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To ensure that students have the skills and knowledge in the Skills For A Healthy Life standards, instruction must include authentic, challenging tasks. Traditional instruction was teacher-directed with the teacher as the dispenser of knowledge, focused on individual student work, grouped students based on ability, was organized into short blocks of instruction on a single subject, and assessed students knowledge of facts and development of discrete skills. Authentic instruction focuses on:
Assessment holds an ever-increasing role of importance in schools, programming, and the learners experiences. The challenges of designing quality assessment for all learners become a major emphasis of curriculum design. Good health and academic achievement are inseparable. Skills For A Healthy Life are unique in that knowledge and performance skills are emphasized for student learning. It is necessary to continue testing our own practice, learning from others and accepting the challenges to build innovative assessment strategies into curriculum design.
Assessment in Skills For A Healthy Life reveals what Alaskan students know and are able to do, and is designed to be an ongoing part of the learning environment. Process and product are part of healthy life skills assessment. Skills For A Healthy Life are measured by performance and authentic assessments. Strategy for design should be based on the state standards for Skills For A Healthy Life and embedded in the curriculum.
Assessment in Skills For A Healthy Life:
Through a quality assessment process, learners:
1. Assessment in Skills for A Healthy Life is not only possible but also necessary. Every school district should develop reliable, valid, and useful techniques for assessing student learning in healthy life skills. Assessment should be based on explicit objectives that identify clearly the skills and knowledge expected of students. Many of the problems traditionally associated with assessment in healthy education have arisen from objectives that are vague, ill defined, or extravagant and, consequently, are sometimes incomprehensible to students, parents, and teachers.
Assessment of learning is sometimes difficult and time-consuming, but it can be done. If instruction is effective, then the student will in some way behave differently as a result. If that happens, a basis for assessment exists. It is difficult or impossible to assess the most intangible qualities of healthy life skills, but it is possible to assess the practical, everyday skills and knowledge called for in the Skills For A Healthy Life Standards. Those skills and knowledge are necessary, but not sufficient, prerequisites for reaching the higher levels of healthy life skills. As the beginning of the twenty-first century approaches, effective assessment is essential for healthy life skills to remain among the basics of the curriculum.
2. The purpose of assessment is to improve learning. It does this by:
3. Assessment in Skills For A Healthy Life requires various techniques in various settings. Comprehensive assessment takes place in a wide variety of contexts and settings, and each assessment context requires different assessment techniques:
Assessment of student learning is not synonymous with evaluation of teaching or evaluation of programs. The quality of teaching naturally affects the quality of student learning. Similarly, the quality of the schools instructional programs affects student learning.
A valid assessment of a health education program not only would consider the extent to which the school provides all students with the opportunity to learn healthy life skills, but would also reflect the variety of healthy life skills offerings available, the percentage of students involved, and their success in achieving the diverse types of learning called for in the Alaska Skills For A Healthy Life Standards.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has been working on effective assessments that will match the National Health Education Standards.
Through the SCASS (State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards) project they were able to identify and develop these assessment measures in the area of health education to foster meaningful assessment of student knowledge and skills within a comprehensive school health program. They have published several assessments that address these standards and give concrete information to teachers and districts on how to assess the progress of their students in the field of health education. These assessments rely heavily on writing and reading as major areas of focus, which allows the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development to tie this framework document with other content areas and allows for cross content instruction. Ongoing instruction and training on the use of these assessment tools have been incorporated into the training plan for the health education standards project. Further information can be obtained by calling the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, Health Promotion Unit at (907) 465-2887 or 465-8719.Back to TOP
Improvement of instruction requires evaluation of specific teaching units. Criteria for unit evaluation might include the following:
Basic information on assessment is included in Chapter 2. Criteria for assessing students in Skills For A Healthy Life might include:
The following information on various assessment techniques is adapted from Personal Development, Health and Physical Education 2 unit Support Document, (1992) published by Board of Studies, North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Description: A list for ticking items about knowledge (procedures, regulation); competencies (physical skills, problem solving skills) or group interactions and work habits. Checklists can be based on observations by a teacher or peers or used as a self report technique.
Tread water 30 seconds
Float 1 minute
Side stroke 30 meters
Description: A formal, signed agreement between the teacher and student which shows what work is to be done by the student by a specified date. Both positive and negative consequences that follow the completion or non-completion of the contract should be included.
My goal is....
My plans are...
I plan to present my work by...
My contract is for...
If I dont honor my contract...
Creative Performance and Exhibition
Description: Performance and exhibition allow students to use kinesthetic, artistic, musical, spatial, media, and other modalities to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and application of skills.
Spoof an Ad
_____ Correct Health Concepts
_____ Artistic Interpretation
_____ Verbal Presentation
Description: A debate is a formal method of examining different perspectives on an issue. More than two positions would extend it to a forum.
Diary or Journal
Description: A diary or journal can be a written, taped or oral reflection on issues, events or aspects of a students own choice. Students should be encouraged to provide personal reflections rather than simple descriptions. A variation might be a journal of cuttings from newspapers, articles or personal notes from an analysis of the media.
Keep diary entries focusing on stress management strategies over a set period of time.
Formal and Informal Observation
Description: Write short objective statements that describe an incident or individual students behavior, believed to be typical or illustrative.
Date Student Incident/Behavior Comment
Description: Graphic organizers are maps that represent student thinking. They involve students in skills like sequencing, comparing and classifying to create representations of concepts and processes. These mental maps depict complex relationships and can become blueprints that make abstract ideas more visible and concrete.
Community Health Resources WHO
Health Agencies CDC
Parks and Recreation
Health Care Providers Health Care Facilities
Physicians hospitals outpatient centers
Allied health professionals
Description: An interviewer (teacher or student) meets with one student or a group of students to obtain information or opinions about an issue or concern. The interview can be structured or unstructured.
Interviews with students on their fitness programs:
Description: A likert scale allows students to indicate to what extent they agree or disagree with a stated attitude or opinion. This technique is inappropriate for measuring knowledge and skills, but is appropriate for measuring affective objectives.
Alcohol advertising on TV should be banned. SA A D SD
Teenage drinking is an overrated problem. SA A D SD
Description: This form of assessment can occur at both a structured and unstructured level. The emphasis is n constructive observation and critical feedback. It is a particularly useful technique for skill assessment for formative purposes.
After viewing each others dance performances, students are asked to give informal feedback to each other, focusing on positive comments and areas that might need further attention.
Performance Task/Skill Assessment
Description: Performance tasks are learning activities that are scored according to specified criteria. These may vary from brief, on-demand tasks to long term, complex projects.
Date Performance Task Rubric Level Comments
O A D
O = outstanding
A = acceptable
D = deficient
Description: This is a collection of items which illustrates the work of a student or which records events that took place during the course of study. It may include items such as worksheets, reaction statements, essays or diagrams.
A professional portfolio might include:
Description: Projects can be practical in nature (such as a performance or display item) or theoretical in orientation (such as research on a community or personal healthy issue). The manner of presentation may be set by the teacher or left as a matter for student choice.
Description: A scale highlights either degree or frequency of a specific characteristic, skill, attitude or procedure. This technique can be used by the teacher or as a self rating device.
( ) Actively participates in movement activities
( ) Works independently during self testing activities
( ) Willing to cooperate in small group activities
( ) Observes safety rules
Scale: A = Constantly B = Usually C = Needs improvement
Description: Students are given a scenario and then asked to simulate the characters they portray or act out the situation that has been set for them. Dialogues can be written or verbalized. Students have the opportunity to portray real world situations, and are required to use reasoning, solve problems, or deal with the reality of the experience as it unfolds.
Following a climbing class, have a student "reporter" interview "Sir Edmond Hillary" about how "he" felt on reaching the summit of Mt. Everest.
Description: This technique requires students to be self-reflective, to set their own standards of behavior, and make judgments about their own work. It is a technique that should be used for formative purposes only.
Description: Develop a questionnaire which invites students to express their attitudes to an issue, topic or concept by choosing a position between polar adjectives. This technique is inappropriate for measuring knowledge and skills, but is appropriate for measuring affective objectives.
When I think of old people, I think of people who are...
Description: Provide the beginning of a sentence as a stimulus and invite students to complete the sentence in their own words.
My favorite food is...
My exercise patterns are...
Child sexual assault is...
Passive smoking is...
Description: Standardized tests are professional developed tests which include set procedures for administering and interpreting results. They are a common form of assessing movement skills.
Description: A discussion could be teacher or student directed, with small groups focused on a specific task.
Did students show:
Description: This can be either a simple or more involved oral or visual presentation to the class or small groups. It may involve the use of models or construction of bulletin board displays. The use of multimedia and technology is encouraged.
Description: Objective tests can be teacher developed or standardized. They may involve multiple choice questions, true or false questions, completion items or matching items. They can assess the ability of students to recall, interpret, comprehend or apply knowledge. Free response tests provide an opportunity for students to organize, integrate and express ideas. They can be used to collect information on student knowledge, skills or attitudes.Back to TOP