Learning Yoga Poses through Use of an ID Module

Learning Yoga Poses through Use of an ID Module
Deanna Pasternak
University of Hawaii
1715 Fern St. Apt 401 Honolulu, HI 96826
When most people think about Yoga, the association that comes to mind is a dark, quiet
room full of people who are in tip-top shape stretching in poses most of us could never dream of
doing. When in reality, there are many different varieties and levels of Yoga that almost anyone
can participate in. Some varieties that are specifically modified for chronic pain sufferers are
done sitting down and with many kinds of props, meaning no all of the ways include contorting
yourself into difficult poses. Yoga has many benefits for the average person, including health and
stress relieving benefits. The biggest challenge some people face when thinking about beginning
a Yoga practice is where to begin. When a person decides they want to begin a Yoga practice,
they might ask friends for recommendations on a class, buy a Yoga video, or even check out
local Yoga Studio websites. Many of these websites offer basic information on what to expect
when coming to your first Yoga class, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was an introductory
module hosted on the website so that beginning students had something to try out before they
came to their first class? A module that provided background information and tips for the
newcomer to ensure they know enough to safeguard themselves from injuries by trying to
perform a pose either before they are physically able or incorrectly. This module would also
offer immediate feedback for the new student so they would know how well they were doing as
they proceeded through the module. The purpose of this ID project is to develop and evaluate a
multimedia instructional module for teaching adults with varied Yoga experience the correct way
to perform Yoga poses.
There has been a good deal of research showing that technology can be a positive aid in
the learning process of exercise and other psychomotor skills. Gallaway and Lauzon (2006)
found that video games, such as Dance Dance Revolution were extremely helpful in getting
sedentary children to perform physical activity. The game, also used in research by Epstein et al.
(2007), was found to be more effective than a stationary bicycle for getting children to exercise.
These findings show the importance for the exercise experience to be engaging in order for
people to want to continue participating. A research study conducted by Salyers (2007) found
that nursing students taking courses that taught psychomotor skills delivered on a web based
system outperformed the students that did not have access to the web based tool. The study
found the web based system to be more engaging and the participants found the material to be
more interesting when presented in an online multimedia format. These participants were also
better able to transfer the skills learned in the modules to real life situations better than students
who were taught by the traditional lecture format.
When online learning was first being developed and implemented, many educators
believed it could never be as effective as face-to-face learning because of the lack of interaction
and tailored feedback. While many still believe this, there is now evidence that students learn
just as much online as they do in a traditional classroom (Swan, 2003). Online education
provides learners with flexible and convenient methods of learning. Learners have the ability to
work at their own pace as well as work from remote locations. A literature review performed by
the U.S. Department of Education (2009) found that students who taking all or part of their class
online performed better and spent more time on task than those students who are taking their
courses only through face-to-face instruction. However, online methods of delivery can lack
face-to-face communication and the hands-on aspect of traditional education. Participants who
most prefer online delivery believe that the convenience is the most influential factor in their
preference (Donavant, 2007).
Multimedia delivery methods can be used as a way to deliver online instruction. While
the visual design of these modules is important, the content, context, and the individual learner
determine the level of learning that takes place (Cisco Systems, Inc., 2008). “Chunking” of
information into smaller units can make modules more effective and palatable. Research has also
found that learning style does not significantly effect a participant’s enjoyment of an online
module or on the participant’s success in completing the module (Du-Charme-Hansen, DupinBryant). The works of Mayer, Moreno, and other researchers have helped to form a set of
principles related to multimedia and modality. These principles state that using words, pictures,
and animation in addition to text is more effective than relying on text-only instruction. The
placement of extraneous words, pictures, and sounds can hinder learning and the manipulation of
the learning materials can also increase the impact. It has been found “the reality is that the most
effective designs for learning adapt to include a variety of media, combinations of modalities,
levels of interactivity, learner characteristics, and pedagogy based on a complex set of
circumstances” (Cisco Systems, Inc., 2008).
An application that has come to represent new media delivery is Adobe Flash. Flash is
currently being used on the Web for delivery of information because of its capabilities of
bringing together text, images, animations, sound, and video into a small file format. In the past,
Flash was mainly associated with only being used to create animation for entertainment purposes
(calling its projects a movie), but increasingly it is being used to create informative text-based
applications and content rich compositions. New versions of Flash refer the output products as
“documents” or “projects” showing the shift away from being just a product for entertainment
(Sorapure, 2006). Flash animation can be written to include embedded video clips. The value of
adding this video is largely dependant on how it is used. Video can provide a nurturing value that
can aid in motivations and positive attitudes and motivation has been linked to attention variables
(Choi & Johnson, 2005) associated with multimedia learning.
The objective of this module is to determine the effectiveness of a multimedia-based
module as a learning tool in Yoga education. The system the module will affect is Yoga classes
offered at the University of Hawaii. The subsystem affected by this module is the individual
students in the class as well as the instructor of the class. The affected supra system is the field of
Yoga education. The factors in affecting the system would be the interaction between the teacher
and the students while involved in taking this class. The factors affecting the subsystem of the
learner are the participants’ beliefs and values, motivation, friends and family, expectations of
the class, time for practice and prior Yoga knowledge. The participants’ technology background
as well as access to technology is also an important factor. These factors affect things like why
the student chose to take the course and what their attitude will be going into the class. It will
also affect the amount of time the participant dedicates to practicing Yoga on his or her own. The
factors affecting the supra system of Yoga as a whole would be creators of Yoga instruction as
well as Yoga marketing, These factors influence what people know about Yoga and how it is
This instructional module is intended for people who are either new to Yoga or current
Yoga students who are interested in additional assistance outside of the classroom in making sure
they are doing the poses correctly and safely. The sample population chosen to test this module
will be participants in a specific Yoga class offered at the University of Hawaii. These
participants were chosen because of their accessibility to the researcher. The researcher was able
to obtain permission to use these participants from the chair of the University of Hawaii
Kinesiology Department. This is an introductory course to Yoga so most of the participants will
have little or no knowledge of Yoga prior to starting the course. They need this module so that
less course time can be spent talking about the poses and more time can be spent doing them
safely. This module can also help ensure that participants are quickly able to perform poses in
the recommended manner. The instructor will be able to give the module to the participants to
complete at their own convenience and therefore have more time to dedicate to instruction. This
Yoga class represents the target population because this is a voluntary introductory course
assuming no prior Yoga knowledge. Participants will be college students, but they can be any
age group over 18 as well as either female or male and will be from diverse backgrounds.
When designing this instructional module, the framework used will be to give the name
of the pose, an explanation about the purpose of doing it, and some tips on ensuring the pose is
done correctly. Following the instruction will be self-check questions with feedback for the
participant. It will also include warnings has to how the participant can be injured if the pose is
done incorrectly. Accompanying the poses introduction and explanation will be visual aids, such
as a video or photo, showing the participant the correct way to do the pose from various angles
and highlighting known problem areas. The learning objectives will be related to the
participants’ ability to pick out the proper and safe way to complete a pose upon viewing the
module. The ADDIE model will be applied throughout design process. This module will be
delivered in a Flash format giving it the advantage for delivery on both Windows and Macintosh
computers, low computer requirements for use, as well as wide range of familiarity and ease of
creation. It will be offered online hosted on a website, but it will also be given to the participants
on a USB thumb drive. The designer chose to offer it online because it can be accessed wherever
the participant has Internet access. The module will also be given out on the thumb drive as a
reminder and motivation to participate.
The module will be structured with an introduction explaining the purpose of the module
and what the participant should expect. The module will cover 5 Yoga poses that the instructor
of the class has not yet covered. Each pose will be introduced and explained on a separate screen
with video and photos along with text. The poses will be introduced in the sequence they are
normally presented in the instructor’s class. The main improvement from other Yoga instruction
will be the use of immediate feedback in the form of self-check questions following the
explanation of each pose. The questions and feedback are designed to eliminate frequent
problems encountered by beginning students for each pose.
This module will be created on a Macintosh with Photoshop, iMovie and Flash.
Photoshop will be used to manipulate and edit any of the photos, iMovie will be used for video
editing as necessary, and Flash will be used to create the main module components. Data will be
anonymously collected from the surveys and questionnaires using Google Forms. The College of
Education portal survey creation tool will be used to create the pre and post-tests. The
participants will need access to a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux based computer as well as a
web browser with Internet access in order to participate in this module. A listing of where to
access computers on campus will be included with the module instructions. In order to ensure the
protection of the subjects participating in this study, appropriate measures such as paper consent
forms will be passed out before participation. All participation will be voluntary and the
embedded, pre and posttest answers will not contain user identifiable information. The surveys
will also be anonymous.
Peers both familiar with and not familiar with Yoga will give formative evaluation of the
module. The course instructor will also be consulted as a subject matter expert. The course
instructor is familiar with the proper way of doing the poses and the appropriate language to use
in the module. From working with the chair of the Kinesiology department, the researcher will
obtain the instructors contact information. The module will be trialed by fellow ETEC students
as well as Yoga students. This test group was selected because they offer a mix of people
familiar with Yoga, or instructional design so the feedback will cover content and theories of
instructional design.
There will be pre-tests, posttests and embedded tests created for this module. There will
be questions related to demographics, prior Yoga knowledge, attitudes and questions related to
determining the effectiveness and clarity of the module. Questions will also be structured to
gather feedback and suggestions on how to revise the module and if it was clear, understandable,
and to measure the modules effectiveness. The instructor of the class will also be given a chance
to offer feedback and suggestions through a survey after the module testing is completed.
The researcher has developed a timeline for how to complete the project. The researcher
will complete Flash courses through the Outreach College in October and November to obtain
better knowledge to create the module. The researcher will become familiar with the IRB process
and begin working on the survey questions. The module will be developed in October with a
formative evaluation happening at the end of October. The participants from the UH class will
then evaluate the module in November or early December. Data will then be analyzed and the
findings and recommendations presented at TCC. The participants will sign the waiver forms and
be given a thumb drive with the module on it. They will have one week to finish the module.
They will be able to access the module on any computer with an Internet connection. They will
then evaluate the module and complete the pre and posttest evaluations.
Data will be analyzed by comparing scores from pre and posttest and by the open ended
survey questions. The module will be limited to the students in one class. If there are not enough
volunteers in this class, it could be opened up to another class. The feedback of the instructor
will also be analyzed. The information covered in this module will be focused on injury
prevention and doing Yoga poses correctly. It will only cover five poses, because the participants
will need to remember what they learned so that they can apply it in class.
Initially this module was going to be done in Wist Hall with ETEC student volunteers.
After meeting with my advisor, he contacted the chair of the Kinesiology Department and was
able to obtain permission for me to complete this module in one of the on campus Yoga classes.
This is a much better real life scenario for testing the module in. Flash was chosen as the tool to
create this module because of the ease of developing a professional looking module and the ease
of accessibility for the participants.
There are assumptions about the learners that have been made in the creation of this
module. It is assumed that they have access a computer with Internet access and will know how
to navigate a website and use a USB thumb drive. It is also assumed that they are taking this
course because they are interested in learning the subject and therefore might be more willing
participants in this module. The assumptions of reading level and comprehension are that it is at
least at a college level and that the group will be a diverse population.