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Melograno, V. J. (1997). Integrating assessment into physical education teaching. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 68(7), 34-37.

Key Words: authentic assessment; criterion referenced measurement; peer and self evaluation; portfolio; integrating assessment

The article discussed different ways that student learning can be assessed in physical education. A purpose of assessment for teachers is to gage student levels of understanding and make instructional decisions to help them develop knowledge and be motivated to learn. Additionally, assessment allows teachers to record and report information. Melograno highlights that fact that teachers, peers and students are all able to aid in completing assessments. Some alternative assessment techniques that the articles discussed were, tasks that directly examine desired behaviors, an emphasis on quality of performance, criterion referenced measurement and student involvement in developing assessment approaches. Portfolio techniques was another assessment measure that was discussed and can be used to provide the teacher with material that the student has done and collected throughout the year to show what they have learned. The article did a good job of outlining and discussing a number of formative and summative assessment ideas that teachers could easily implement into their teaching. Melograno also suggested a five step process that addressed how to understand assessment and integrate it into your teaching, which are:

  • Determine the contexts for assessment
  • Identify all possible assessment techniques that “fit” your teaching approaches
  • Select appropriate assessment techniques such as task cards, rating scales and checklists.
  • Use alternative teaching behaviors as needed
  • Convert assessment data to grades as necessary

Overall, the assessment techniques called for more responsibility on the student, by including, self management, reflection and peers. By using small groups and partners, a reduced ratio of student to teacher can be achieved and allow the teacher to gauge a better understanding of how much their students are actually learning.

Implications for Teaching:

  • By having students work with partners and in small groups the high student/teacher ratio is reduced creating some time for teacher based assessment
  • Teacher can and should have students be evaluated on what they have learned by other students and themselves and also reflect on what they have learned through authentic assessment opportunities
  • The way of teaching physical education is changing dramatically and we will be held highly accountable for what our students are learning, therefore have students keep a portfolio through the year is a way of determining what students have learned and documenting student learning.

Submitted by Sherry Gareau who is a preservice physical education teacher in the School of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Northern Colorado. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/27/05.