IHT’s Presidential Youth Fitness Program assessment software saves teachers valuable time and makes it easy to motivate students to improve their fitness.
Andrew Moore first started using IHT’s Assessment Measures software five years ago at Maize South Middle School (Kan.). The software allowed Moore – and his teaching colleagues – to streamline data collection and quickly get students their results.
Officials at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), which manages the national fitness testing program, noticed as well. On Aug. 14, AAU and the National Fitness Foundation partnered with IHT, making IHT’s assessment software the official data collection software for the PYFP tests.
The IHT software enables Moore to collect assessment data in real-time as students complete each test. The quick data collection allows him to easily generate reports that students see as soon as class ends.
“We wanted to streamline the way we organized our data,” Moore said, “and we wanted to find an avenue for our students to see their data.”
The assessment data goes directly into Moore’s Spirit System classroom, eliminating the need to record results on paper and enter them into a class management system later. In addition to capturing PFYP test data, IHT’s software also captures heart rate data from students who wear the IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitor during class.
Once the Spirit System has the data, it automatically generates reports that show students and teachers:
- How long (in minutes) the student exercised in each heart rate zone (blue, yellow, red);
- Whether a student met the teacher’s goal for minutes spent in the target heart rate zone;
- What the student achieved on the PYFP measure(s) assessed during class; and
- The number of students who met the PYFP standard for each measure assessed.
The individual student reports eliminate any guesswork as to which standards the student met and how that relates to their overall fitness.
“This software has allowed our students to see their data,” Moore said. “That’s creating a more relevant perception of the way they view PYFP.”
Relieving Any Fitness Test-Related Anxiety
Fitness testing can create the same stress levels as a math, English or science test can for some students. Hudson (Iowa) High School PE teacher Sean Leonard notices some students perform differently when he administers the 20-meter shuttle test, commonly referred to as the PACER test, than they do when tasked with completing a high-intensity interval circuit. Last year he introduced the ZONE monitor to take the sole focus off the specific test results.
“I think there’s this fear factor, and the PACER is a scary thing for them,” Leonard said. “I don’t really know where that comes from, but as we individualize the monitors for the students, the data is going to help them overcome that and learn about the pacing of running.”
IHT offers a library of resources, including videos, specific to the PYFP tests, including the 20-meter shuttle. The resources show students exactly what each PYFP element consists of and offers teachers strategies to help students achieve their best results.
By putting equal emphasis on meeting daily heart rate goals, teachers believe more students will meet their fitness goals. And even if they fall short on the fitness goals, teachers know when they are getting their students’ best efforts.
“The positive feedback we get from students has been awesome since we began using the monitors,” Moore said. “From our side, it has helped us with the issue of ‘Effort’ in PE. It makes that grey area black and white for us.”
Skill Reinforcement Through SMART Reflection
Moore uses his Spirit System reports several ways.
- Students and parents get an immediate recap of each day’s performance
- The summary reports allow the teacher to report on progress to the department and campus leadership
- Students evaluate their heart rate reports and write about their personal goals for the class.
“They have to follow the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) model and be based on the data they get in the report,” Moore said. “This allows us to individualize and cater specifically to our students each hour.”
The combination of the ZONE heart rate monitors and software encourage students to get more in touch with how their fitness level is improving.
“Students feel like they have a finish line they can work towards each day with the goal we set for them,” he said. “It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they meet and/or exceed that goal. It also helps students to understand the importance of ‘target heart rate zone’ and how their body feels when they meet and/or surpass that target.”
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