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Effect of Pairing by Ability on Performance, Physical Activity, and Time-on-Task During Reciprocal Peer Teaching in Swimming

Tom Madou, Peter Iserbyt


This study investigated the effect of pairing by ability in peer teaching on swimming performance, physical activity, and time-on-task. During a 4-lesson unit in front crawl swimming, 113 (36 female, 77 male) university students in Kinesiology were randomized over gender-homogeneous same-ability (low with low and high with high) and mixed-ability (high with low) dyads. Swimming performance was assessed before and after the four lessons. Physical activity and time-on-task was coded based on video recordings of all lessons through the System of Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT). Although not significant, results showed higher swimming improvement in mixed-ability dyads, especially for low-ability swimmers. Overall, students spent 37% of lesson time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and were on task 82% of the time. Further research should focus on the effect of pairing by ability during longer units of instruction and investigate peers’ verbal interactions.

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peer teaching; pairing technique; performance; physical activity; time on-task

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