Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific congresses, conferences, and events had to be cancelled on a wide scale both in Germany and worldwide. However, thanks to digitalization, it was often possible to offer alternative broadcasting options at short notice, for example in the form of video conferences. Thanks to the commitment of Dr. Daniela Schwarz and Elke Langbein from the extended team of the Associate Professorship of Didactics in Sport and Health, this year's edition of the “InPhysEd” (“Inclusive Physical Education”) Summer School, which was originally planned to take place on the island of Malta, could be hosted digitally. The pilot project was funded by “EIT Health”, an EU-funded initiative working together to improve health throughout Europe.
Under the motto “Making physical education inclusive and open to all” participants from different countries and disciplines will be enabled to develop solutions for integrating students with intellectual disabilities into physical education. The “InPhysEd” Summer School pursues an entrepreneurial and pedagogical approach to the future challenges of health-oriented physical education in Europe.
The three-week program consisted of two digital presence phases with various guest lectures and workshops as well as a week of individual and group work coordinated independently by the participants. “The entire Summer School was completely interactive, as 30 to 40 people were always involved. The individual programme elements were very entertaining”, explains Dr. Daniela Schwarz.
Experts for the guest lectures and workshops included René Dekker, former head coach of the Dutch national swimming team, Maureen Clarke from the Special Olympics Europe/Asia, and Prof. Roy McConkey, professor emeritus for developmental disabilities from the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland).
As a result, all possibilities for digital interaction were fully utilised. “We did some sports units together in front of the screen and worked with so-called breakout rooms for the group work, into which individuals were randomly assigned by the system”, says Elke Langbein describing the procedure. “Furthermore, we used survey and feedback tools, and tested the 'Mentimeter', which allowed us to get real-time feedback. It was nice to see that these tools could also be used by our highly diverse target group, who may not have been as digitally active before."
“We wanted to see if it made sense to bring the Summer School curriculum into an online format”, says Dr. Schwarz. “We were afraid that the participants would not be sufficiently collected enough and that this would result in a high dropout rate from the event. Fortunately, however, we now have proof that it also works brilliantly digitally.” Elke Langbein is also more than satisfied in her conclusion: “We were very happy that the whole event worked out just as we had planned.” Thanks to the commitment of the international experts and the Special Olympics, the online event was a promising start for future inclusive teaching of people with and without disabilities.
If the current global situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic allows it, then despite the successful implementation of the first digital “InPhysEd” Summer School, the originally planned event will be held again as an on-site event in Malta in autumn 2020.
Dr. Daniela Schwarz
Uptown München, Campus D
Georg-Brauchle Ring 60/62
phone: 089 289 24537
Uptown München, Campus D
phone: 089 289 24474
Text: Romy Schwaiger
Photos: Dr. Daniela Schwarz/Elke Langbein/"EIT Health"