This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Effects of Ability Grouping on Students’ Game Performance, Physical Activity, and Movement Patterns




Ward, Jeffery

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation




Research has supported the use of within-class ability grouping in the classroom setting. However, little research has been completed in regards to the use and effectiveness of ability grouping in the physical education classroom setting. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to (1) examine ability groupings effects on students rate of play, (2) compare students’ performance scores from match skill play to mixed skill play, (3) to determine if students movement patterns differ when grouped based on skill, (4) to determine if students physical activity levels differ when in mixed skill compared to matched skilled games, and (5) to determine if ability grouping outperform traditional mixed skill grouping in terms of opportunity to respond, performance scores, increasing more game appropriate movement patterns, and increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels. The participants in this study were forty-eight, fifth graders from three classes. Each student competed in four matched skill games where they competed with and against similar skilled students. Additionally, students competed in four mixed skill games where students competed with and against an equal number of higher-skilled and lower-skilled students. The total numbers of games played across the three classes was forty- eight with each game lasting five minutes. All games were recorded and coded post hoc. Included in the coding were game performance variable, MVPA, and movement patterns.