Mackey, Niall (2013) Determining the Effectiveness of Web Based Learning in Sport. Masters thesis, National College of Ireland.
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As sports training becomes more scientific in its methods it is important that sports fully utilize and embrace the major changes happening in the Web 2.0 world of user generated content, interactivity, social networks, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets with video taking and sharing capabilities and pervasive high speed fixed and mobile bandwidth. It is important to understand and quantify the effect these Web 2.0 capabilities have on the world of sports training. A search through the literature from the age of Computer Based Instruction (CBI) to the present day showed no significant prior art in this exact area of measuring the effectiveness of web based training in sport, however there is a significant body of work discussing the effectiveness of Web / Computer based learning in an academic / conventional classroom context. These studies showed that there is a significant and measurable benefit in using Web / Computer based instruction in these contexts. In this study a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to investigate whether this measurable benefit can be replicated in the sports learning context. A questionnaire was used at the beginning for all participants, followed by an assessment using the International Tennis Federations (ITF) International Tennis Number (ITN) system conducted by a qualified independent tennis coach. Then the evaluated subjects were broken into two groups; one group (Hybrid Group), receiving face-to-face coaching and web-based learning and a second group (Web Only Group), receiving web-based learning only. A specific web-based learning environment was developed as a tool to test the impact of the technologies used by subjects on their learning. The subjects in all groups then re-took the assessment and completed a feedback form. The results were meaningful. Overall there was an improvement in performance from ITN assessment one to ITN assessment two of 35%. These results when broken down into the two groups showed that the Hybrid Group had a 39% improvement in performance and the Web Only group had a 30% improvement in performance.
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