Introduction Recent educational changes have spurred the need for assessment within the Physical Education field. Although it has always been part of the instructional process – Plan, Teach, Evaluate -it has not received the attention of many physical educators until recently. In the past it was not necessary to use assessment techniques for several reasons. Educators were not required to provide information on student performance to anyone. Both practicality of useful instruments and time needed to complete such assessments appeared to take away from the more relevant parts of
teaching. In addition, professionals in the physical education field were not required to have defined learning outcomes for their students. Today, with the increased emphasis on accountability, physical education teachers in New Hampshire must rethink the place of assessment within their programs. The newly revised NH STANDARDS for Public School Approval (Ed 306 – effective 7/1/2005) addresses assessment in physical education as part of section 306. 41. It states: In the area of physical education, the local school board shall require that each school physical education provides:
Sound assessment practices in physical education that: 1. Match goals and objectives; 2. Require evaluation and synthesis of knowledge and skills; 3. Emphasize higher-order thinking skills; 4. Clearly indicate what the student is asked to do; 5. Are at an appropriate skill level according to: a. State standard; and b. The needs of the individual; 6. Have criteria that are clear to students and teachers; 7. Are engaging and relevant to students; 8. Link to ongoing instruction; 9. Provide feedback to students; 10. Provide cost-effective benefits to students; 11.
Reflect real-world situations; and 12. Emphasize use of available knowledge and skills in relevant problem contexts. In addition, assessment plays a key role in Follow the Child, a recently established New Hampshire Department of Education initiative, under the leadership of Commissioner Lyonel B. Tracy. This initiative, offered to New Hampshire schools and districts, helps schools foster student aspirations to promote student success through an emphasis on personalized learning and assessment and focuses on measuring student growth through all areas of each child’s life. To become a
Follow the Child designated district, the school administrative unit (SAU) must show a commitment to several beliefs including the use of continuous assessment strategies. Therefore, it is imperative that physical education teachers are knowledgeable about assessment and utilize sound practices. 6 What is Assessment? Assessment refers to the process of testing and evaluating students to determine progress towards program goals. It is an important part of any sound physical education program because it helps teachers to measure students’ current levels of ability, progress, and their own teaching effectiveness.
A quality assessment model in physical education involves: 1. formally stating the instructional objectives (cognitive, psychomotor, affective) 2. pre-assessing the students 3. measuring the achievement of objectives using valid and reliable tests during and after the delivery of appropriate instructional activities 4. evaluating student progress towards meeting the objectives 7 What are the Principles that Guide Assessment? A quality assessment model is based on three principles: 1. Establish appropriate instructional objectives using national, state, and local standards or guidelines.
2. Select/use appropriate measures to determine student progress towards meeting instructional objectives. Assessment can take many forms. Both formal and informal tools can be used. (See “What are the Approaches to Assessment? ”) 3. Develop an evaluation scheme that reflects the attainment of instructional objectives. While grading is part of the evaluation scheme, it should not be the only outcome. (See “What is the Relationship between Assessment and Grading? ”)
8 What Do the Components of an Effective Assessment Measure? For an assessment measure to be effective, it needs to include: 1.validity – Does it measure what it claims to measure? There needs to be agreement between what the assessment measures and the performance, skill, or behavior the assessment is designed to measure.
For example, if a test is designed to measure cardiovascular endurance, one must be confident it does so. It is important to remember that validity is specific to a particular use and group. An assessment might be valid for one age group, but not valid for a different age group. 2. reliability – Does it measure consistently?
A reliable assessment should obtain approximately the same results regardless of the number of times it is given. For example, an assessment given to a group of students on one day should yield approximately the same results if it is given to the same group on another day. 3. objectivity – Does the measurement yield highly similar results when administered by others? For example, an assessment has high objectivity when two or more people can administer the same assessment to the same group and obtain approximately the same results.
4. feasibility – Is the measure straightforward and easy to set up and administer? The following administrative considerations may help one determine the feasibility of an assessment. a) Cost: does the assessment require expensive equipment that one does not have or cannot afford to purchase? b) Time: does the assessment take too much instructional time? c) Ease of administration: Does one need assistance to administer the assessment? If so, how will these people be trained? Are the instructions easy to follow? Is the assessment reasonable in the demands that are placed on those being assessed?
d) Scoring: If another person is needed to help administer the assessment, will it affect the objectivity of the scoring? (For example: A person is needed to pitch the ball to the hitter in a softball hitting assessment. ) 5. usefulness – Can the results be used for valid educational purposes such as self-appraisal, program planning, or reporting progress? For example: A worksheet is given to a student so one can demonstrate knowledge of skills/games.
The results could provide to the student an idea of how much is known about skills/games (self-appraisal), to determine where in the lesson this information should be covered (program planning), and/or as part of calculating students grades (reporting progress). 9 What Are the Purposes of Assessment?
1. Student Learning: Assessment is a way for educators to measure progress, strengths, and areas of growth. Many teachers assess their students using a pre-test, mid-term, and post- test to gauge student learning. This may take place throughout a unit or the entire school year. 2. Improvement of Teaching: Teachers use assessment to determine what is effective in their teaching practices; what is working and what needs improvement. A variety of assessment tools may be used in order to determine what types of instruction are most beneficial in meeting the needs of students. 3.
Communication: Assessment should serve as a means of communication between educators, students, administrators, and parents. Parents and students often look at assessment to see WHAT is being learned, HOW progress is being measured, and the TYPE of instruction being received. Educators and administrators use assessment to evaluate teaching practices and to determine if there are gaps in the curriculum. 4. Program Evaluation: Assessment can prove a good measure of one’s program, revealing evidence of the effectiveness of that program, throughout the year, assessment can offer direction to the program and modifications can be made to increase both student and instructional success.
5. Program Support: Consistent assessment can be used to validate one’s program. Data gained is objective and can show evidence of goals and objectives being met by both student and teacher. With clear data presented, a strong measure of program support may follow. 6. Motivation: Assessment shows progress. When improvement is shown, students feel Positive about their learning environment. Documented assessment can offer proof of growth, thus enhancing students’ motivation to perform to the best of their ability.
10 What Should be Assessed? The Three Domains of Learning Throughout a child’s development there are three domains of learning that exist in order to educate the whole child. Psychomotor, cognitive, and the affective domains give meaning to learning. These are essential in allowing a child to explore the learning environment and obtain as much information about the world as possible. The three Domains are: 1. Psychomotor- The performance component; exploring one’s environment and gaining skills throughout the process. 2. Cognitive-The knowledge component; thinking, associating experiences with learning. 3.
Affective-Personal and social development. Providing children with opportunities to interact with others in order to gain a sense of themselves and those around them. Incorporation of the 3 Domains in Physical Education According to David Gallahue, in physical education the three domains are interwoven to give meaning to movement. When children understand WHY their body functions the way it does (cognitive), they can begin to attain skill competency (psychomotor) and associate positive feelings with physical activity (affective). a. Psychomotor domain -the heart of physical education is developing competent motor skill abilities.
b. Cognitive domain- an understanding of movement concepts and principles that allow children to become more efficient movers and learners through movement. c. Affective domain – development of acceptable social and personal behaviors in physical activity settings that allow for a productive learning environment with students working responsibly both individually and as members of a group. Assessment of the Three Domains in Physical Education When assessing the psychomotor domain, one is measuring the development of motor skills and health related fitness.
For example, at the primary level, students demonstrate skipping by performing the skill using the step, hop pattern or at the intermediate level, students participate in the FitnessGram assessment program. When assessing the cognitive domain, one is measuring student knowledge of movement concepts, principles, strategies and tactics.
For example, at the middle school level students articulate the skill pattern of the underhand throw (“ready, swing back, step, follow through”) or describe a strategy used to defend territory during an activity. 11 When assessing the affective domain, one is measuring the development of acceptable social and personal behaviors in physical activity settings.
For example, at the high school level, students fill out a self reflection about their performance, complete a peer evaluation or identify, follow and, when appropriate, create safety guidelines for participation in physical activity settings. 12 What Are the Approaches to Assessments? What is Formal and Informal Assessment? Teachers can collect information using either formal or informal evaluation. Formal assessment is usually standardized.
This standardization allows the teacher to interpret student performance and provides an objective way to assess learning. Informal assessment, sometimes termed alternative/authentic assessment, often relies on observation techniques. What is Traditional Assessment? The term traditional assessment is used to describe the means of gathering information on student learning through techniques such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and matching questions, as well as essays.
These approaches are particularly useful in assessing students’ knowledge of information, concepts, and rules. They are also appropriate for assessing students’ knowledge of the terms and processes involved in a career. Because factual knowledge of information is one important aspect of applied technology, carefully designed multiple-choice and matching questions can enable the teacher to quickly assess student mastery of content knowledge. However, an effective assessment evaluates knowledge of facts as well as the connection to a broader body of knowledge.
Proficiency in applied technology depends on the ability to know and integrate facts about all aspects of industry into useful constructs. What is Alternative Assessment? Teachers from all academic fields are now being held accountable for the performance of their students. This level of accountability requires teachers to document student learning. In addition to traditional assessment, more physical education teachers are incorporating “real-life” learning in their classes. These alternative or authentic assessments focus on the use of what is learned in real- life settings.
“Alternative assessment techniques can be applicable to using assessment as a “learning experience” that is part of the instructional process rather than something that is “done to” students (Rink, 2006). Alternative assessment takes time. The teacher must balance the need for reliable and valid information against the practical issues involved in limited program time and too many students.
Yet these assessments are gaining in popularity because they tend to focus on more meaningful “real-life” learning. Authentic assessment focuses on the use of what is learned in real-life settings. Alternative assessments techniques can be used for all of the learning domains and are most applicable to using assessment as a “learning experience” that is part of the instructional process. Most alternative assessment relies heavily on the assessor making a judgment about some performance. This performance could be about a physical skill or ability, an affective or cognitive behavior. 13
What are the Different Types of Assessment that are Used in Physical Education? Many types of assessments can be used by educators to collect information and provide students with a variety of learning experiences. The following are a few types of assessments used in physical education. After each type, the approach (formal or informal) is noted in italics. . Observation is one of the most common forms of assessment used in physical education. Observational data is a useful form of assessment for the teacher to assess student performance. It is also one of the most useful self and peer assessment activities.
When the students are provided a set of criteria to assess their performance or the performance of others, they are learning what is important in what you are trying to teach them and learn to focus their efforts on improvement. (Rink, 2006). An example of each assessment noted below has been placed in Appendix I. • Checklist: associate with observation data; used to identify a particular behavior or characteristic of performance with established criteria. Informal • Performance task: are meaningful “culminating” experiences that can be accomplished within a single instructional period.
Examples would include a dance routine, warm-up routine, locomotor skill sequences, skit, role playing, and oral report. Informal • Rating scale: associated with observation data; determines degree Informal • Record of performance: ‘Snapshot’ of performance from daily tasks (i. e. win/loss, fitness scores, skill assessments) Formal • Rubric: used to assess complex behavior; a multidimensional rating scale.
Formal • Student interview, survey and questionnaire: used to gather information on student thinking and feeling. Informal • Student journal: are often used as a “notebook” where students are asked to reflect on their performance/ express their feelings, perceptions and attitudes about their experiences in physical education. Informal • Student log:
Establish a record of participation or some other behavior or characteristic over time. Formal • Student project: designed as a learning and assessment experience. Students are asked to investigate, design/construct, and present their work in some form. Formal • Written test/worksheet: Is the most common form of assessment in all content areas. It is considered the best way for teachers to determine student knowledge. Formal A portfolio has not been listed above as a type of student assessment.
Although it may mean many things to some, within this document a portfolio is considered a representative collection of learning over time. It should demonstrate progress and learning. Students today are part of a highly technological world. Therefore, assessments might include audio-visuals (posters, white boards, easels) and computer-assisted techniques (i. e. mind mapping, imovies, powerpoint, movement skill videos). These knowledge or performance assessments can be compiled in an electronic portfolio that would demonstrate learning over time. 14 Types of Student Assessment Used in Physical Education.
There are many types of assessments that can be used by teachers to collect information. The type of assessment chosen needs to match the student learning goals. The chart on the following page is an attempt to provide several examples of both traditional and alternative assessments. The format was modified from the following resource: Hopple, C. J. (1995). Teaching for outcomes in elementary physical education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetic 15 TYPES of STUDENT ASSESSMENT Traditional Approaches Alternative Approaches Teacher Generated Student Products Written Tests/Worksheets Selected Response.
Formats Limited Open-ended Formats Audio/visual Written Performance Tasks Responses selected from given alternatives Brief, written response constructed Generated for exhibition/display Written response generated Physical or cognitive behaviors Multiple-choice Open response Banner Essay, story, poem Skit / role playing True & false Short answer Photo exhibit Research paper Officiate a game Matching /association Label diagram Artwork – black & white Anecdotal Fitness assessment Corrective true & false Fill-in-the- blank Videotape Student journal Debate Concept maps Personal fitness plan Oral report.
Poster Student log Instruct a lesson Powerpoint Advertisement Interview imovie Brochure Showcase Audiotape Checklist Movement sequence – dance, gymnastics, locomotor, etc. Rating Scale Warm-up routine Rubric – teacher, peer, self Game play Model of athlete (clay, styrofoam) Record of performance Newspaper Magazine construction Reflection Student project Pre-assessment inventory Student survey, interview, questionnaire Editorial 16 Who Should Assess and Who Can Assess? There are a number of potential ways to assess within physical education. In order for assessment to be successful, it must be practical.
The following will identify some ideas and suggestions that can make assessment feasible, useful, and meaningful for both the learner and teacher. Assessment can be completed by the teacher, student, or peer. The more traditional model where the teacher is assessing is often not feasible from a practical perspective. However, if one of the teacher’s objectives is to plan and provide opportunities that result in student responsibility, then it appears logical to involve students in the assessment process whenever appropriate.
Self Assessment: Self assessment can be used throughout the instructional process. This provides both a quick and practical way for the teacher to collect information. Student progress can be recorded using one or more of the following tools – student journal, notebook, index cards – that are completed and submitted to the teacher. Teacher Assessment: Simple checklists, rating scales, and/or rubrics can be used by teacher to assess student performance.
In addition, the use of technology in the classroom or gymnasium can be used to assess student performance and student behavior. The videotape, CD and DVD can be viewed at a later time. Peer Assessment: With clear directions from the teacher, peers can collect information that can indicate student progress.
Again, checklists, rating scales, or rubrics can provide criteria for making judgments. Peer assessment requires students to focus on the criteria, allowing them to develop observation skills. For peer assessment to be effective, the teacher needs to teach the observational process. 17 When Should Assessment Occur? ssessment should occur on a continuous basis throughout the year. Assessment used prior to instruction (pre-assessment) could provide information about the students and help establish learning objectives. Assessment used during instruction can provide feedback to both the teacher and students. Finally, assessment at the end of instruction (post assessment) can determine if learning objectives were met and/or if changes or more work in a particular area is warranted.
1. Formative versus Summative: a. Formative Assessment is done continuously throughout the learning and instruction period. This type of assessment provides feedback that can be used to alter, fine-tune, or modify what has been done. Both teacher and student can use the information gained to improve either teaching practices or learning methods. Traditionally, this is not graded but used as a diagnostic tool.
b. Summative Assessment occurs at the end of the learning unit. “The purpose of summative assessment is to measure how well students have learned key content and skills as defined by the unit’s learning goals and objectives” (http://www. state. ct. us/sde/dtl/ta/seminarseries/online_seminars/phys_ed/4. htm) 2. Pre-Assessment versus Post Assessment: a. Pre-assessment tools are used at the beginning of instruction. Results from pre- assessment are used as a basis for setting reasonable and attainable goals. This allows teachers and students to identify and work on areas that need improvement.
b Post assessment tools are used at the end of the learning unit to evaluate student progress and achievement. The post assessment results can be compared to the pre assessment results to measure how well individual students have mastered content and skills and to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. c. Some of the assessment tools may be used for both pre-assessment and post assessment. For example, the Fitnessgram can be administered in the fall (as a pre-assessment) to help establish health-related fitness goals. Then it could be given again in the spring (as a post assessment) to measure process toward established goals.
18 Where Should One Begin? Using performance tasks for assessment: A performance task is a type of performance assessment in which students physically perform the skill or desired product to be assessed. If one chooses to use performance tasks for assessment the following suggestions should be kept in mind: 1. Choose a task that fits the level and is realistic for both teacher and students. 2. To begin, only assess 1-2 specific classes until becoming familiar with the process. 3. Find performance tasks that can be used to assess outcomes from more than one unit. 4. Use performance tasks for formal and informal assessment. 5.
Use assessment stations, when possible. That way one can focus attention on fewer students at a time. 6. Record the names of students who do not perform the task (usually there are fewer). 7. When planning units, specifically plan for assessment time. Do not wait until the last minute to think about assessment. Using portfolio tasks for assessment: Portfolios provide teachers with an authentic form of assessment. They can be used by teachers and students to see progress over time. Physical education teachers need to adapt the use of portfolio tasks to their unique classroom setting. Useful strategies to do this include: 1.
Portfolios need to last over time. Therefore, they need to be sturdy enough to handle a variety of papers. Students can personalize them, if desired. Make sure their names (last name, first name) are written in a common, visible place on the portfolio. 2. Decide what should go into the portfolio. This could be a combination of in- class and out-f-class work. Examples might include fitness scores, skill checklists, journal logs, fitness logs, reflections, and worksheets. 3. Store the portfolios by class in a crate or box with handles. Store them in an accessible place. 4. Develop a protocol for students to use when submitting work.
5. Make sure to plan time to review the work in the portfolios. 6. Begin using portfolios with 1-2 classes. In the beginning portfolio tasks may not be necessary for every unit. 19 How Do I Manage This Thing Called Assessment? Management is crucial in implementing any assessment strategy. Establishing assessment protocols will save teachers time and effort. The first step in effective management of assessment is to develop, teach, support students in practicing assessment protocols.
Scheimer (1999) stated that assessment protocols provide students with an organized method for obtaining the assessment materials (i. e., paper, pencil, or portfolio), selecting a private area in the gym to complete the assessment, and collecting the materials at the end of the assessment episode. Examples of assessment protocols include: 1. distributing assessment materials 2. collecting assessments 3. ensuring names and dates on papers 4. arranging assessment materials (when teaching back to back classes)
5. dealing with insufficient assessment materials 6. accommodating nonreaders and/or non-English speaking students 7. accommodating students with special needs The following are suggestions for assessment protocols that have been used by effective teachers, both within the context of physical education and regular classroom teachers. Each protocol can have its drawbacks – experimentation may lead to perfection. Each protocol may need to be modified depending upon the number of students, age/grade of students and use of student aides.
Distributing Assessment Materials The key to this assessment protocol is getting the students involved. A class can be divided into smaller groups (no more than 8 students per group). Each group then has a specific equipment area where the necessary assessment materials (as well as the equipment needed for that lesson) are located.
Before class begins, the teacher places the necessary assessment materials (and/or equipment) in each equipment area. When it is time to work with the assessment materials (and/or equipment), students go to their group’s equipment area, select the materials (and/or equipment) needed, and return to their designated work space. Collecting Assessments The teacher uses a moveable filing cabinet containing folders with identified markings as tabs.
These 25” x 15” systems hold approximately 300 folders, depending on the amount of information collected. It is the students’ responsibility to submit or remove papers from the class or personal student folder as requested by the teacher. Within each personal folder, files can be categorized by color paper inserts. 20 Ensuring Names and Dates on Papers To keep accurate track of submitted papers, have students write their name or school code, date, and class on each paper.
The teacher can fill in the information for students who are absent as this will help keep track of students who have not completed assessments. Arranging Assessment Materials When Teaching Back to Back Classes One of the easiest ways to organize materials is to color code them. Use different colored folders
for each class/grade level. Place the assessment worksheets and/or record keeping sheets to be used for that class/grade in each folder. Teachers can help students learn to find the correct folder for their class and take the materials from it. Dealing with Insufficient Assessment Materials Due to the tightness of school budgets, money is often focused on equipment and curriculum rather than materials needed for assessment. However, there are ways to deal with this situation if a teacher is inventive and frugal. Paper: Use recycled paper (one side) and cutting the paper in half or quarters (elementary).
Provide a notebook or white lined paper specifically for physical education (secondary). Use chalk boards/ dry erase boards with the teacher making notations on a separate sheet. Writing utensils: Often times at the end of the year, teachers give away crayons that are no longer part of a complete set. Check with the custodians who frequently have collected a bucketful of pencils and pens as they clean the buildings after school. Upper level students may be asked to provide their own pencils or if stations are used, students can share writing implements. In addition, do not be afraid to ask business or community groups for help.
Getting two or three boxes of pencils and a ream of paper may be sufficient to use for assessment annually. Accommodating Nonreader and/or Non-English Speaking Students The ideal would be to have a tutor and/or translator in the gymnasium, however, not all schools budget for this. However, since visual models are a key component in helping these students, the following could be used: A. large pictures posted on the walls B. large words with phonetic break downs C. the English alphabet posted on the walls D. flash cards E. teacher/student mirroring F. peer mirroring 21 Accommodating Students with Special Needs.
Each student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) should be reviewed for necessary accommodations. When a paraprofessional is available, he/she should guide students using a variety of specific modifications as specified in the IEP to access the curriculum and assist in assessment. Consultation with the physical education teacher is critical in this process. When a paraprofessional is not available, the physical educator should utilize the identified modifications as outlined in each student’s IEP for both program development and student assessment.
These may include the use of adaptive equipment and/or peer partners for guidance to assist the student. 22 What is Grading? Grading reports a student’s level of performance and usually includes many assessment measures. Grades are useful for evaluating individual student performance. Grading can be used to motivate students and help them understand that learning is important. Grades provide students and parents with feedback regarding progress and achievement. In addition, grades may provide insight for teachers about instructional planning and for administrative purposes. Grades are needed for student rank, credits, and promotion. 23 What is the Relationship between Assessment and Grading?
Assessment is information gathered that examines what has been taught, practiced and learned. Many different assessment techniques may be used to evaluate students’ progress. Grading is a report on students’ level of performance. Goals and objectives should be set prior to assessment used for grading. The students’ grade should reflect a level of achievement compared to the objectives. Assessment reflects performance; grading attaches value to performance. 24 New Hampshire Curriculum Guidelines/Objectives Alignment with Assessment Examples . Curriculum Guideline 1: Engages in a physically active lifestyle Since Guideline 1.
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