Online physical education classes combine instructional reading and tests with physical exercises, such as running, lifting weights or dancing. Students must prove that they have performed the activity by recording heart rate and other health data. Parents sign off on the assignment to confirm students finished the work.
Online physical education activities parallel the direction physical education takes in schools, notes Scholastic.com, with less emphasis on team sports. Schools emphasize programs that give lifelong fitness skills to students with activities such as inline skating, biking and yoga. Student engagement improves when students select their own forms of exercise. Schools also impart safety education to students in these activities.
For students involved in activities or advanced placement programs, taking required classes online helps fit those classes into a difficult schedule, as the online classes do not require set meeting times. Another benefit of online physical education classes is that students with disabilities are able to participate. Students who would be unable to take traditional physical education classes instead take online classes with exercises customized to their needs.
As with any class, some students do try to cheat. Students can look up average heart rates for their demographics online, for example. Having parents sign off on the reports is one safeguard against student cheating. Another safeguard is the use of heart rate monitors, Wii games and other fitness tracking technology to show that the student did the work. This technology also aids in planning and organizing activities that students find interesting, as playing a fitness video game engages students who might not be interested in a traditional sport.