Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Performance Assessment and Rubrics/Elementary Physical Education

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How Well Do They play?

By ReAnne Shields


Learning Targets[edit | edit source]

Readers will be able to identify different assessments used for physical education

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Assessments are very important to the learning process. With the use of assessments it allows for teachers and students to see how they are progressing in particular subject areas. Is the student learning the correct information and retaining it well? And is the teacher giving effective lessons that allow the student to learn and understand? These are two of the main questions that revolve around the idea of assessments.

When looking at subjects other than the basic math, English, history, and science, how do teachers assess their students? As for physical education there are a few assessments used to see how well their students are doing with specific motor skills or sport activities.

Physical Education Assessments[edit | edit source]

In physical education it is very important for students to be assessed by the teacher and themselves. This way students and teachers can see where the student may be physically with different skills and activities. “The most widely-used assessment in PE are fitness test”. (Jefferies, Jefferies, and Mustain, 1997) With fitness test teachers take the scores from each student and compare them to a table of norms and from that students are given a rating. (Jefferies, Jefferies, and Mustain, 1997) Many teachers have their students perform fitness test at the beginning and end of the school year to see what progress the student has made throughout the year. Along with that main assessment, there are other assessments that are used for other motor skills and sport activities. According to Melograno, in his article “Integrating Assessment into Physical Education Teaching,” the author goes into the different techniques for assessment that a physical education teacher can consider using for their class.

The different assessment techniques are good when assessing other aspects of a physical education class. The techniques are as followed: teacher directed, peer, self, and portfolio assessments. For the purpose of elementary students the best techniques to assess their performance is teacher directed assessments and self-assessments. Peer and portfolio assessments would work better for secondary schools, because they require more responsibility than most elementary students would be capable of doing.

The teacher directed assessment is split into achievement test which “are usually designed to measure perceptual motor skills, motor ability, physical fitness, and sport skills, observational inventories- which provide a record of students’ cognitive motor and affective behavior through checklists and rating scales, and written test- which provides a direct measure of knowledge and higher order abilities like application and synthesis.” (Melograno, 1997)

The self-assessment, “students make critical and valid assessments of their own abilities. Performance is compared to individual target goals, peer standards, teacher established criteria, or all of these.” (Melograno, 1997) Here students have the opportunity to critique themselves on their performance and set goals they would like to reach.

These assessments are mainly based on performance, where teachers “require students to demonstrate specific skills and competencies rather than simply selecting one of several predetermined answers to a question.” (Hensley, 1997) By using performance-based assessment the students are able to exhibit their skills learned and they can assess themselves as can the teacher, by using both techniques mentioned above.

How to use Assessments[edit | edit source]

These assessments are also used to not only work on the progress of students but to improve the teaching of the different motor skills and sports. There are a few steps in using assessments to help with program structure and they are “ Step 1: Identify what students are expected to achieve as a result of instruction in each grade, Step 2: Standardize assessment procedures and instruments, Step 3: Validate assessments, Step 4: Aggregate results, and Step 5: Act on results.” (Allen, 2002) And as teachers take these steps at the end of the year they themselves are able to assess how their instruction went and from there improve on it. Setting certain standards for the different grade levels and putting together a rubric to follow helps with this process.

As a teacher you want to make sure you are able to break down the steps of different skills just enough that you and the student are able to record/follow the progress. (Jeffries, Jeffries, and Mustain, 1997)

Generic Scoring Rubric Score
Demonstrate mastery of sport specific skills and ability to consistently perform with little or no conscious effort resulting in few errors. Extensive knowledge base and understanding of sports or activity. Employs effective strategy specific to the task or situation 5-Excellent
Demonstrates competency and ability to perform basic skills without making many errors. Complete understanding of rules and strategies of the specific sport or activity. Usually selects appropriate strategy and skill for situation and generally displays consistent performance. 4-Good
Displays basic knowledge of sport or activity and ability to perform fundamental skills adequately to be able to play game. Performance is frequently inconsistent, resulting in numerous errors being made. Understands basic strategies, but lacks ability to effectively employ. 3-Satisfactory
Demonstrates inability to perform more than the basic skills. Has difficulty in executing even the basic skills, making frequent errors, some critical, during performance. Generally inconsistent performance with only a minimal understanding or strategies and rules. 2-Fair
Rarely, if ever performs skills well enough to be able to play a meaningful game. Demonstrates little understanding of sport or activity and inability to execute skills without making significant and frequent errors. Makes little attempt to adjust performance. 1-Poor

(Hensley, 1997)

Using a model such as this would be good for a PE teacher assessing skills and even knowledge. For example a PE teacher can have his or her students play a game of baseball and pay attention to how each student responds to the different task and skills of the game. When batting, the student knows where to place their hands on the bat, how to stand, and where to place the bat. The students understand the concept of a strike and ways that's players get out. Each of these areas can be assessed by using a rubric. Some students may understand a little more or a little less than what is expected. By using a generic rubric such as this one helps the teacher have a good idea of how and what the students are taking in.

Assessing students in physical education is important and there are many ways to assess, its up to you as a teacher to choose which assessment is best for the activity.

Review Questions[edit | edit source]

1. Which of the following is not an assessment used by PE teachers?
a.competition assessment testing
c.performance based assessment
d.teacher-directed assessment

2. Which assessments are best used for elementary aged students?
a.Peer Assessment
b.Self Assessment
c.Teacher Directed
d.Both B & C

3. Ms Anderson is teaching her K-5 students basketball skills. For her first grade students who are working on dribbling with one hand, which assessment will not dictate they are progressing from dribbling with two hands?
a. a self assessment
b. a performance assessment
c.Ms Anderson using a rubric
d.a written test

4. Ms Anderson is doing an assessment on her 5th grade students running times, comparing them from the beginning of the year. Which assessment should she use?
a. A rubric
b.A performance assessment
c.A written test
d.A self assessment

References[edit | edit source]

Allen, R. (2002). Using Assessment data to Monitor physical Education Programs. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 73(8). 25-31.

Hensley, L. (1997). Alternative Assessment for Physical Education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 68(7). 19-24.

Jeffries, S., Jefferies, T., & Mustain, W. (1997). Why Assess in PE?. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from

Melograno, V.J. (1997). Integrating Assessment into Physical Education Teaching. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 68(7). 34-37.

Answers[edit | edit source]

1.A 2.D 3.D 4.B