Measurement in Physical Education

By Donald K. Mathews; Nancy Allison Close | Go to book overview

chapter 7
sports skill testing

Application of skill tests. Skill tests reflect the ability of the pupil to perform in a specified sport such as badminton, handball, or basketball. By knowing the level of ability of a youngster in a particular sport, it becomes possible to use his ability score for purposes of classification, determining progress, and marking.

For example, the first time a teacher meets a class in tennis it would be advisable for him to place the pupils in groups of like ability in order to facilitate teaching. Administering the tennis skill test during the first meeting of the class permits the teacher to group the youngsters immediately. With a large number of pupils, it would probably take the instructor three or four days or even a week to become sufficiently familiar with the ability of the pupils to place them subjectively in homogeneous groups.

In team selection the skill test can prove of considerable worth. When a large number of players turn out for a first practice, the coach may administer the skill test, place the players into homogeneous groups, and then, through his subjective evaluation, more efficiently select a final squad.

When it becomes necessary to equate teams, as in intramural and inter- class groups, the skill test for the particular activity is again a very effective tool. Simply placing participants with similar scores on opposite teams is an effective way of equating the teams.

Administering the skill test at the beginning and end of the course permits the instructor to observe the progression of the class, and provides a means for marking the pupils.

Validity of skill tests. A word of caution should be injected here as to the amount of confidence that can be placed in the results of the skill test, particularly in respect to marking. In Chapter 2 the criteria used in determining the statistical value of a test--objectivity, reliability, and validity--were given. With these three criteria in mind it might be well to discuss briefly how skill tests are constructed, in order to gain a greater understanding of their application.

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