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The North Carolina Virtual Public School is excited to announce that it is offering physical education online! Our Fitness – Physical Education course is the entry-level high school course that meets the graduation requirement in North Carolina. Students can enroll in the stand-alone course for .5 credit or take it in conjunction with our health course for the full one credit.

"wii fit at the airport by David King
licensed under CC BY 2.0

Isn't offering physical education in a virtual environment a contradiction? No, not at all. The instruction will be online, but students will still perform in the real world . . . the physical world.

Technology has enhanced fitness programs for years. Starting with the Jack LaLanne broadcasts in the 1950s and exploding with the Jane Fonda workout videos in the 1980s, the fitness community has always used the latest technologies to reach its audience. Modern fitness programs use everything from FitBits to Nike+ Training Club to Fitmo and Wii Fit to engage participants. Our goal is to use modern technology in a similar manner to monitor progress and engage students.

We all understand that the one-size-fits-all model does not work in education. We have all types of learners who all have individual needs. We have also discovered that especially in physical education, not even the one-size-fits-many model works. Students (and athletes) need individualized programs to meet their fitness goals. The most successful programs all have tailored workouts for either individuals or small groups.

For example, our women's national soccer team recently won FIFA's World Cup. Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball Award as the tournament's top player. Lloyd plays for the national team and professionally for the Houston Dash. Nevertheless, Lloyd has her own personal coach in New Jersey. See what that coach does for her in this article from NBC Sports. That is what NCVPS wants to provide -- an individualized physical education program that motivates students to meet their goals.

Students definitely need more fitness options. What we are currently doing is not working for many students.

The Center for Disease Control's report on Physical Activity and Health states that nearly half of American youths (ages 12-21) do not engage in vigorous activity on a regular basis. Youth activity sharply declines as age or grade-level increases.

Shape America's Shape of the Nation reports that 33% of children 6-12 are overweight, and 17% are obese. 34% of teens are overweight, and 17.6% are obese.

We have a lot of room for improvement. We hope to help turn the tide in those outcomes with our online physical education classes.

Our physical education course is aligned to the state's Standard Course of Study for physical education. The fitness components are centered on the four FITT principles:

  • Frequency - How often you are exercising (example: 3 times a week)
  • Intensity - How hard you are exerting yourself during exercise (example: rating your exercise on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how hard you worked)
  • Time - The duration of your exercise session
  • Type - The kinds of exercises (examples: aerobic, strength training, etc.)

All of the instructional components are delivered online just like in our other 155 courses. Instruction is delivered through text, video presentations, audio recordings, illustrative images, and interactive learning objects. Students take online quizzes and tests, participate in online discussion forums, and complete other online activities that the learning modules require.


Video Assignments

"Geração conectada" by Thiago Marques licensed under CC BY 2.0

Throughout the course, students are required to demonstrate physical skills . This is where the virtual world of the classroom meets the physical world of real performance. NCVPS accomplishes this with its video assignment submissions, where students record their performances with video cameras that are on smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, webcams, or any other device that can capture digital video. Students upload their performance videos into our secure platform for teacher review. Our teachers then assess the student performance and provide constructive, meaningful feedback. Students can retake performance skill tests to demonstrate mastery.


Fitness Portfolio

An essential feature of the course is the fitness portfolio, which students keep for the duration of the course. In their portfolios, students establish fitness goals, create a Personal Health Improvement Contract, establish an exercise plan, track their own performances, reflect on their development, and take the first steps in developing a lifelong fitness plan.


Take a look inside one of our physical education courses:

NCVPS is one of many online schools across the nation that provides an online physical education course. Our courses provide some unique benefits for students. Check out our benefits:

  • We assembled some of the top physical education teachers in the state to both design and teach our courses.
  • Our design team worked in conjunction with DPI to create something special!
  • All of our teachers are licensed North Carolina teachers who meet DPI's highly-qualified standards.
  • Our teachers have demonstrated great success in their traditional schools.
  • Students use the technology that they love to help meet their goals.
  • Students use the latest technologies to upload videos of their performances to document their progress.
  • Students can continue working on a particular skill to demonstrate mastery.
  • Students perform in a non-competitive environment. A student's only comparison is to his or her previous performance. Some students suffer from locker room and body image phobias. We eliminate that with our safe and secure environment!
  • Our physical fitness course is aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for physical education. All of the Department of Public Instruction's approved PE Standards are met in this course. The course outline lists all of the topics, standards, and skills covered in each course module.
  • Our courses are designed to meet the individual needs of each student. NCVPS instructors can personalize the experience for each student.
  • Students work at their own level, assess their own fitness, set their own goals, and create a personalized fitness plan that starts them on a lifelong fitness lifestyle.
  • Each student will receive personalized, meaningful feedback from their NCVPS instructor. This is specific feedback to help students improve their performance.

This is personalized learning at it best!

Our physical education course is in its pilot phase during the Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 semesters. Registration will be open statewide for the Spring 2016 semester.

For more information about the pilot and spring registration, please email Karen Creech at karen.creech@ncpublicschools.gov.