Impact of golf video games on teaching golf in physical education

Ann Pohira-Vieth

Abstract

Although technology has become an integral part of many classrooms across the country, the incorporation of technology through the use of video games in physical education is also becoming a mainstay in multiple school districts. In West Virginia public schools, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) has entered the physical education classrooms as a way to help curb obesity ("Study Shows Video," 2008). Schools in Arkansas, Missouri and Hawaii have also followed suit by adding DDR to the physical education curriculum (Gallaway & Lauson, 2006). Even though the incorporation of video games into educational programs is becoming more prevalent, there is a limited amount of research in this area and a lack of empirical studies to date that show outcomes of video games in physical education programs (Papastergiou, 2009; Hayes & Silberman, 2007; Trout & Christie, 2007). The purpose of this study was to determine if golf video games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 made for the Nintendo Wii can assist physical educators in teaching elementary school aged students how to play golf. Specifically, this study tested which mode of instruction would be best for teaching golf in physical education: golf instructor only, golf instructor and video game, or video game only. Data was gathered on distance, accuracy, and knowledge. The Benson Golf Test (1963) was used in order to measure the changes in distance and accuracy while the 20-question Modified Golf Knowledge Test was used to test for golf knowledge. Both tests were used for pre and posttesting as part of the quasi-experimental design to test the treatment of five 45-minute physical education classes covering golf. Participants in this study included 46 students attending an elementary school in north central Florida. In order to test for differences in distance gains of golf shots hit, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed there was no statistically significant difference in distance gains between the three modes of instructions; the video game only group, the half and half group, and the group that learned face-to-face, F (2,38) = .014, p = .986, η2 = .001. In testing for differences in accuracy of golf shots hit, the ANCOVA showed there was no statistically significant difference in the accuracy scores between the three modes of instruction; the video game only group, the half and half group, and the face-to-face group, F (2,38) =1.029, p = .367, η2 = .051. When testing for improvement in golf knowledge, the ANCOVA showed there was no statistically significant difference in the golf knowledge scores between the three modes of instruction; the video game only group, the half and half group, and the face-to-face group, F (2,40) = 2.27, p = .116, η2 =.102.