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Game, Set and Match — Using Video to Improve Sports Teaching

Video to Improve Sports Teaching - Panopto Video PlatformWith the 2014 FIFA World Cup in full swing and tennis fans glued to the Wimbledon Championships, sport is big news at the moment. In the UK, sport has been hitting the headlines with a slightly different spin this week, with recent BBC coverage of the government’s funding boost for physical education at primary schools. This cash injection will double the number of sports-focused staff in English primary schools to help foster sporting development from students’ earliest years. This announcement from the Department for Education follows hot on the heels of the ‘Going the Extra Mile’ report by Ofsted which sets out a series of recommendations to help state-funded schools promote excellence in competitive school sport.

One of the overarching recommendations is that schools that aren’t strong in this area need to learn from those that already teach PE and coach sport well. At Panopto we’ve recently seen a couple of great examples from our users of video technology being used to support sports in an educational context.

One institution that is using Panopto with a sports-focused twist is John Leggott College. Staff from their Physical Education Department have to assess and analyse student performance for examination purposes, and then grades are externally moderated to ensure consistency. Of course, evaluating a student’s sporting performance involves visually analysing certain techniques, so video is playing an important role in supporting this process at the college.

Using the Panopto iPad app, a member of the PE team is able to record content like students’ coaching techniques with just a few clicks. These files are then automatically uploaded to the college’s video library where they are available to share, edit and download. They can either be shared with the student so they can watch their own performance back and improve for future assessments, viewed by the teacher to offer feedback or sent to an examiner for moderation. The ease of sharing video with external examiners has been of great benefit, alleviating difficulties that are faced if a moderator can’t physically get to the college. Another use for the recordings is that top-grade sporting performance can be shared with younger students so they know the standard they have to meet to achieve a similar grade.

The PE teacher at John Leggott using Panopto for student recordings has recommended the system to colleagues, stating that it was ‘so easy to use’. Upload time for the recorded footage was minimal, meaning that he could record students in the sports hall and their session would be available for him to watch by the time he got back to his desk after the lesson. He also liked the fact that by automatically saving student recordings to their secure Panopto video library, it was impossible to lose any sessions and he didn’t have to spend time chasing students to upload video footage filmed just using their device. As long as they have the Panopto app installed, the recordings all feed into the video content management system seamlessly.

Another excellent example of how educational institutions may use technology to support sports comes from our recent case study from the University of St Mark and St John, highlighting the impact lecture recording has had on their ability to help students who have scheduling conflicts between their lectures and sporting fixtures keep up with their studies. As the university is so renowned for its sports programmes, it was critical for them to be able to encourage their students’ continued participation in sports activities while simultaneously giving them access to any course content they may have missed as a result. As the case study outlines, their use of Panopto software for lecture capture has enabled them to effectively balance their students’ needs on the sports field with their needs in the classroom.

Panopto has allowed John Leggott College to improve teaching and learning in sport in just the kinds of ways Ofsted is trying to encourage and we’re also helping the University of St Mark and St John spur their students onto sporting success. As more educational institutions look to boost student performance in sports, it will be interesting to see emerging uses for video on the football pitch, tennis court and beyond – fostering student talent early to build the next generation of sporting stars.

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