Evaluating a Physical Activity App in the Classroom: A Mixed Methodological Approach Among University Students


  • Bridget Melton
  • Helen Bland
  • Brandonn Harris
  • Destiny Kelly
  • Kristin Chandler




The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of using an exercise-based app in increasing student motivation, social support, self-efficacy, and enjoyment in a university physical activity class. A convenience sample of 48 college-aged students (28 males, 20 females) from one university located in the Southeastern United States participated in this study. The study occurred during the students' regularly scheduled activity classes. The students met 4 days per week for 5 weeks during the summer semester. A mixed methods research design was employed for this study. Four major variables were measured pre- and postintervention for the intervention group and postintervention only for the comparison group, including exercise motivation, social support, exercise self-efficacy, and enjoyment. Analyses relied primarily on descriptive (frequency, means) statistics, with inferential statistics (t tests for intra- and intergroup comparisons) as supporting data. Alpha level for statistical significance was set at 0.05, and data were analyzed using SPSS 21.0. Qualitative analysis was used for the focus group data. A significant difference was found between self-efficacy and family support between the intervention and comparison group. Additionally, focus group analysis revealed that students enjoyed the exercise mobile app. The results indicate that the integration of technology, such as app-based interventions, may affect students' enjoyment of physical activity courses.