Assessment Knowledge and Conceptual Change in PETE Students

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Exhibit Hall RC Poster Sessions (Tampa Convention Center)
Mary Lou Veal and Victoria Monasterolo, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

For decades, PETE students have taken a measurement course, but it is clear that the traditional delivery of measurement concepts has failed to impact physical education teachers' practices. The problem may be related to teachers' lack of assessment knowledge structures that integrate declarative and procedural knowledge. It is theorized that a new course structure is needed to help students build useful assessment knowledge structures and insure understanding of the relationships between assessment knowledge and quality teaching. The purpose of this study was to document assessment knowledge and conceptual change (Strike & Posner, 1992) that occurred when the instructor/researcher taught an assessment course in a format that combined classroom lecture with weekly gymnasium-based learning activities.


A sport education model was utilized to deliver a 20-lesson badminton season that incorporated assessment in 14 of the lessons. The instructor was concerned that during learning activities in the gymnasium, students might miss the assessment concepts, which were the intended focus of instruction. To document students' assessment knowledge, an internet-based concept mapping tool was selected. A starter list of 25 assessment terms was used to construct concept maps at the beginning (N = 39) and end of the semester (N = 29).


The method for analysis of concept maps was similar to that used by Ennis, Meuller and Zhu (1991) in their study of cognitive mapping. In addition, focused minute papers were written at the end of 5 classes as a way of probing key concepts that were taught in the gymnasium-based sessions. Minute papers were transcribed and themes were identified using constant comparison. Post-maps revealed more tightly structured knowledge with more linkages among concepts, whereas in the pre-maps there were numerous concept chunks that were not linked to other concepts. Another dramatic change was that in 48% of the post-maps, three main concepts were used to organize the maps, whereas in the pre-maps only 23% used the same organizing structure.


From the minute papers, it was concluded that students were able to focus on assessment concepts in gymnasium-based lessons. For example, in the minute paper on diagnostic assessment, there were 143 statements and 87% of them were accurate. Following lessons on peer assessment, the minute papers contained 107 statements, and 68% were accurate. Specific concepts under each theme will be discussed along with the other changes in students' concept maps, and examples of pre-post concepts will be included.