Sports PE dep’t eyes Tiktok, Mario Kart, Among Us for GE courses
Sports PE dep’t eyes Tiktok, Mario Kart, Among Us for GE courses
PE dep’t eyes Tiktok, Mario Kart, Among Us for GE courses
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April 1, 2021
Tags: ,
April 1, 2021

After more than a year of staying at home, the return of face-to-face classes seems no closer than before with the recent spike of COVID-19 cases. In the online setup, the Physical Education (PE) Department took advantage of using e-sports as a means to continue online learning behind our own screens. For team and individual sports, Mobile Legends was the first and currently the only game to be introduced to the curriculum. As most e-sport games require a personal computer, the multiplayer online battle arena is accessible for most students, as the only device needed is a mobile phone or a tablet.

But the department is now looking to diversify three of their courses, GEDANCE, GESPORT, and GETEAMS with the addition of more online games and activities. The LaSallian speaks to PE Department Vice Chair, Dr. Janet Mariano, to discuss the changes to the said subjects. 

Tiktok dance craze

Online GEDANCE mainly focuses on students forming their own choreography, pushing them to channel the inner dancers in themselves. Zumba and workout sessions are held every meeting, and as a final requirement, students are required to make their own choreography to showcase their ability.

With the likelihood of Lasallians entering their fourth full-online term in a few months, the department eyes introducing Tiktok to the course. The successor to Musical.ly, Tiktok became a popular open social media platform for people to express themselves—may it be through dancing, singing, acting, and the like.

Mariano observed the exposure that people receive through the application. As a result, she decided it was time for students to benefit from making cheery videos. “Looking through the dances, people are really enjoying themselves, and I could see how it brings so much confidence,” she shares.

Students enrolled in the class are now being required to make a Tiktok account and post weekly videos as a part of their grades. “Tiktok routines are generally easy to follow, which could bring comfort to a lot of the students because most of them already use the application,” she comments.

Students are being challenged to do their own interpretations of viral Tiktok dances like those with the songs Renegade and Heartbreak Anniversary. As part of their midterm and final requirements, students will still need to create a dance routine for themselves.

As Tiktok is a platform that would completely show content from small creators, this application may allow students to go viral overnight. But professors are still contemplating whether or not they should grade students based on the number of views on their videos.

Shift into high gear

Meanwhile, GESPORT tests students in various individual and dual games. Mariano shares that there are already a few games that were approved by administrators to already be included in the subject. The midterm exam, for one, will be a Mario Kart match. She explained that its long-term popularity and simple game mechanics provides as close to a level playing field as possible given the circumstances. 

The finals, meanwhile, will be Fall Guys. The Vice Chair explains the decision of choosing the video game over the popular board game Monopoly. “Fall Guys was chosen because in contrast to Monopoly and Mario Kart, it is fairly new, so it provides a new challenge to our students. This also helps us in grading because their progress dictates their score,” she elaborates.

Other possible games that professors may choose from are NBA2K, FIFA, Fortnite, and a few board games.

This addition spells a radical change when compared to students learning arnis, table tennis, badminton, and other physically taxing sports. However, Mariano pointed out that such sports require mental exercise as well, and this is something that will continue with online games.

Endless possibility

“There are endless possibilities for team sports,” assistant professor John Paul Domingo expressed. As such activities require teamwork, breakout sessions are being utilized for students to talk among their allies during a tournament in Mobile Legends, which is currently what is offered for GETEAMS, the subject that teaches team sports.

The whole PE department plans on creating new rules to accommodate more team-based games such as Among Us, Minecraft, Pictionary, and charades. The popularity of these games is expected to make students gain interest and attend and engage more in their classes.

Domingo shares one of their plans for facilitating the conduct of the said games. For Among Us, there will be a maximum of 40 students in a class, which will be divided into four breakout rooms of up to 10 each, given the game’s player limit. Each group will have two imposters and eight crewmates. Points will be awarded to the crewmate team if they vote off the two imposters, while the imposter team will get points if they win the round. A student’s total number of points will serve as their grade.

“We’re still developing more ideas on how to make this more engaging and entertaining,” Domingo adds. 

These games, however, are still up for approval.  Mariano explains that they need to be okayed by the Office of Sports Development and the Academics Council to make sure they are “Lasallian enough.”

She remarks, “I definitely think that students should be given more options on choosing online games just as how they could get to choose a sport during physical classes.”