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Module 1

Pedagogy and Building Community

Welcome to Module 1: Pedagogy and Building Community within your classroom.  The purpose of this module is to help physical educators discover new methods and tech tools to teach online and learn about some of the most effective ways to build an online learning community with your students.  By reflecting on your own pedagogical practices and evaluating research-based pedagogical practices that have been shown to aid in creating a safe and inviting learning community, we can find what methods will work in our own classrooms.

Start Here - How do I complete this module?

Pedagogy and Building Community

​     The goal behind improving PHE Online Pedagogy and building communities is to understand how we can determine what our students need to feel safe and represented in the material. Research tells us that creating and maintaining a positive learning environment; building a learning community; giving consistent feedback in a timely manner; and using the right technology to deliver the right content (Nafukho & Chakraborty, 2014) are key factors in strengthening student engagement in online courses. This module will provide you with the information and opportunities to develop your personalized pedagogical approach towards building healthy, safe, and inclusive Physical Education communities via distance learning.

The Big Ideas


Building Blocks

Teaching has evolved and will always include a digital component.  Whether it's using google classroom, sharing and editing each others work online or working through an online activity.  Students need to become good digital citizens because it's how the world is communicating and will continue to communicate in the future.  Students should be aware that who they are behind the screen is a big reflection of who they are in person.  As educators it is our role to set the foundation of building blocks to help students become smart, conscientious and innovative beings both behind the screen and in person.

Building Community

Building a classroom culture is one of the first things we do with a new class, whether it's face to face or in a virtual classroom. Creating a classroom climate built on respect, trust and communication is half classroom management, half modeling and engaging students and a sprinkle of teaching experience.

Activity #1 - Article - Teaching in the Time of COVID-19

Building a community is more than the superficial digital announcements on your schools platform where students post questions to you, ask about homework and submit assignments.  It involves student engagement during class, having them get to know each other, share positive and constructive criticism with each other and feel comfortable engaging in discussion in breakout rooms (virtual) or in table groups (face to face).

Understanding that the community you build is online or in your classroom should be a safe place for your students to share their ideas, express who they are without judgement and be awarded for their failures and perserverance as much as their successes.  So, in the spirit of building an online community with the other educators that are taking this module leads us to our first activity - an article that lets us educators know we are not alone in the battle to do a 360 and teach virtually with the drop of a coin.

Note: are there too many activities for building a community??

Article - CBC Covid teaching.png

Activity #2 - Jamboard Teacher Confessions

After reading the stories from these 3 teachers we hope you can relate to them in some ways.  This activity is meant to be fun but also informative, where you can share your learning experiences of teaching virtually, things you wish you had more help with and advice you would have given yourself at the beginning of your virtual teaching experience.

The purpose of this activity is to see and share your stories or success or failure with other teachers for the sole purpose of learning and building our community.  Please be mindful of your responses and practice good digital citizenship.

Activity #3 - Watch Video and Reflect

1) Why does the speaker use the digital community for support?

2) Can you see value in creating this type of digital community for your students?

3) How might your students identify with the speakers story?

4) Do you have experience with a digital community (big or small) you receive support from or positive feedback from?

Many students have been using digital communities long before taking your class; through facebook, snapchat, tictok and youtube to name a few.  They intrinsically know what behaviour 'feels' good such as receiving a positive comment, or a 'shoutout' on gaming platform.  They also know what behaviour isn't good, as seen in the graph below 45% of U.S. teens reported 'feeling overwhelmed because of all the drama'.  In addition to this, 44% of U.S. teens 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' people with drama being the number one reason for doing so. 

graph teens feelings towards social media.png

M. Anderson & J. Jiang (2018, November 28). 2. Teens, friendships and online groups. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech.

Armed with this information, you should have a better idea of how building your own digital community could help your students.  Exposing students to a positive online environment and helping them build their Digital Citizenship will benefit them now as well as later on in life. 

Activity #4- Padlet Community Dialog

What are your thoughts on building a Digital Community?  Don't know where to start?  This activity will cover these topics and more.  What better place to start experimenting with digital dialogue than right here through this digital course with teachers across Canada.  Please be open minded and share your ideas. 

Need to EDIT THIS - Read 1 or both of the blogs below to grab some ideas about how to engage students in a digital community.  Then click on the Jamboard link.  You will see several pages, each one with their own subject title.  Find the board that resonates with your personal feelings the best and post a comment, question or idea using the post-it notes.  Please feel free to answer or comment on others post-it notes.  The activity below will give you a chance to share full ideas in this category, so think of this Jamboard as a snap shot to throw ideas around with some colleges.

Please be open-minded and respect each others opinions. 

Blog- eComminity 1.png
Blog- eComminity 2.png

Building Tech Savvy Students

The presumption that all young people are tech savvy is incorrect.  As educators we've been encouraged to use more and more technology in our classroom which can keep assignments paperless, report cards digital and field trips virtual.  But with the increase use of technology there is a growing gap of students that are being left behind. 


Have you ever received a submitted assignment that was blank?

Do you have any students that share a home computer?

Do your students use the internet at the public library?

Have you helped students locate a document named 'Untitled'?

Watched students create their own style of typing with 2 fingers?


If you answered Yes to any of these, then you have experienced the digital divide.  We take for granted that students have used platforms such as Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams in other classrooms and so they are familiar with how to post a question, submit an assignment etc.  Regardless if they have used it in the past students may not as adept at using technology as they pretend to be.

        tudents show basic computer and information handling    

competences which are occasionally put into practice in the classroom, while almost all of them are used at home; skills training comes mainly from outside school."


                                                                                                           Peña-López, Ismarel. (2010).


Not only did COVID take students out of the classrooms and force them to learn at home, but completely eliminated the support system they had at school for troubleshooting using technology.  So although the above quote is from 2010 it is still relevant and should be taken into consideration. 

introduce tech ideas that Phys.ed teachers can use

- some virtual building community icebreakers

- platforms or ideas of where they can have their student communicate in a safe space

- activities teachers can use (look at our presentation from the summer)

padlet to collect ideas

hover boxes to show tech

check list to ensure students know the tech

reminder to teachers to set up the class norms

have other students help eachother (techy students)

group students accordingly

After participating in the Jamboard from the previous activity, you may notice certain drawbacks to engaging with other in that manner.  Alternatly, if you were one of the last ones to post an idea, you had the benefit of reading the post from many other teachers which may have helped you develop a sense of autonomy belonging with this group of people you have never met before.  Now imagine those post-it notes happened in real time and you were able to dialog with people that are experiencing the same challenges you are facing. 

Watch this TEDTalk with your students in mind and keep these questions in mind


Moving Your Pedagogy Online

Woman Typing

Filler paragraph .....   The use of technology in the classrooms has increased significantly over the last few decades and with that teachers have had to adapt their teaching practices.  The last couple of years had left many teachers struggling to not only adapt, but completely change their method of teaching to be completely online.  Leaving so many Physical & Health Education teachers, across the country wondering ‘How can I do this?’.  Well, in the end, nothing drives innovation like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Blog Post - Read and Reflect

     Pedagogical practices can change so much depending on the topic, culture of the class you have and subject you’re teaching.  As a health and physical educator we know this too well.  We all have developed a variety of pedagogical practices to teach the invasion territory basketball units, net wall badminton unit and yet another strategy to teach healthy eating in a classroom.  However, what about teaching vitrually? And what about teaching Phys. Ed virtually?


     This article describes and gives examples of 5 pedagogical strategies that could be adopted to teach health and physical education virtually or face to face.  Read the article and think of how you would use, implement or re-mix 1 of the 5 approaches they speak about in the article.  Write up a small paragraph and give an example of how you could use it in your teaching, either health or physical education class.  


Please Share your idea on this platform.  Similar to padlet, you can simply copy and paste or type your answer into their text blocks.

View a quick tutorial on the right, and when you're ready to post click the button




Blog Post

ECD pedagogy blog pic.png

Teaching Virtually

Moving your teaching practice online is not only about the content.  Your teaching practice has to be adapted to engage students online.  Of course it's much easier to get real-time feedback during an in person activity and adjust accordingly, but how do we do that effectively online?

Something to consider when looking at creating an engaging online class are the different learning theories and incorporating their approaches to learning with the right lesson.  It may feel like going back to the drawing board and revamping your entire pedagogy style, well you are not alone.  Teaching vitually is different than face-to-face and although they are different, they share some common elements as well as each of them have their own individual Pro's and Con's list.

guy skatboarding jump.jpg

Learners are active participants in the learning process.  Their minds act as computers, where they recall and store to learn the new information.  They utilize their previous knowledge, memories and other relevant information to accomplish tasks and apply previous knowledge to current situations.

Cognitive Learning Theory

soccer players dribbling drill.jpg

Behaviourist Learning Theory

Learning is a process through regular expected responses where instruction is repetitive through trial and error.  Behavioural conditioning or positive reinforcement is often used in this learning theory and is the root of the ‘practice makes perfect’ theory.

volley ball team (1).jpg

This theory or philosophical explanation of learning discusses the idea that learners construct their own learning.  Building off prior knowledge, skills and experiences that are interconnected and contribute to current learning experiences.  Learning is best done through a collaborative process where instruction is given through guided problem solving.

Constructivism Learning Theory

These theories are probably already interwoven into your pedagogical practices and by examining them further, it can help re-frame how you can successfully move your teaching practice online.  The following article speaks about these learning theories and how they relate to teaching virtually. 

Article - Read, Reflect and Post

This article summarizes several articles that look specifically at improving student engagement in an online class. These learning theories are all interconnected and your teaching style is probably a blend of them, depending on the content of your unit or lesson.  However it is important to explicitly identify how to improve student engagement and the common theme to improve engagement is to get students motivated to learn.


Looking at this excert from the article, it speaks about the "what, how and why".  Think about what this mean in a physical and health education classroom.



"Yet, according to Ertmer and Newby (1993) behaviorist, cognitivist and
constructivist school of thoughts overlap and these three theories can form a taxonomyfor learning. Ally (2004) proposed the importance of addressing “what”, “how” and “why” in online class environment. “Behaviorists’ strategies can be used to teach the “what” (facts), cognitive strategies can be used to teach the “how” (processes and principles) and constructivist strategies can be used to teach the “why” (higher-level thinking that promotes personal meaning and situated and contextual learning)” (p. 19).  Recent research, however, emphasize on the constructivist learning theory and propose that learning in adulthood is context– based, and adults learn the best when they can relate their learning to previous experiences and present situations (Chen et al., 2010;
Nafukho et al., 2010; Yang et al., 2010)."


Article summarized student engagement strategies that they summarized in 5 categories (also see boxes below for examples):
(1) creating and maintaining positive learning environment;
(2) building learning community;
(3) giving consistent feedback in timely manner;
(4) practicing flexibility using right technology to deliver the right content; and
(5) providing proper support system.

Pic - Strengthening Student engagement online.png

These theories are probably already interwoven into your pedagogical practices and by examining them further, it can help re-frame how you can successfully move your teaching practice online.  The following article speaks about these learning theories and how they relate to teaching virtually. 

creating and

maintaining positive learning environment;


  • Open communication with students (building team environment in class)

  • Digital citizenship (constructive feedback, no put downs)

building learning community;


  • Community Dialog 

  • Fun, interactive activities (gamification)

  • Sharing Digital Moments (exercise milestones)

  • Giving students choices

giving consistent feedback in timely manner;


  • Q&A time outside of class for real time answers

  • Peer assessment with conversational feedback (coach to athlete scenarios)

practicing flexibility using right technology to deliver the right content;


  • Current tech to deliver content (hunt on tic tok for health video and critique them

  • Give students options when using tech

providing proper support system


  • User Friendly software for students

  • New software - provide support for troubleshooting

Strip here for colour design,...

21st Century Learners

Blending these learning theories with the 21st century global learning competencies can help to guide our pedagogy and develop an engaging learning environment for our students, whether they are in the gymnasium, online fitness class or in health class virtual or face to face.  


It is important as educators we engage


We are teaching 21st Century learners and their presence in society and how they contribute, communicate and work will be vastly different from how it is now.  We need to set them up for success, and build skills such as digital literacy, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and increase their productivity and independence.  These may look similar to the 21st Century Skills and Competencies found in the Shifting Minds Index

These 21st century skills/competencies are what is going to help our students be successful in the future.  So how do we start shifting our pedagogy, or continue to grow and adapt our teaching practices to students who are ‘tech savvy’ students?  The first thing to keep in mind is that, even though they may have grown up with technology, that doesn’t mean they know HOW to use it.  For example students at a young age are typing on the computer and submitting online documents but at some point we still need to teach them 1) proper keyboard skills and 2) organization of their documents and folders

We need to rebuild our pedagogy and teaching practices, incorporating the good from our emergency virtual learning situations and adopt them to our face to face classroom.

We are teaching 21st Century learners and their presence in society and how they contribute, communicate and work will be vastly different from how it is now.  We need to set them up for success, and build skills such as digital literacy, collaboration, problemsolving, crital thinking and increase their productivity and independence.  These may look similar to the 21st Century Skills and Competencies found in the Shifting Minds Index 

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Tess Anderson

Dan Mitchell

Noah Patterson

​​​Canada's global competencies

  • critical thinking and problem solving

  • innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship

  • learning to learn/self-awareness and self-direction

  • collaboration

  • communication

  • global citizenship and sustainability

10 skills in the 4th industrial revolution

compare and contrast what skills we are focusing on in our classrooms, do they set students up for success?

Activity  - Ted talk


Innovation & Technology in Physical Education

Science and Technology Class

The use of technology in the classrooms has increased significantly over the last few decades and with that teachers have had to adapt their teaching practices.  However, over the last couple of years many school boards moved to virtual learning which left many teachers struggling to not only adapt, but completely change their method of teaching to be completely online.  Leaving so many Physical & Health Education teachers, across the country wondering ‘How can I do this?’.  Well, in the end, nothing drives innovation like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Implementing technology in physical education while teaching virtually is no easy task, and it raises the question about student participation, privacy issues as well as integrating the curriculum content through technology.  Teachers needed ‘just in time technology’ something they could implement tomorrow with a very easy learning curve, such as a digital food journal, or step counter.  When searching for new tech tools during the school year, you can come across many that don't work with your class or you've download the program but it doesn't work with your equipment.  The trial and error process can be a never ending rabbit hole, or roller coaster as some teachers would call it.  If you have ever felt overwhelmed or are constantly searching for ideas, you are not alone.

Reflection Survey and Article

The below article examines teachers during the COVID-pandemic and their experiences with online teaching and survey teachers on their experiences, the authors note that "many items specifically focused on use and access to technology, student participation, and meeting students’ needs in various ways. Results can provide guidance for how to address the essential components of physical education in the online environment." (Centeio, E., 2021)


Please survey yourself first using the drop down boxes and then read the article making note of the specific sections and anything you find that parallels your own experiences.  Use your survey answers to reflect on your own teaching practice and how you use of technology in your classroom. 

All submissions are checked for completion and ideas expressed here will not be published or shared.

Article Pic - Technology PHE during COVID.png

Your content has been submitted

A large part of including this article was to show that you are not alone in your challenge to constantly fight for student's participation, accountability and engagement.  The struggle was real and it will be ongoing as virtual classrooms will become a mainstream pedagogical tool.  

Activity - Wakelet - slides,... 

Activity to have teachers build their repitoire of pedagogy things for class,...

Blend physed and competencies,

- have a slide for each competencies

give tech ideas,...

Teachers Blogs - Best Practices

Reflecting on your teaching practice from the past year was there anything you were surprised you learned how do or became proficient in?  What about learning a completely new skill like navigating the virtual platforms while sharing your screen.  I'm sure we can have a whole section of bloopers or things NOT to do while teaching virtually but we'll let tictok take care of that.  In this activity we are really interested in what success you had.


Read a blog post from the 4 blogs below.  Choose 1 one (or more) that resonate with your teaching successes or struggles and examine the use of technology in our current Physical and Health classrooms.  There is a place for tech, but it has to be incorporated properly for it to enhance the learning opportunities of students.  There is a difference between tech software such as Microsoft Office, or Google Suites that has become mainstream and Tech Tools, Applications or Devices that can enhance data collection (i.e. digital sprinter blocks and finish line).

Blog - Conversation.png


10 Reasons teachers can struggle with technology in the classroom

Jamboard Slide Share - Best Practices

For this activity, think of one tech tip, one chrome extension, or perhaps an application or website that you used during your virtual teaching practice.  This activity is meant to share and showcase the unique ways we have implemented technology in our virtual or in-face learning settings.  Repetition of websites or tools is to be expected, however how each teacher uses the resources or what activity they connect them to will be different. 

Step 1:  Think of a tech tool, website, phone application, device or equipment that you have used and think it would add value to any Phys. Ed. Department.

Step 2:  Open up a new slide

Step 3: Write a little description to explain how you used it, why you think it's useful, what grade and unit did you use it for etc. 

Step 4:  Include a picture or the technology or of the application, a web link and/or online store so that anyone can have access if they feel it could be utilized in their class as well

  • Is there anything (tech related) that you would have liked to do differently while teaching Online ? - change to an open ended question

  • Technology can be a good thing in PE, consider which tech tips you or your colleagues used during the pandemic that could still be implemented in your class today.

  • What technologies are realistic for PE teachers to use and to match with what pedagogical tools during which units?

Activity - The Digital Text book

Filler Paragraph,....

write something about this video

- include a reflection piece for teachers, another padlet?

- or a have them try with their students and they have to write their estimated student reaction vs. actual student reaction after this activity,...

Digital Notebook  (1).png


I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. Let your users get to know you.


Need to ask ....  what do students want?

this article asks the following research questions:


RQ1. What strategies have been used by instructors to motivate and engage
students in online class environment?
RQ2. What are the instructors’ and students’ perceptions regarding online student
engagement strategies?
RQ3. What teaching and learning activities are utilized to engage students in online
learning environments?

Research Articles


To finish off this Module, we invite you to read 3 of 6 of the following research articles.  Each research article has roots deep in inclusive pedagogy but touches on different topics and areas.  Choose articles that will help you elevate your teaching practice.

Research Article Collection

Inclusion in sport: disability and participation

Sport in Society, 21:1, 4-21, 

Florian Kiuppis (2018)

Article pic - Inclusion in Sport (Sport in society).png

Muslim female athletes in sports and dress code: major obstacle in international competitions

Journal of Experimental Sciences 2011, 2(11): 09-13

Yasmeen Iqbal Qureshi and Soniha Aslam Ghouri (2011)

Article pic - Muslim females dress code.png

Exploring Future Research in Adapted Physical Education

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 

Martin E. Block, Justin Haegele, Luke Kelly & Iva Obrusnikova (2021)

Article pic - Exploring Future in Adapted PE.png

Celebrating Difference: Best Practices in Culturally Responsive Teaching Online

TechTrends for leaders in education & training 61 (2)

Woodley, X., Hernandez, C., Parra, J., N. Beyan (2017)

Article pic - Celebrating Best Practices.png

Culturally Relevant Physical Education in Urban Schools: Reflecting Cultural Knowledge

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 

Sara B. Flory and Nate McCaughtry (2011)

Article pic - Culturally Relevant PE.png

Aboriginal Youth and Their Experiences in Physical Education: “This Is What You’ve Taught Me”

PHENex Journal/ Revue phénEPS

Sara B. Flory and Nate McCaughtry (2011)

Article pic - Aboriginal Youth.png