Frostburg State University to Develop Online Physical Education Course for Maryland Public Schools

Feb 14, 2022 1:35 PM

Frostburg State University will develop an online high school Level 1 Physical Education (PE) Course for Maryland public schools, as part of an agreement with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

MSDE recognized a need for an online physical education course that could reach students statewide, especially those with individual circumstances and/or scheduling challenges that make traditional face-to-face courses difficult.

“We were honored to be asked to enter into this agreement with MSDE,” said Dr. Boyce Williams, dean of the FSU College of Education. “Many high school students are looking to get Advanced Placement courses into their schedule. The availability of an online physical education course will help students struggling to find space in their schedule for some of their required courses, like physical education. This will also provide an option for students participating in the Home Hospital program due to illness or injury.”

“Developing this resource for students, teachers and parents across the state will be a tremendous benefit to the public school system,” said Rebecca Gallagher, FSU associate professor in kinesiology and recreation. “This course will be available not only for registered students, but also as a resource for PE teachers looking to supplement the curriculum in their classrooms. Parents will also be able to see a student’s progress as they complete the course.”

“We’re really excited for the opportunities that will come to current FSU students as part of this project,” said Dr. Nicole Bosley, FSU assistant professor in kinesiology and recreation. “We plan to use FSU students to fulfill jobs like videographer, in addition to PE students serving as instructors in the course videos.”

The course development will be funded through money that MSDE set aside from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. FSU professors and design team members with expertise in content accessibility and online instructional design will develop an interactive course that meets current best practices for physical education, which includes social and emotional learning, ensures accessibility and directly aligns with the Maryland Physical Education Framework: Pre-K Through 12th Grade (2020). The course design will include asynchronous modules and optional face-to-face instructional modules that will support in-class instruction. The course will be taught online using the MSDE learning management system, Canvas.

Maryland requires each local school system to offer a standards-based physical education program in grades 9-12 to meet the requirements of the state physical education framework and meet graduation requirements. Physical education plays a critical role as part of a well-rounded education for children. Standards for developing physical education courses, like other academic courses, are based on rigorous national standards.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit the Frostburg State University web site or the FSU Facebook page. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.