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R. Eric Landrum Department of Psychology Boise State University elandru@boisestate.edu APA Symposium: Essential Skills for Psychology Majors: Do Students Actually Acquire Them? Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 8, 2009. Where We Need To Go: MEASURING Skills Psychology Baccalaureates Possess.

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where we need to go measuring skills psychology baccalaureates possess

R. Eric Landrum

Department of Psychology

Boise State University

elandru@boisestate.edu

APA Symposium: Essential Skills for Psychology Majors: Do Students Actually Acquire Them?

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

August 8, 2009

Where We Need To Go: MEASURING Skills Psychology Baccalaureates Possess

thinking about this talk
Thinking about this talk…
  • Statistics:
    • 18 days, 5000 miles, 12 states, 2 teenagers (2009)
belief 1
Belief #1
  • What we deem as important to our students’ education and to our discipline is worthy of and necessitates assessment.
belief 2
Belief #2
  • Not everything that is important in higher education can be adequately assessed with a multiple choice test.
employer expectations
Employer Expectations
  • Employer survey: What graduates lack (AAC&U, 2008)—percent of employers reporting the item lacking in parentheses
    • Global knowledge (46%)
    • Self-direction (42%)
    • Writing skills (37%)
    • Critical thinking skills (31%)
    • Adaptability (30%)
    • Self-knowledge (26%)
assessment centers
Assessment Centers
  • First industrial use in 1956 at AT&T
  • Tasks:
    • Leaderless group discussion
    • In-basket task
    • Business game
    • Projective tests
    • In-depth interview
    • Personal history form
assessment center guidelines
Assessment Center Guidelines
  • Multiple assessment techniques are used, at least one of which must be a simulation.
  • Multiple trained assessors are used.
  • The overall judgment regarding the applicant must be based on a combination of multiple assessors and multiple assessments.
  • Simulation exercises must be reliable, objective, and job-related.
  • All behaviors measured must be job-related.
ap psychology exam
AP Psychology Exam
  • Over 150,000 high school students took the AP Psychology Exam in 2009
  • Two-thirds of the AP score is based on 100 multiple choice items
  • One-third of the AP score is based on two free-response essays
  • Students typically must go beyond definition of terms and make real-world connections to terminology via application of information
dmv requirements for a driver s license idaho
DMV Requirements for a Driver’s License (Idaho)
  • Vision screening
  • Written knowledge test (may miss 6 out of 40)
  • Skills test (evaluates your ability to drive a vehicle safely, demonstrate good driving habits, and obey traffic laws in a variety of driving situations)
    • Pre-drive check
    • Driving test
useful rubrics available
Useful Rubrics Available

From: Halonen, Bosack, Clay, McCarthy, Dunn, Hill, McEntarffer, Mehrotra, Nesmith, Weaver, and Whitlock (2003)

assessment resource examples
Assessment Resource Examples
  • Assessment Cyberguide http://www.apa.org/ed/critique_study.html
  • Assessing student learning: A collection of evaluation tools (Johnson & Vosmik, 2009)
more resources
More Resources
  • American Psychological Association. (2007). APA guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from www.apa.org/ed/resources.html
  • Appleby, D. (2000, Spring). Job skills valued by employers who interview psychology majors. Eye on Psi Chi, 4(3), 17.
  • Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2008). How should college assess and improve student learning? Employers’ views on the accountability challenge: A survey of employers conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Washington, DC: Author. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 499718)
  • Beins, B. (2003). What should psychology majors know and what should they be able to do? Eye on Psi Chi, 7(3), 38-39.
  • Fried, C. B., & Johanson, J. C. (2003). Curriculum review using a knowledge, skills, and abilities-based assessment of alumni. Teaching of Psychology, 30, 316-318.
  • Gaither, G., & Butler, D. (2005). Skill development in the psychology major: What do undergraduate students expect? College Student Journal, 39, 540-552.
  • Graham, S. E. (1998). Developing student outcomes for the psychology major: An assessment-as-learning framework. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 165-170.
  • Halonen, J. S., Bosack, T., Clay, S., McCarthy, M., Dunn, D. S., Hill, G. W., IV, McEntarffer, R., Mehrotra, C., Nesmith, R., Weaver, K. A., & Whitlock, K. (2003). A rubric for learning, teaching, and assessing scientific inquiry in psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 30, 196-208.
  • Halpern, D. F. (1988). Assessing student outcomes for psychology majors. Teaching of Psychology, 15, 181-186.
  • Hettich, P. I., & Helkowski, C. (2005). Connect college to career: A student’s guide to work and life transitions. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  • Kruger, D. J., & Zechmeister, E. B. (2001). A skills-experience inventory for the undergraduate psychology major. Teaching of Psychology, 28, 249-253.
  • Lawson, T. J. (1999). Assessing psychological critical thinking as a learning outcome for psychology majors. Teaching of Psychology, 26, 207-209.
  • Milton, O., Pollio, H. R., & Eison, J. A. (1986). Making sense of college grades. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • McGovern, T. V., Furumoto, L., Halpern, D. F., Kimble, G. A., & McKeachie, W. J. (1991). Liberal education, study in depth, and the arts and sciences major—Psychology. American Psychologist, 46, 598-605.
  • Robbins, A., & Wilner, A. (2001). Quarterlife crisis. New York: Penguin Press.
belief 11
Belief #1
  • What we deem as important to our students’ education and to our discipline is worthy of and necessitates assessment.
belief 21
Belief #2
  • Not everything that is important in higher education can be adequately assessed with a multiple choice test.
you only get two
You only get two…

Good

Fast

Cheap

bloom s taxonomy revised
Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised)

(Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001)

in basket task pelfrey 1986
In-Basket Task (Pelfrey, 1986)

“The assessees were told that they had just been appointed to the position they were seeking. They were to arrive in their new job on Sunday and leave in exactly 3 hours to catch a plane for a meeting. They would be out of town for several days and must attend to all of the things left by their predecessor…. The assessees were then given a packet of materials including 25 distinct but interrelated problems. These problems ranged from minor but thorny problems such as a secretary going on vacation to a complicated report requiring an immediate response. The assessee worked individually and had to deal with each of these problems, write notes, report on actions taken, delegate tasks where appropriate, and recognize the interrelationship of some of the problems. Following the in-basket exercise, the AT&T team interviewed each assessee to see how the problems were addressed, the thought processes used, and the logic of the decisions. This interview became part of the assessment of the candidate” (p. 66).