PE metrics: Background, testing theory, and methods

Weimo Zhu, Judy Rink, Judith H. Placek, Kim C. Graber, Connie Fox, Jennifer L. Fisette, Ben Dyson, Youngsik Park, Marybell Avery, Marian Franck, De Raynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New testing theories, concepts, and psychometric methods (e.g., item response theory, test equating, and item bank) developed during the past several decades have many advantages over previous theories and methods. In spite of their introduction to the field, they have not been fully accepted by physical educators. Further, the manner in which many assessments are developed and used in physical education has limitations, including isolated test development, weak or poor psychometric quality control, lack of evaluation frameworks, and failure to measure change or growth. To eliminate these shortcomings and meet the needs of standard-based assessment, a major national effort was undertaken to develop an item or assessment bank, called PE Metrics, for assessing the national content standards for physical education. After providing a brief introduction to the background of PE Metrics, this article will describe the nature of the testing theory, psychometric methods, and how they were used in the construction of PE Metrics. Constraints of developing such a system are acknowledged, and future directions in physical education assessments are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalMeasurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • equating
  • item bank
  • item response theory
  • psychometric quality
  • test construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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