Dr. Hab., Professor V.V. Novokreshchenov
Udmurt State University, Izhevsk
Keywords: GTO Complex festival, physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system.
Background. Since the first Soviet BGTO and GTO Class I/II physical education complexes were implemented back in 1931, the qualifiers were required to demonstrate knowledge of the Soviet physical education history and hygienic standards plus basic mental self-control skills and primary combat mastery. Much the same requirements were set by the upgraded GTO Complex version implemented in 1939. In the post-war (since 1951) period, the national physical education and sports system was reinforced by a few GTO Complex versions, each of them offering a theoretical education module. Later on, in the period of 1972-1985, the GTO qualifiers were required to demonstrate good knowledge of the physical education and sports technologies and civil defense system [1, 2]. Benefits of such theoretical physical education and sports trainings were acknowledged by the recently reinstated GTO Complex version and its Statute endorsed by the Presidential Decree of March 24, 2014 , with the GTO Class I-V qualification requirements matching with the relevant Federal State Education Standards (FSES) for the school system. The relevant Ministry of Sports Order set forth  the relevant standards and requirements for the theoretical physical education and sports knowledge tests. The Order spelled, among other things, the GTO qualification requirements in the relevant categorical GTO Class regulations (item 2).
It should be emphasized that the first (2014) regulatory documents by the national Government and Ministry of Sports set forth detailed age- and gender-specific theoretical physical education and sports knowledge test standards and requirements for every social group. Later on, however, the above provision was excluded from the GTO Complex Statute by an administrative decision – without any prior theoretical substantiation for the move [7, 8]. Organizers of the summer GTO Student Festivals hosted by Belgorod (2015), Vladimir (2016) and Artek (Crimea, 2017) still offered theoretical physical education and sports knowledge tests to the competitors . When every Russian region and area was competing in such events, a number of competitors could average 700, and no wonder that such large-scale events need an efficient and objective theoretical and practical physical education and sports knowledge test toolkit.
Objective of the study was to develop a physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system for the summer GTO festivals on the whole and the GTO Class III/ IV tests (for the 11-12/ 13-15 year-olds, respectively) in particular.
Study findings and discussion. The physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system for the summer GTO festivals of the relevant age groups was developed and tested in April 2015 through October 2017. Practical physical education and sports knowledge and skills tests of the competitors in the Belgorod (2015) and Vladimir (2016) GTO festivals were run with direct contribution from the author serving as a deputy chief referee. The new physical education and sports knowledge and skills test system development and piloting process included the following three stages.
At Stage 1, we formed the relevant didactic modules (themes) and designed textual matrix-formatted tests in compliance with the valid FSES for the physical education and sports knowledge/ skills tests in the secondary school grades 5 to 7 [1- 3], with the test bank making up 100 questions in total.
At Stage 2, we tested in practice competitors to the GTO festivals and used the test data to excel the test questions, response options and scoring system, with due consideration for the modern research findings and recommendations in the test system design theory and practice – and in compliance with the standard education progress tests applied by the national education system today. An education progress test may be interpreted as the system of specific tasks designed to rate every element of the trainees’ knowledge, competence and skills. ‘System’ means herein that the test system is designed to check the relevant skills/ competences on a systemic basis i.e. within some knowledge field/ system (physical education and sports field in this case), with the test elements combined so as to meet the relevant FSES requirements to the general education school physical education and sports knowledge and skills. Tests were designed to offer a few response options to each question, with only one correct. Every task referred to some specific knowledge element within the relevant theme. We were governed in the test design process by the test design theory that implies that a task will be qualified clear when may be responded by ‘yes’ or ‘no’, conditional on such response being found via some contemplation process; with a compact reasoning also acceptable when implied by the test question. The responses were scored ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ based on materials of the Physical Education textbook for school grades 5-7 . Difficulty of the test questions was stepped up within each theme as required by the valid FSES to fully cover materials of the valid Physical Education textbook. Furthermore, we made a special emphasis in the test design process on the test adaptability aspect – so as to make the test set customizable to the students’ ages and background training levels; for it is well known that reasonably customized tests are much more dependable and time-efficient.
Theoretically, every test shall be designed to test a knowledge/ skill element in the respective field. In this case, we designed the tests strictly as required by education level and test matrix, albeit some tests were intended to test knowledge and skills in the adjacent fields. This holds particularly true for the practical competences and skills, with the accurate responses requiring knowledge in every field of the valid FSES.
Numbers of questions per a test were dependent on the scope of the subject field (the wider is the knowledge field, the more tests it generally requires) and type of the tests, with the combined tests intended to test knowledge in a few fields being normally more difficult and limited in questions. After all we designed a 10-question test for the GTO festival competitors based on the test model piloting experiment with account of the time costs, and compliant with the event schedules and programs. It was found that the computerized tests should be dominated by the closed-type test formats with at least 4 response options (and only one correct) – to have the knowledge and skills adequately rated. Some tests may be designed to offer 2, 3, 5 and more optional responses, although 4-5 options were still found most beneficial in many aspects. Generally, the higher is the number of response options the lower is the probability of a lucky guess and, hence, the test accuracy. In the test design process we preferred 4 response options for every test group; with the test questions geared to test the associating knowledge and designed on the similarity/ opposition principle – i.e. with the wrong response options being opposite to the right one and at the same time similar in some aspect. The individual knowledge and skills were rated, ranked and fixed in the records with indication of the test scores on a 10-point scale and the time costs.
At Stage 3, we selected the best software toolkit for the physical education and sports knowledge and skills test system – and found the one developed by the Udmurt State University the most efficient. The product may be described as the frame software giving the means to create databases and test systems virtually in every knowledge field . We applied an adapted version of the above software to design and excel the computerized physical education and sports knowledge and skills test system for the GTO festivals. The frame software was adapted as follows: its interface was revised to meet the GTO Complex brand book requirements; unnecessary functions were eliminated; client-server LAN function was added to run tests in the local area networks; and its Microsoft Excel tools were customized for the test data accumulation and analyses in table formats . At this juncture, we have published findings of the physical education and sports knowledge and skills test system piloting experiment and completed for publication a ‘Knowledge and Skills Tests in Physical Education Discipline: Instruction Manual’ for schools and universities [1-3].
Conclusion. Based on the prior theoretical and practical research data, we developed the physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system for the summer GTO festivals including the GTO Class III/ IV tests for the 11-12/ 13-15 year-olds, respectively. The physical education and sports knowledge and skills test system was successfully piloted at the Belgorod (2015), Vladimir (2016) and Artek (Crimea, 2017) GTO student festivals. The system includes the following: test materials (100 tests on the whole) i.e. the test database to rate the 11-12/ 13-15 year-olds’ physical education and sports knowledge and skills versus the Class III/ IV/ FSES requirements for the general education schools; response options, check keys and rating criteria to rate the physical education and sports knowledge and skills (with 400 response options in total); findings of the test system piloting experiment during the 2015-17 GTO festivals; application software for an office work station and mobile field operations; plus a LAN capacity with practical recommendations for the system deployment and operation.
- Novokreshchenov V.V. Testirovanie znaniy po fizicheskoy kulture u studentov i shkolnikov [Academic testing of knowledge in physical education]. Teaching aid. Izhevsk: Kalashnikov IzhSTU publ., 2017, 130 p.
- Novokreshchenov V.V. Razrabotka sistemy otsenki urovnya znaniy i umeniy v oblasti fizicheskoy kultury i sporta dlya ispyituemykh, otnesennykh k I-VI stupenyam Vserossiyskogo fizkulturno-sportivnogo kompleksa ‘Gotov k trudu i oborone’ (GTO) [Development of physical education and sports knowledge and skills rating system for those attributed to the I-VI levels of All-Russian physical culture and sports complex "Ready for Labor and Defense" (GTO)]. Vestnik IzhGTU im. M.T. Kalashnikova. Izhevsk: IzhSTU publ., 2015, no. 3, pp. 143-146.
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- Polozheniya o Letnem festivale Vserossiyskogo fizkulturno-sportivnogo kompleksa «Gotov k trudu i oborone» (GTO) sredi obuchayushchikhsya obrazovatelnykh organizatsiy [Provisions on the Summer Festival of RPCSC “Ready for Labor and Defense” (GTO) among students of educational establishments]. [Electronic resource] Available at: http://www.minsport.gov.ru/sport/physical-culture/41/23357/ (pdf, 2 196 Kb)
- Postanovlenie Pravitelstva Rossiyskoy Federatsii ‘Ob utverzhdenii polozheniya o Vserossiyskom fizkulturno-sportivnom komplekse ‘Gotov k trudu i oborone’ (GTO)’ ot 11.06.2014 # 540 [Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation ‘On Approval of the Regulations on Russian physical culture and sports complex "Ready for Labor and Defense’ (GTO) dated 06.11.2014 No. 540]. [Electronic resource]. Available at: http://www.gto.ru/files/uploads/documents/56ea7a54d0485.pdf
- Postanovlenie Pravitelstva Rossiyskoy Federatsii ot 30 dekabrya 2015 goda no 1508 ‘O vnesenii izmeneniy v Polozhenie o Vserossiyskom fizkulturno-sportivnom komplekse ;Gotov k trudu i oborone’’ (GTO) [Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2015 No. 1508 ‘On Amendments to the Regulations on the Russian physical culture and sports complex ‘Ready for Labor and Defense" (GTO)]. Available at: http://www.gto.ru/files/uploads/documents/56ea7a7e0c1d6.pdf
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Objective of the study was to develop a physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system for summer GTO festivals on the whole and the GTO Class III/ IV tests (for the 11-12/ 13-15 year-olds, respectively) in particular. Applied for the study purposes were the following methods: analyses of the available theoretical and practical literature on the subject; analysis of the valid regulatory provisions for the national physical education, sports and GTO systems; and findings of the theoretical and practical knowledge/ skills test system piloting experiment run in the 2015-17 summer GTO festivals. The study analyzes benefits of the new physical education and sport knowledge and skills test system for the summer GTO festivals of students. The system includes the following: test materials; response options and keys for the theoretical/ practical knowledge testing and scoring purposes; application software for an office work station and mobile field operations; plus practical application recommendations for the system deployment and operation.