TESTS AND MEASUREMENTS
From PE A to Z
The sub-discipline in PHYSICAL EDUCATION including OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENTs of students' abilities, MOTOR SKILLS, knowledge, and attitudes, and the subsequent EVALUATION of the DATA resulting from those assessments.
In short, tests and measurements (T & M) is supposed to help teachers learn to use standardized tests to assess their students/clients and then interpret the results with statistical analysis.
It's a nice idea but most of the validated and approved tests in college textbooks are extremely intricate and unbelievably time-consuming, often accommodating only one student at a time at a carefully constructed station. College professors who may never have taught one day in a public school and needing to publish something for promotion dreamed them up and put them in books.
Most physical education teachers in schools do not have the time or resources to administer these published tests and simply make up their own instruments and assess the basic elements of motor skill performance (HOW MANY, HOW FAST, HOW FAR, HOW MUCH) in a simple and basic manner such as:
- how many free throws were made
- how many soccer kicks hit the target
- how many volleyball serves hit the target
- how much distance was covered in twelve minutes
- how many throws hit the target
For physical educators to make up their own skill and sports tests for assessment in teaching, all they probably need to remember is this: the test must:
- actually “test”: it should be age-appropriate not be too easy or too difficult
- be objective: the teacher and the students need to know when a “point” is or isn’t scored; did the kicked ball hit the target or not?
- break down sports and activity skills into the most basic elements that still retain the essential characteristics of the sport/activity; usually, this means skills of moderate difficulty such as throwing, kicking, striking, and running, as well as components of PHYSICAL FITNESS
- be feasible: individual testing is best but simply not possible in schools; a well-run group test should take perhaps 15 – 25 minutes and require minimal set-up and only basic equipment
- be quantifiable: accountability is what teachers are looking for here. They need to be sure the tests generate some useful “numbers” so MEANs and PERCENTILEs can be calculated
Most college textbooks are full of highly impractical tests and unnecessary statistical tools for data analysis. Best advice: teachers should keep T & M simple and if they don’t have any good ideas of their own, they should surf the internet for information posted by other teachers in similar situations. SEE: QUANTITATIVE; QUALITATIVE