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NETFIT Q&A

What does the NETFIT® abbreviation stand for?
NETFIT® is the abbreviation for the Hungarian National Student Fitness Test (Nemzeti Egységes Tanulói Fittségi Teszt), a health related physical fitness test battery.

What is the mission of NETFIT®?
The mission of NETFIT® is to promote and raise awareness on the importance of life long physical activity and on the values of health conscious lifestyle among students, their family and public education members.

Why do we need NETFIT®?
Through NETFIT® it is possible to implement an integrated National Student Fitness Test, a diagnosis and education oriented pedagogical tool, used to assess and give feedback on the physical fitness of students in conformity with the needs of the 21st century.

What is the novelty of NETFIT®?

NETFIT®’s novelty is perceived in the following fields:

  • it is scientifically grounded;
  • it is based on a criterion-referenced evaluation of students;
  • it is health-oriented;
  • motor tests are developed in a way to avoid joint and back accidents;
  • it can be used as a pedagogical tool;
  • it is supported by an online data handling system.

What is the “HELP Philosophy”?
The mission, goals and program components of NETFIT® are embedded within a unifying philosophy that guides the program. HELP is an acronym specifying that “health is available to everyone for a lifetime – and it’s personal”.

What is the health-related physical fitness?
Health-related physical fitness is a mainly genetically influenced state where the harmonized work different body parts and organs allow us to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Overall, health-related physical activity is the capacity to directly influence one’s physical state.

What kind of testings/assessments are included in NETFIT®?

NETFIT® allows to perform the following testings/assessments:

  • compulsory institutional fitness testing;
  • self-assessment and self-evaluation;
  • individualized testing;
  • personal best testing.

When is NETFIT® used appropriately?

When using NETFIT®, the following principles should be followed during the implementation of methods:

  • Create an appropriate environment giving physical and emotional security;
  • NETFIT® is part of the planned curriculum and has a pre-defined number of class hours available. In autumn, it can be used for diagnostic purposes, while during the year it is suitable to evaluate the process of development.
  • Before NETFIT® evaluations it is necessary to prepare students for the assessment;
  • It shouldn’t be forgotten that the test results are influenced not only by school performance of students but also by different genetic and environmental factors that are independent from the students;
  • During the evaluations (besides the compulsory assessment), it is not necessary to perform all the NETFIT® elements with the students;
  • A continuous use of NETFIT® allows to gather the results in a portfolio and to evaluate it in base of special criteria, making it a perfect tool to support learning;
  • Evaluation can be based on the following criteria: fitness, knowledge on the fitness improvement possibilities, knowledge of the exact performance of tests, recognition of mistakes, self-assessment and self-evaluation, planning of individual workout programs, support to fellow students. In case of a complex set of parameters these criteria can be used to give marks and text evaluation and therefore they can be part of the school performance evaluation at the end of the school semester or school year.

When is NETFIT® used inappropriately?
Main problems arising during the use of NETFIT®:

  • Using absolute results achieved during fitness testing for school performance evaluation;
  • Evaluating school performance in base of the improvement of fitness test results;
  • Teacher evaluation exclusively in base of fitness test results;
  • Physical education program assessment exclusively in base of fitness test results;
  • Not taking into consideration the individual/personal character of testing and test results, comparing test results, posting the individual results on school billboards.

In what learning situations can NETFIT® be used?
NETFIT® can be used especially in the following learning situations:

  • individual testing by teacher;
  • testing of student pairs, as a group;
  • testing of student groups, as a group;
  • testing of student pairs or groups of 3-4 students, individually;
  • testing in ‘mixed’ learning situations;
  • testing as a project, with the involvement of the whole institution (NETFIT® project day).

What factors can influence the use of a given learning situation?
The choice of the given learning situation has to be made by the teacher. The following factors can influence the choice of a given learning situation:

  • age of students;
  • previous experience/knowledge of students;
  • aim of the testing (part of the compulsory assessment or other educational objectives);
  • time available;
  • space available;
  • available tools;
  • experience, organisational skills of the teacher.

What kind of tests is NETFIT® composed of?
NETFIT® is composed of four different fitness profiles; each fitness profile is composed of different fitness tests.
Body Composition and Nutrition Profile

  • Body mass index measurement
  • Height measurement
  • Percent body fat measurement

Aerobic Capacity (Endurance) Profile

  • PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) (20-meter or 15-meter shuttle run test)

Muscular Strength and Endurance Profile

  • Curl-ups
  • Trunk lifting
  • Push-ups
  • Hand grip strength
  • Standing long jump

Flexibility Profile

  • Backsaver sit-and-reach test

Why is NETFIT® a criterion-referenced test battery?
NETFIT® compares physical fitness to reference values determined according to the gender and age of students, the so-called health standards. Health standards indicate the lowest level of performance to be achieved that, with the improvement of the results, can lead to a healthier lifestyle in the long term, fighting against the risk factors linked to sedentary lifestyle and physical activity.
What is the difference between a normative approach and a criterion-referenced evaluation system?
The evaluation of physical fitness tests can be traditionally performed from two points of view. On the one hand, there is the normative approach taking comparing the results achieved through percentile tables and systems of point or standard deviations. The test batteries developed in conformity with such approach are called norm-oriented tests. In Hungary, all known testing systems were developed in accordance with this method. On the other hand, NETFIT® compares the individual test results to an external reference value, creating criterion-referenced test batteries. The external criterion means the minimal fitness performance value necessary to conduct a healthy lifestyle.

What is the difference between a normative approach and a criterion-referenced evaluation system?
The evaluation of physical fitness tests can be traditionally performed from two points of view. On the one hand, there is the normative approach taking comparing the results achieved through percentile tables and systems of point or standard deviations. The test batteries developed in conformity with such approach are called norm-oriented tests. In Hungary, all known testing systems were developed in accordance with this method. On the other hand, NETFIT® compares the individual test results to an external reference value, creating criterion-referenced test batteries. The external criterion means the minimal fitness performance value necessary to conduct a healthy lifestyle.

Why it is not advised to give marks in base of NETFIT® results?
  • Because physical fitness is only one component of school-level physical education; any changes in physical fitness do not mean that students did something on purpose in order to achieve the changes.
  • Because the improvement or worsening of physical activity is not suitable to evaluate the learning process (movement, health enhancement, sport, games) during P.E. classes. Especially among girls, excellent motivation, movement and learning is not always followed by the improvement of physical fitness.
  • Because the absolute values of physical fitness are closely related to maturity and growth as well as to genetic make-up.
  • Because the results of the criterion-referenced evaluation system of NETFIT® (Healthy Zone, To be Improved Zone, To be Strongly Improved Zone) cannot be converted to points or marks.
  • Because the performance of students is improved with age though natural growth and maturity, independently by the type and regularity of physical activity of students. Physical activity is dramatically decreasing from pre-puberty (especially among girls), but it does not entail automatically the worsening of physical fitness.
  • Because it is easier to achieve a bigger improvement starting from a lower level of fitness than from a higher level of fitness. Consequently, students with good physical condition start from a less advantaged position.
  • Because students react differently to workout programs. The same workout can produce staggering improvements in one case and only a slight improvement in another case. Consequently, generalized development norms cannot be easily interpreted on an individual level (i.e. everybody should improve 10 cm at standing long jump to receive a good mark).
  • Because if marks are given in base of the improvement, students learn to “manipulate” the results. Giving a poor performance in autumn then improving in spring for a good mark does not conceive the right pedagogical message.
  • Because the P.E. class circumstances (number of hours/week, quality, infrastructure) influence differently the physical fitness of students. Daily physical education (in case of adequate infrastructure and tool supply) may improve physical fitness of students, while limited environment (1-2 classes/week, usually in a half court), a curriculum of 3+2 hours and the effective physical activity during classes (generally c.ca 20 minutes) are limiting factors.
What are the main components of health-related fitness that are measured?
The different components of the health-related fitness test measure three different fitness states that are in relation with general health. The three components:

  • cardiovascular fitness (aerobic capacity), aerobic fitness (endurance);
  • functional muscoskeletal fitness (muscular strength, strength endurance, flexibility), endurance and flexibility;
  • body composition (percentage body fat, body mass index).

What kind of tools are necessary to implement NETFIT®?
The new assessment methods and contents need specific support tools to be at the teacher’s disposal. That’s why the Hungarian School Sport Federation created an adequate test kit and provided it free of charge to the Hungarian schools. The test kit contains:
  • an assessment guideline;
  • test protocol CD-s for PACER, curl-up and push-up tests;
  • educational DVD;
  • tools necessary to perform the tests (scale, height measurement tool, flexibility measurement tool, hand grip tool, measuring strip, 20 meter long strip, bioelectrical impedance analyser).
What are the Fitness Zone categories?
Besides the Healthy Fitness Zone, NETFIT® determines one or two additional Fitness Zones: “To be Improved” Zone, “To be Strongly Improved” Zone.

Can we use NETFIT® to evaluate the work of teachers?
No. As fitness test results cannot determine alone the school performance and success of students during P.E. classes, they cannot be considered as an exclusive evaluating factor of teachers’ work. According to international experience, if fitness test results are taken into consideration as the primary evaluation factors of teachers’ work, they can weaken the complex impact system of physical education.

Can we use NETFIT® to evaluate the activity of schools in relation to P.E. classes?
No. Physical fitness is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. The quantity and quality of regular physical activity is only one component influencing physical fitness. The student composition of one school depends on its speciality (i.e. public sport school, vocational school, secondary school) and on the socioeconomic status of the community living in the area of the school. In a school located in an underdeveloped region there are more children living in poor or disadvantaged circumstances. The negative impact of poor lifestyle influences the approach of children towards health and physical activity. The student composition of one school probably influences the general fitness indicators as well. Within the framework of quality assessment of school programs, the monitoring of the changes in the physical fitness status (how many students achieve the Healthy Fitness Zone), as well as the activity of the school promoting regular physical activity together provide important information on the school.

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