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Chapter 12: Testing and Assessment Chapter 13: Research and Evaluation. SECTION V: Research, Program Evaluation, and Appraisal. Testing and Assessment. Chapter 12. Defining Testing and Assessment. Testing: a subset of assessment Assessment includes: Informal Assessment Personality Testing

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Chapter 12: Testing and Assessment

Chapter 13: Research and Evaluation

SECTION V:Research, Program Evaluation, and Appraisal

Testing and Assessment

Chapter 12

Defining Testing and Assessment

  • Testing: a subset of assessment

  • Assessment includes:

    • Informal Assessment

    • Personality Testing

    • Ability Testing

    • The Clinical Interview

    • See Figure 12.1, p. 396

Why Testing?

  • You will be administering and interpreting assessment instruments

  • You may consult with others on their proper use

  • You may use them in program evaluation and research

  • You will read about them in the professional literature

  • School counselors: Sometimes the only expert on assessment in the schools

  • Other counselors: Will likely be using them in your setting and consulting with others who use them

  • Why testing? Why not testing? Testing is an additional method of gaining information about your client

A Little Background (History)

  • 2200 BCE: Chinese developed essay type test for civil service employees

  • Darwin, set the stage for modern science and the examination of differences

  • Wundt, Fechner: 1st experimental labs to examine differences in people

  • Binet: Hired by Ministry of Public Education in France to develop intelligence test

  • Binet test, later became “Stanford Binet”—revised by Terman

History (Cont’d)

  • Spread of testing at beginning of 20th century:

    • Psychoanalysis spurred on development of objective and projective personality tests

    • Industrial Revolution and need for vocational assessment

    • WWI: Ability and personality tests used to determine placements of recruits

    • 1940s and 1950s: advances in statistics led to better test construction

    • 1980s and on: Personal computers make tests easier to develop, analyze, use, administer, and interpret

Types of Assessment Techniques

  • Ability Testing (Testing in the Cognitive Domain) (see Figure 12.2, p. 399)

    • Two types

      • Achievement Testing (What one has learned)

      • Aptitude Testing (What one is capable of learning)

    • Achievement Testing

      • Survey Battery Tests

      • Diagnostic Tests (see Box 12.1, p. 400: PL 94-142)

      • Readiness Tests

Types of Assessment Techniques

  • Ability Testing (Testing in the Cognitive Domain) (see Figure 12.2, p. 399) (Cont’d)

    • Aptitude Tests (What one is capable of learning)

      • Intellectual and Cognitive Functioning Testing

        • Intelligence Tests

        • Neuropsychological Assessment

      • Cognitive Ability Tests

      • Special Aptitude Tests

      • Multiple Aptitude Tests

Types of Assessment Techniques

  • Personality Assessment (Testing in the Affective Domain; see Figure 12.3, p. 399)

    • Objective Tests

    • Projective Tests

    • Interest Inventories

  • Informal Assessment (see Figure 12.4, p. 399)

    • Observation

    • Rating Scales (see Box 12.2, p. 404)

    • Classification Systems (see Box 12.3)

    • Environmental Assessment

    • Records and Personal Documents

    • Performance-Based Assessment

Types of Assessment Techniques

  • The Clinical Interview

    • Sets a tone for the types of information that will be covered during the assessment process

    • Allows client to become desensitized to information that can be very intimate and personal

    • Allows examiner to assess nonverbals of client while he or she is talking about sensitive information

    • Allows examiner to learn problem areas firsthand

    • Gives client and examiner opportunity to study other’s personality style to assure they can work together

Norm-referenced and Criterion Referenced Assessment

  • Norm-referenced Tests

    • Your results are compared to your peer group

  • Criterion-referenced Tests:

    • Preset learning goals are established

    • Examinee has increased time to meet educational goals

    • Often used for individuals with learning disabilities

  • Norm-Referenced and Criterion Tests Can Be Standardized or Non-Standardized

    • Standardized: Given exactly the same way each time

    • Non-Standardized: Vary in how administered. Generally not as rigidly researched as standardized tests (e.g., teacher made tests)

    • See Table 12.1, p. 407

Test Statistics

  • Relativity and Meaningfulness of Scores

    • Raw scores don’t hold much meaning unless you do something to them

    • By comparing raw scores to those of an individual’s peer group, you are able to:

      • See how the individual did in comparison to similar people

      • Allow test takers who took the same test, but are in different norm groups to compare their results

      • Allow an individual to compare his or her results on two different tests

Test Statistics

  • Some statistics help us make meaning of test scores

    • Measures of Central Tendency

      • Mean

      • Median

      • Mode

    • Measures of Variability

      • Range

      • Interquartile Range

      • Standard Deviation

        • See Figure 12.5, page 409

        • See Figures 12.6 and 12.7; page 410 and 411

Derived Scores(Converted Raw Scores)

Types of Derived Scores

Types of Derived Scores

Normal Curve Equivalents (NCEs)


Sten Scores

Grade Equivalent Scores

Idiosyncratic Publisher-Derived Scores

  • Percentile Rank

  • T-Scores

  • Deviation IQ

  • SAT/GRE Type Scores

  • ACT Scores

Correlation Coefficient

  • A basic statistic not directly related to interpretation of test but crucial in test construction

    • Ranges from -1.0 to +1.0

    • The closer to -1.0 and +1.0 the strong the relationship between variables

    • Positive correlation: tendency for two sets of scores to be related in same direction

    • Negative correlation: tendency for two sets of scores to be related in opposite direction

    • 0 = no relationship between variables

    • See Figure 12.8, p. 413

Test Worthiness

  • Four Types

    • Validity: Is the test measuring what it’s supposed to measure?

    • Reliability: Is the test accurate (consistent) in its measurement?

    • Practicality: Is this a practical test to use?

    • Cross-Cultural Fairness: Has the test been shown to be fair across different cultures?

Test Worthiness: Validity

  • Three types

    • Content

    • Criterion-Related

      • Concurrent

      • Predictive

    • Construct

      • Experimental

      • Convergent

      • Discriminant

      • Factor Analysis

  • Face validity

    • Not a “real” type of validity. Does the test, on the surface, seem to measure what it’s supposed to measure

    • Some tests may be valid, but may not seem to be measuring what it’s supposed to measure

Test Worthiness: Cross-Cultural Fairness

  • Is bias removed—as best as possible?

  • Does it predict well for all cultural groups?

    • Griggs v. Duke Power Company: Tests must show that they can predict for job performance

    • A number of ethical and legal issues have been addressed (see later under “Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues”)

    • See Table 12.2, p.417: Summary of Types of Validity and Reliability

Test Worthiness: Reliability

  • Four Types:

    • Test-Retest

    • Alternate (Parallel; Equivalent) Forms

    • Split-Half (Odd-Even)

    • Internal Consistency

      • Cronbach’s Coefficient Alpha

      • Kuder-Richardson

Test Worthiness: Practicality

  • Is this a realistic test to give?

  • Based on:

    • Cost

    • Time to administer

    • Ease of administration

    • Format of test

    • Readability of test

    • Ease of interpretation

Where to Find Tests and Assessment Techniques

  • Over 4000 assessment procedures

  • How do you find them:

    • Publisher resource catalogs

    • Journals

    • Source Books and On-Line Source “Book” Information

      • Buros Mental Measurement Yearbook

      • Tests in Print

    • Books on Testing and Assessment

    • Experts

    • The Internet

Writing Assessment Reports

  • Info usually included:

    • Demographic information

    • Reason for referral

    • Family background

    • Other relevant information (e.g., legal, medical, vocational)

  • Behavioral observations

  • Mental status

  • Test results

  • Diagnosis

  • Recommendations

  • Summary

Writing Assessment Reports

  • Usually a few pages long

  • Problems with:

    • Overuse of jargon

    • Focusing on assessment procedures & downplaying person

    • Focusing on person and downplaying assessment results

    • Poor organization

    • Poor writing skills

    • Failure to take a position

    • Demographics

Multicultural Issue/Social Justice Focus

  • Caution in Using Assessment Procedures

    • Cultural bias continues to exist in testing

    • Standards and ethical codes have been developed to help us:

      • Understand the cultural bias inherent in tests

      • Know when a test should not be used due to bias

      • Know what to do with test results when a test does not predict well for minorities

  • Standards for effective use of assessment instruments

    • Association for Assessment in Counseling’s Standards for Multicultural Assessment

    • Code of Fair Testing in Education

    • ACA Ethics Code

Multicultural Issue/Social Justice Focus

  • Take A Stand—Do Something!

    • Our duty and moral responsibility to do something when

      • Tests have been administered improperly

      • Tests are culturally biased and the bias is not addressed

      • Cheating has taken place

      • Tests were used with limited validity or reliability

Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues

  • Ethics

    • Guidelines for use of assessment instruments(see bottom p. 420)

    • Informed consent

    • Invasion of privacy and confidentiality

    • Competence in the use of Tests

      • Levels A, B, and C

    • Technology and Assessment

      • Sometimes, counselor not used with computer-generated reports

      • Issues of confidentiality and privacy

      • Knowing laws relative to the impact of on-line technology

      • Adequate training in technology

Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues

Ethical issues

Professional Issues

Professional Issues

Computer-Driven Assessment Reports

Can be very good

Make sure they reflect “you”

Professional Association

Assoc. for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACE)

Adivision of ACA

  • Ethics (Other Issues)

    • Proper release of test results

    • Selecting Tests

    • Administering, Scoring and Interpreting Tests

    • Keeping Tests Secure

    • Picking up-to-date tests

    • Proper Test Construction

Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues

  • Legal Issues

    • Americans with Disabilities Act: Accommodations must be made when taking tests for employment

    • (FERPA) Buckley Amendment: Right to access school records, including test records

    • Carl Perkins Act (PL98-524): Right to vocational assessment, counseling, and placement for disadvantaged

    • Civil Rights Act (‘64) & Amendments: Tests must be shown to be valid for the job

Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues

  • Legal Issues (Cont’d)

    • Freedom of Information Act: Right to access federal records, including test records

    • PL94-142 and IDEIA: Right of students to be tested, at school’s expense, for a suspected disability that interferes with learning

    • Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act: Instruments must measure person’s ability, not be a reflection of his or her disability

    • HIPAA: Right of privacy of records, including test records

The Counselor in Process

  • Assessment of clients is not just giving a test

  • Use multiple methods and be wise

  • Remember, people can and will change over time

    • Don’t view them as “stagnant” and always the same

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