Assessment Practices in K–12 Physical Education in the United States: A Scoping Review of Research, 2000–2020

Chad M. Killian, Amelia Mays Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Appropriate assessment practices are recognized as a critical part of the learning process and represent a key component of quality physical education. Recent shifts in school reform efforts toward more accountability in the United States and an emerging emphasis on student-centered approaches challenge historical approaches to assessment. Purpose: Therefore, the purpose of this review was to (a) identify research conducted on physical education teachers’ assessment practices during the years 2000–2020, (b) determine the impact of assessment practices on student outcomes, and (c) describe research that explores factors associated with the SHAPE America guidelines for appropriate assessment practices. Method: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-Sc) Checklist guided this review. All related empirical, peer-reviewed, English-language studies conducted in U.S. schools and published since January 1, 2000 qualified for inclusion. Results: A total of 17 articles met the inclusion criteria for this review. Most used non-experimental methods and were conducted in the secondary (grades 6–12) physical education context. Limited studies examined the relationship between assessment practices and learning outcomes. Recommendations for future research are provided based on the results. Conclusions: A diverse body of studies provides valuable, yet limited evidence related to teacher assessment practices. Systematic research is needed to better understand the impact of teacher assessment practices on student outcomes and to build a stronger foundation for evidence-based recommendations for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-258
Number of pages11
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Grading; measurement; performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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