Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2021) 20, 672 - 683   DOI:

Research article
Web-Based and Face-To-Face Autonomy-Supportive Intervention for Physical Education Teachers and Students’ Experiences
Henri Tilga , Hanna Kalajas-Tilga, Vello Hein, Andre Koka
Author Information
Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Estonia

Henri Tilga
✉ Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, 4 Ujula St., Tartu, Estonia
Publish Date
Received: 11-05-2021
Accepted: 16-08-2021
Published (online): 01-09-2021
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The most of the previous autonomy-supportive interventions conducted have been partially effective and used only web-based or face-to-face approach. In the current study, a combined web-based and face-to-face intervention for physical education (PE) teachers was tested to examine whether it would lead to significant changes in students’ self-reports of autonomy-supportive and controlling behaviours, psychological need satisfaction and frustration, and intrinsic motivation. Participants were 57 PE teachers (Mage = 45.70, SD = 12.79) and their 858 middle-school students (Mage = 13.22, SD = 0.75). A randomized controlled design was adopted in which PE teachers and their students were assigned to the combined face-to-face and web-based, face-to-face alone, web-based alone or control group. Face-to-face intervention was provided to PE teachers within one day in an 8-hour workshop and web-based intervention was provided to PE teachers for a period of four weeks. The combined face-to-face and web-based intervention group was the only study group that demonstrated statistically significant changes in all the study variables (i.e., significant increase in cognitive, organisational, and procedural autonomy-supportive behaviour, in psychological need satisfaction for autonomy, competence and relatedness, and in intrinsic motivation, whereas significant decrease in intimidation, controlling use of grades, and negative conditional regard, and in psychological need frustration for autonomy, competence, and relatedness) compared to the control group at a one-month follow-up. There were no significant differences in any of the study variable, except organisational autonomy support and intimidation, between the web-based intervention group and face-to-face intervention group. Both web-based and face-to-face study group students reported significant gains in most of the study variables compared to the control group students at a one-month follow-up. The current findings suggest that future autonomy-supportive interventions for PE teachers should aim to use combined interventions of face-to-face and web-based approach to gain the greatest intervention effects.

Key words: Autonomy support, controlling behaviour, psychological needs, intrinsic motivation, physical education, intervention program

           Key Points
  • The effectiveness of a combined web-based and face-to-face intervention was tested.
  • Physical education teachers enrolled on a web-based and face-to-face intervention.
  • Teachers gained knowledge how to provide autonomy support to their students.
  • Teachers learned how to avoid controlling behaviour toward their students.
  • The combined intervention was the most effective based on the students’ experiences.
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