Examining College Students' Motivations and Perceptions Toward Enrollment, Participation, and Engagement in Physical Activity Courses
Type of Degreedissertation
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Instructional physical activity programs offer a great opportunity for college and university students to have the opportunity to engage and participate in various physical activities on a regular basis. For students who choose to enroll, the instructional physical activity courses plays an important role in providing undergraduates with the chance to develop motor skills and technique, sport related skills and habits that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Student motivation to enroll and participate in College/University Instructional Physical Activity Programs (C/UIPAP) is a key component to its effectiveness. The instructional climate, including students’ perceived autonomy and perceived instructor autonomy support was found to be related to the participant motivation to participate and engage in the instructional physical activity course content. A total of 217 undergraduate students enrolled on the cardio and fitness courses participated in the demographic survey, indicating why the participants were motivated to enroll in the course (Freshmen=13.8%; Sophomore= 24.9%; Junior= 28.1%; Senior=31.3%; Other= 2%). A top three interest toward enrollment was 1) improvement of health, 2) Interest in the activity, and 3) improved grade point average (GPA). 103 college students participated in the second part of the interview, including the pre- and post- semi-structured interviews and focus groups and pre- and post- questionnaire. The questionnaire includes the Learning and Performance Orientations in Physical Education Classes Questionnaire (LAPOPECQ) and the Learning Climates Questionnaire (LCQ). The participant responses to the pre- and post- interviews, focus groups, questionnaires indicated a change in the participants’ motivations to participate and engage in the physical activity course content over the course of the semester. Recommendations for instructors of C/UIPAP are to set goals where the students can have a sense of achievement, in turn enhancing the participants’ intrinsic motivation toward engagement in physical activity.