For this creation, I used a CMS previously mentioned, Schoology. This is the CMS currently used by the school that I work in, so I thought it would be appropriate to create an assessment getting to know the system better–we rarely use Schoology in PE! This CMS allowed me to create an assessment that could really help my students stay active throughout the summer by guiding them through the creation of a SMART goal (for fitness). While as a PE teacher we often think we need to be doing something active to assess, I found the idea behind this assessment may actually help when the PE teacher is not around (long breaks when school is out).
Want to learn more? See below for a detailed explanation or check out my screencast which briefly goes over the purpose, ADC alignment and the use of affordances in the CMS – here.
Purpose: The goal of this assessment is to have students identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they can create a plan to improve upon their Physical Fitness Test (PFT) scores over a long break, in this case, summer break. Many students actively participate in PE throughout the school year, but when a long breaks hit, they are less likely to be active and scores on the PFT may drop. Not only does this assessment help students create a plan so they can potentially be more active, but it also provides some insight for teachers and students alike in many areas. Specifically, this assessment shows where a student’s weakness lies and how they plan to work towards improvement.
The Assessment: The assessment uses Schoology to ask students 16 questions, guiding them towards the creation of their own goals. It is assigned during a class period so that teachers can monitor and help guide the student should any questions arise. Furthermore, the assessment also dives deep into content covered, so teachers are aware if students truly understand the topic, or perhaps if there is room for more instruction.
Instructions: “In this assessment, you will have 35 minutes (class) to complete 16 questions regarding smart goals and your plans to improve your Physical Fitness Test (PFT) scores over your break. Please answer each question carefully and thoughtfully”
Questions 1-3: These questions are fill in the blank and ask what the most recent scores of the student are. This should help the students find a starting point for which to guide their goals. These are all fill in the blank questions.
Questions 4-5: Question 4 asks the student to pick an assessment from the PFT in which they would like to improve upon. Then, in question 5, students are asked to identify three health-related fitness components which relate to that assessment. This question provides insight into whether the student can correlate between how a fitness test is improved upon with what system of the body. For instance, if a student wanted to improve their mile time, they might say the cardiovascular system, muscle endurance and muscle strength. Both questions are open-ended for the student to answer.
Questions 6-10: All of these questions are multiple choice questions to help identify if the student has learned the meaning of SMART goals.
Question 11: This short answer question then asks the student to take their knowledge of what a SMART goal is and translate that into a SMART goal of their own. This provides insight into the student’s understanding level of goal creation as well as health-related activities. It also gives the student some sense of ownership as they create the goal for themselves and their needs, no other student’s.
Questions 12-15: These questions ask the student to identify 3 activities in which they could perform to help improve upon their PFT assessment of choice (short answer), and then asks them to identify how often they should be performing each activity/exercise (fill in the blank). This is a means to help the student understand the SMART goal that they have just created, but also gets them to translate movements into their understanding of health-related fitness components. That is, if a student is working towards improving their push-ups, we would expect to see more upper arm activities and perhaps limited running.
Question 16: The final open-ended question allows the student to think about safety features as they perform their activities. As with any physical exercise, it’s important to know the risks! This is important for the teacher to know that the students understand how to be safe, as they perhaps need to revisit this before sending the students off to break.
Aligning with the ADC: This assessment was designed specifically to align with the ADC 3.0 created previously (view here).
- Is this assessment dynamic and adaptive to each student? This assessment is definitely dynamic and adaptive. This is demonstrated by the different levels of open-ended questions but also by the fact that the student is the one taking the assessment, with the teacher providing guidance if needed.
- Does this assessment provide insight to levels of understanding? For sure! An example of this is that there are questions ranging from listing what each letter of the SMART goals represents, to putting that into action with an actual goal creation (fact vs. understanding).
- Does this assessment provide effective feedback for learning? I believe that this assessment is a great example of how assessment can provide effective feedback. For example, students are given feedback on concrete terms, like their health-related fitness components and the meaning of SMART goals immediately, but then they are also provided with more in-depth feedback about how to improve their PFT in a way that gives them ownership. This goes along with the idea that students should be receiving feedback based on the task and process, rather than the outcome.
- Does this assessment inform instruction? This assessment helps inform instruction by providing information on strengths and areas for growth for each student. That is, it should be very clear who knows what health-related fitness components and SMART goals and who can actually apply that knowledge into the formation of a personalized goal. This will allow the teacher to inform their instruction and perhaps hit on the finer points of goal-setting or health-related fitness components to ensure students full understanding. Not to mention, if a teacher notices that many students need to work in a specific area, they may be able to pay closer attention to and focus on that fitness test.
- Does this assessment have clear goals/criteria? The instructions are clear as to what the student should do and what outcome is expected. Furthermore, each question has a clear point value that the student can see, so they know what is being graded and for how much.
Limitations and Affordances of Schoology: Perhaps the biggest limitation of using Schoology for an assessment is the very fact that you do not get to see the student in action. In PE, it is important that skills are performed correctly to gain the most from them. Furthermore, it does not inform the teacher if there are weaknesses in the body that the student may need to tend to before they can improve upon their performance. With that being said, there are a ton of affordances using Schoology. Most notably, you can assign (or not assign) a point value, use fill in the blank questions, multiple choice, etc. all in one assessment. You can furthermore save the assessment and reuse later on to gauge growth and understanding over a period of time, something that I think would be useful for this assessment. Given that we can’t see the student performance, this is a great way to at least get them thinking about what they need to do when PE is not in session. Perhaps that will trigger questions or provide insight into potential areas of weakness so the teacher can have more effective teaching practices.