Dance Simulation Games in Physical Education

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  • Recently, a new wave of gaming known as active gaming or exergaming has shown it can be an educationally functional and enjoyable method of learning within areas of the curriculum which highlight dance or other individual activities. This study aimed to better understand the impact dance and rhythm exergames had on students within a physical education setting and whether or not these devices should be a consideration for practitioners within the field of physical education to aid in curricular instruction. This concurrent mixed methods study rotated the dance and rhythm exergame, Dance Dance Revolution Classroom Edition, among six participating schools within an urban school district in Alberta, Canada. Cooperating schools used the exergaming tool for approximately three weeks. During this time students came into contact with the dance and rhythm exergame due to its insertion into regularly scheduled physical education classes. Each of the participating schools designated a lead teacher responsible for the use and maintenance of the equipment. After participants had used the equipment for approximately three weeks, lead teachers administered a five point Likert-type scale survey, allowing students to rate their motivation and attitude levels towards the device. In an effort to triangulate the data, two group interviews were conducted with three students within each of the respective age demographics: one group to represent the elementary sites, and another group of junior high students. A total of 121 students participated in the study, 64 females and 57 males. Data from the surveys was analyzed in four separate categories then analyzed with the qualitative group interview data. First, each individual site was examined, next elementary students were compared to secondary students, then male survey results were compared to female, and finally the results of all the surveys were looked at as a whole. Overall, the use of a multiplayer dance and rhythm exergame within a physical education setting was a safe and enjoyable experience for the majority of participants. This study noted high levels of intrinsic motivation towards the use of dance and rhythm exergames within a physical education dance unit. In particular, female and elementary aged participants showcased the highest efficacy levels towards the multiplayer dance and rhythm exergame intervention. Additionally, despite how interested students were in the game a high rate of student participation was sustained throughout the intervention period. Overall, large-scale multiplayer exergaming devices are still in their infancy and more time is required to better understand the long-term sustainability of these devices before jumping to spend large sums of money to purchase the equipment. However, based on the results of this study it is clear that participants viewed the multiplayer dance and rhythm exergames as a natural component within a PE program, both now and in the future. Therefore, future research should focus on and continue to develop the topics highlighted in this study.

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    Research Material
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    CC0 1.0 Universal