) was equally ineffective as the use of the educational website (which involved passive consumption of multimediacontent and no social interactions) in increasing students’ domain knowledge. This rather disappointing finding differs with the outcomes oftwo prior studies on undergraduate students that were based on objective measures of students’ learning (El Tantawi, 2008; Xie et al., 2008),where participation in educational blogging activities was found to have a positive impact on students’ course grades. However, as it had been hypothesized, participation in the blogging activity did have a positive impact on students’ ICT self-efficacy. Infact, the increases found in students’ Internet self-efficacy as well as in their multimedia processing and blogging self-efficacy were
  • 11. 2008 M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010significant for the blogging group, whereas the respective differences were insignificant for the non-blogging group. As stressed in the‘Introduction’ section of this paper, this study is the first one to examine the impact of multimedia blogging on students’ ICT self-efficacy, andthese positive findings are important because they suggest that appropriate multimedia blogging activities, such as the one presented in thispaper, could serve as vehicles for the development of students’ ICT self-efficacy. In accordance to what had been hypothesized, students’ responses to the blogging activity were positive. The students in the blogginggroup found the activity original, beneficial (especially regarding development of ICT skills) and motivational (especially its peer interactionaspect), and were not discouraged by any difficulties related to technical issues. These findings are important given that they are derivedfrom traditional undergraduate students, who are generally hard to motivate (e.g. Bye, Pushkar, & Conway, 2007). They also support priorresearch findings derived from samples of postgraduate students, mature distance students and students in practicum or professionaldevelopment courses (Glogoff, 2005; Goldman et al., 2008; Kerawalla et al., 2008; Ladyshewsky & Gardner, 2008; Oomen-Early & Burke,2007; Williams & Jacobs, 2004), which have shown that such students are satisfied with blogging activities, which they consider conduciveto enhanced learning and peer interaction. The encouraging finding that the students of the blogging group did not encounter any particulartechnical difficulties seems to agree with relevant prior findings (Bouldin et al., 2006; Fessakis et al., 2008; Goldman et al., 2008; Hsu et al.,2008; Oomen-Early & Burke, 2007; Williams & Jacobs, 2004), according to which students found working with blogs easy, and may beattributed to the fact that the students of the blogging group were provided with a ‘hands-on’ orientation on blogging and with continuoustechnical and procedural support. These students were attentive to their posts and felt satisfied when their posts received comments. Thisfinding seems to support the assertion that the most motivational element of blogging is the reinforcement that authors receive by otherpeople who comment on their posts (Farmer et al., 2008). In fact, in certain prior studies on educational blogging, students were also foundto particularly value comments (especially from peers) (Chretien et al., 2008; Goldman et al., 2008; Hsu et al., 2008; Kerawalla et al., 2009;Oomen-Early & Burke, 2007; Yang, 2009) and to feel disappointed when their posts were not commented on (Glogoff, 2005). About onethird of the students in the blogging group mentioned as the main downside of the activity that it was time-consuming. The fact thatblogging assignments require time, which is often hard to find due to students’ various curricular obligations during a semester, has alsobeen mentioned by students in certain prior studies (Bouldin et al., 2006; Goldman et al., 2008; Oomen-Early & Burke, 2007), and should betaken into account by faculty who consider introducing such activities in their courses. This study (one of the very few thus far to examine the impact of blogging on students’ domain knowledge as measured by objectivemeasures) has shown that the students in the blogging group perceived the blogging activity as less effective regarding acquisition ofbasketball knowledge than acquisition of ICT skills, and that participation in the activity yielded no actual gains in basketball knowledge,although significant gains were found in ICT self-efficacy. These results might be attributed to the fact that the blogging assignment wasembedded into an ICT course and not into a basketball course, where the assignment could have been better connected with the aims, thesubject matter and the assessment requirements of the course, eventually becoming more motivational and pedagogically relevant forstudents. However, in this study, this approach was impossible to follow due to various organizational constraints, the main one being thatthe initial ‘hands-on’ orientation sessions were impossible to organize within a basketball course, which is taught on the basketball courts.Another possible explanation for these results is that the students in the blogging group, who were novices in blogging, might have paidmore attention to coping with the technical exigencies of the assignment than to exploring the basketball skills under study. If they hadengaged in the assignment already having substantial experience in multimedia blogging, significant gains in basketball knowledge might,perhaps, have been obtained. Such gains might, perhaps, also have been noted had the students kept their own personal blogs instead ofcontributing to one class blog. Perhaps, having a personal space for self-expression, customized according to the taste of each student, wouldhave been more motivational and effective. However, in this study, this approach was not followed because: (a) it was judged that havingnovices setting up individual blogs would be more challenging, and that guiding them through that process would detract from the timedevoted to the actual blogging assignment, (b) it was judged that possibilities for social interactions, peer reviewing and peer commentingamong the study participants would be limited. Nevertheless, the hypotheses expressed in this paragraph offer interesting perspectives forfuture research. This study had certain limitations that should be mentioned. Firstly, students were assigned to experimental (i.e. blogging) group andcomparison (i.e. non-blogging) group by course attendance and not by individual random assignment, which would have strengthened theresearch design. Secondly, the students of the experimental group were attending ICT-related courses, whereas those of the comparisongroup were attending courses not directly related to ICT. Although no significant baseline differences between the two groups were found asto familiarity with ICT and ICT self-efficacy, the students in the experimental group might perhaps be more interested in ICT, which, in turn,might have influenced the development of their ICT self-efficacy. The study results would be more valid if both groups were attending thesame type of course, ideally a basketball course. The two afore-mentioned limitations refer to the formation of the experimental and thecomparison groups of the study. Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that random sampling is often not the case in real-life research(Pallant, 2001) and that it is very difficult to achieve perfectly comparable situations when conducting control trials in naturalistic settings(El Tantawi, 2008), such as the academic setting in which this study took place. A third limitation is that the study assessed students’knowledge regarding the specific basketball skills (through a written questionnaire) and not the actual demonstration of those skills on thebasketball courts, and found no significant difference between the blogging and the non-blogging group. Thus, the real impact of theblogging intervention might have been underestimated. Perhaps, if actual skill execution were assessed, students of the blogging group, whohad seen themselves execute the skills and who had received feedback on their executions, might outperform the non-blogging group onthe basketball court, although the two groups might not differ in terms of knowledge regarding the specific basketball skills. Given the afore-mentioned limitations, the study results should be interpreted with caution. In fact, the research presented in this paper should be seen asa case study on the introduction of multimedia blogging, at whole class level, into a higher education classroom and on its impact onstudents. This study opens up challenging future research perspectives. The ways in which blogging activities, such as the one described in thispaper, can become effective in terms of acquisition of domain knowledge, in disciplines such as PE, deserve to be further investigated. Asmentioned earlier in this section, a repetition of the experiment with the blogging activity embedded into a basketball course -for both theexperimental and the comparison group- and a sample of students already experienced in multimedia blogging constitutes a challengingresearch topic. Experimenting with individual blogs and empirically comparing the learning effectiveness of individual blogging to that of
  • 12. M. Papastergiou et al. / Computers & Education 57 (2011) 1998–2010 2009class or group blogging is another issue that merits investigation. Individual blogs might foster a greater sense of ownership over theblogging process, which might enhance learning. On the other hand, a class blog or a small group blog might promote greater interactionamong students, which is also important in learning. For instance, Glogoff (2005) found that learning was enhanced when students movedfrom class blogging to individual blogging, whereas El Tantawi (2008) found that a class blogging activity increased academic achievement,and Ladyshewsky and Gardner (2008) suggested that blogging activities organized for small groups (5–10 students) can make studentsmore active, maximizing social interactions. Thus, the question which blog setting (individual, group or whole class) is more effective as toknowledge acquisition deserves to be researched further. Experimenting with PE-related blogging tasks other than the one presented in thisstudy is another possible topic for future research. Furthermore, in future experimentations with blogging assignments for PE, performingqualitative analyses of blog contents (both textual and multimedia) and participants’ interactions would shed more light into the type ofposts, comments and interactions that can promote acquisition of domain knowledge. Finally, in future experimentations, a better way toget students more randomly assigned to experimental and comparison groups should be sought, and it would also be interesting to assessstudents’ actual executions of the athletic skills under study on the field (e.g. through videotaping students and having independentobservers rate their performances), and to compare those executions between the two groups. Research on the utilization of multimedia blogging in academic disciplines such as PE is still in its infancy. It is hoped that this studyprovides the research and the academic community with both a concrete example of and useful insight into the incorporation of multimediablogging into the educational practice and the exploration of its impact on students.Role of the funding sourceThe study was conducted within the framework of the research project “Design, implementation and evaluation of web-based multimediacourses on topics related to physical exercise”, which was funded by the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly. The fundingsource had no involvement in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, in the writing of the paper and itssubmission for publication.Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to Dr. Stefanos Perkos and Dr. Panagiotis Tsimeas, teaching assistants of basketball in the DPESS, for their helpduring the blogging activity, and to Dr. Antonios Hatzigeorgiadis, assistant professor in the DPESS, for his help with the statistical analyses.They are also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.ReferencesAnderson, M., Mikat, R., & Marinez, R. (2001). Digital video production in physical education and athletics. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 72(6), 19–21.Antoniou, P., Derri, V., Kioumourtzoglou, E., & Mouroutsos, S. (2003). Applying multimedia computer-assisted instruction to enhance physical education students’ knowledge of basketball rules. 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