Using Portfolios to Assess Students' Knowledge of Motor Skills

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, March 2001 | Go to article overview

Using Portfolios to Assess Students' Knowledge of Motor Skills


Tracy Bruinsma, Plainfield Consolidated Community Unit School District, and Mary Ellen Turner, Birmingham Public Schools

Movement competence has long been an important outcome goal for physical education programs. It implies that students have developed sufficient ability to enjoy participation in physical activities and have created a foundation for continued motor skill acquisition for participation in a wide variety of leisure and work-related activities. Although movement competence involves physical and mental components, traditionally, motor skill proficiency has primarily been assessed through observation of performance. Based on current practices in physical education programs, very little is known about students' knowledge and understanding of motor skills and related concepts. This presentation will address the use of portfolio tasks to assess students' knowledge of motor skills, specifically, the overhand throw, underhand throw and catching. The issues of gender, grade level, school, and teacher in portfolio assessment systems will be discussed. To illustrate how portfolio tasks can be used to assess student knowledg e and understanding of motor skills and to inform teaching, results from a study of 1,940 first through eighth grade students from a large metropolitan area will be presented. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results based on the calibrated scores (i.e., logit scores from a Rasch model analysis) indicated that there were significant differences among grade levels. …

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