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Assessment of Health-Related Learning

This is an excerpt from Promoting Active Lifestyles in Schools With Web Resource by Jo Harris & Lorraine Cale.

Health-related learning can be assessed through written, verbal and active responses to questions, tasks and tests. More specifically, affective and behavioural outcomes can be assessed by means of teacher observation of effort and commitment in PE lessons, participation records for PE lessons and extracurricular activities, and activity monitoring (e.g., activity diaries) and fitness testing. Cognitive outcomes, on the other hand, can be assessed through question-and-answer episodes (e.g., addressing the benefits of being active) and through practical and active tasks (e.g., demonstrating a range of aerobic activities, performing exercises to strengthen or stretch particular muscle groups). The web resource for this chapter includes two sample assessmentsthat you may use or modify to suit your needs.


Peer- and self-assessment are particularly appropriate for health-related learning as they directly involve pupils in making judgements and decisions about their own learning and that of their peers, which helps them take ownership of their health. Active assessment tasks are also encouraged, as they help increase pupils’ activity levels in PE lessons. Here are some examples of methods for assessing health-related learning:


Focused Questions

  • How do you feel when you are active?
  • What happens to your breathing when you exercise?
  • Why does your heart rate change when you exercise?
  • Which muscles are working hard when you run?
  • What is one reason that being active is good for your health? What else can you say about that? What is another reason?(Continue prompting to ensure inclusion of physical, psychological and social health benefits.)
  • Talk to a partner about how being active helps you maintain a healthy weight. (Ask for volunteers to share their ideas with another group or with the whole class, or ask specific pairs or pupils for their responses.)
  • Why is it important to stretch muscles after you have worked them hard?
  • How much activity should young people do?
  • Explain to a partner how stronger upper-body muscles help you throw further.
  • What are some of the main reasons that some young people are not active?


Practical Tasks

  • Show me an exercise that makes your heart pump faster.
  • Demonstrate a stretch for the muscles in the back of your leg.
  • Perform an exercise that strengthens your tummy (stomach or abdominal) muscles.
  • With a partner, design a warm-up for the long jump; include activities to mobilise joints in the legs and to warm your major leg muscles, followed by stretches of the main muscles used in jumping.
  • Observe another group’s cool-down for sprinting and decide how effective it is in reducing heart and breathing rates and stretching out the main muscles that are worked hard when sprinting.
  • For next week’s lesson, make a list of places in the local area where you can be active (other than at school).
  • Keep an activity diary for one school day; include in it all activity that you do, such as walking, cycling or scooting to and from school; being active at breaks or lunchtimes; playing sport, exercising or dancing in school or outside of school; and performing any active jobs you do at home, such as cleaning, gardening or going to and from the shops. Add up all the minutes of activity you have done in one day. Does it amount to at least 60 minutes (one hour) of activity?