A Practical Guide to the Development of an Online Course in Adapted Physical Education


  • Sean Healy
  • Andrew Colombo-Dougovito
  • Joann Judge
  • Eunhye Kwon
  • Ildiko Strehli
  • Martin E. Block


adapted physical education, online education, physical education teacher education


Preservice physical education students typically receive one course devoted to adapted physical education (Piletic & Davis, 2010). Research has demonstrated this to be insufficient preparation for the successful inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education. Conversely, increasing preservice training in adapted physical education has shown to result in more favorable teacher attitudes to inclusion and higher levels of confidence in the teachers’ ability to effectively include students with disabilities. The online environment may be an effective setting for future courses in adapted physical education, offering greater flexibility for the learner and instructor, possible time and money savings, and is not as dependent on resources such as space and specialists of adapted physical education. However, to ensure effectiveness of online courses, evidence-based design and implementation principles must be adhered to. The purpose of this article is to present six principles that may aid an instructor of an online adapted physical education class to (1) establish clear goals and expectations for learners, (2) offer multiple representations of course content, (3) provide frequent opportunities for active learning, (4) deliver frequent and constructive feedback, (5) provide flexibility and choice in satisfying course objectives, and (6) be an source of guidance and support.

Subscribe to Palaestra




Feature Articles