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Psychological assessment guides are created by psychology professionals to provide the public with accurate and authoritative information appropriate for their current needs. Information available to the public about psychological testing and assessment varies widely depending on the professional creating it, the purpose of the assessment, and the intended audience. When professionals effectively educate the public on the how, what, and why behind assessments and the strengths and limitations of commonly used instruments, potential clients are in a better position to be informed users of assessment products and services. The Assessment Guides developed in this course will be designed to provide the lay public with accurate and culturally relevant information to aid them in making informed decisions about psychological testing. Students will develop their Guides with the goal of educating readers to be informed participants in the assessment process.
There is no required template for the development of the Assessment Guide. Students are encouraged to be creative while maintaining the professional appearance of their work. The Guide must be reader-friendly (sixth- to ninth-grade reading level) and easy to navigate, and it must include a combination of text, images, and graphics to engage readers in the information provided. Throughout their Guides, students will provide useful examples and definitions as well as questions readers should ask their practitioners. To ensure accuracy, students are expected to use only scholarly and peer-reviewed sources for the information in the development of their Guides.
Students will begin their Guides with a general overview of assessment, reasons for assessment referrals, and the importance of the role of each individual in the process. Within each of the remaining sections, students will describe the types of assessments that their readers may encounter, the purposes of each type of assessment, the different skills and abilities the instruments measure, the most valid and reliable uses of the measures, and limitations of the measures. A brief section will be included to describe the assessment process, the types of professionals who conduct the assessments, and what to expect during the assessment meetings.
The Assessment Guide must include the following sections:
Table of Contents (Portrait orientation must be used for the page layout of this section.)
In this one-page section, students must list the following subsections and categories of assessments.
Section 1: Introduction and Overview (Portrait or landscape orientation may be used for the page layout of this section.)
Students will begin their Guides with a general overview of assessment. In this two-page section, students will briefly address the major aspects of the assessment process. Students are encouraged to develop creative titles for these topics that effectively communicate the meanings to the intended audience.
Categories of Assessment (Portrait or landscape orientation may be used for the page layout of this section.)
For each of the following, students will create a two-page information sheet or pamphlet to be included in the Assessment Guide. For each category of assessment, students will include the required content listed in the PSY640 Content for Testing Pamphlets and Information SheetsLinks to an external site.. Be sure to reference the content requirementsLinks to an external site. prior to completing each of the information sheets on the following categories of assessment.
Special Topics (Student’s Choice)
In addition to the required seven categories of assessment listed above, students will develop an eighth information sheet or pamphlet that includes information targeted either at a specific population or about a specific issue related to psychological assessment not covered in one of the previous sections. Students may choose from one of the following categories:
References (Portrait orientation must be used for the page layout of this section.)
Include a separate reference section that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing CenterLinks to an external site.. The reference list must consist entirely of scholarly sources. For the purposes of this assignment, assessment manuals, the course textbook, chapters from graduate-level textbooks, chapters from professional books, and peer-reviewed journal articles may be used as resource material. A minimum of 16 unique scholarly sources including a minimum of 12 peer-reviewed articles published within the last 10 years from the Ashford University Library must be used within the Assessment Guide. The bulleted list of credible professional and/or educational online resources required for each assessment area will not count toward these totals.
Attention Students: The Masters of Arts in Psychology program is utilizing the Pathbrite portfolio tool as a repository for student scholarly work in the form of signature assignments completed within the program. After receiving feedback for this Assessment Guide, please implement any changes recommended by the instructor, go to Pathbrite Links to an external site.and upload the revised Assessment Guide to the portfolio. (Use the Pathbrite Quick-Start GuideLinks to an external site. to create an account if you do not already have one.) The upload of signature assignments will take place after completing each course. Be certain to upload revised signature assignments throughout the program as the portfolio and its contents will be used in other courses and may be used by individual students as a professional resource tool. See the PathbriteLinks to an external site. website for information and further instructions on using this portfolio tool.
The Assessment Guide
Carefully review the Grading RubricLinks to an external site. for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
PSY640 Content for Testing Pamphlets and Information Sheets
For each category of assessment listed in the assignment, students will create two pages of information.
The intent for the layout is that it be consistent with either a two-page information sheet (front and back),
or a two-sided tri-fold pamphlet that might be found in the office of a mental health professional. The
presentation of the information within each pamphlet or brochure must incorporate at least three different
visual representations of the information (e.g., text, graphics, images, original cartoons).
For each pamphlet or information sheet a minimum of three scholarly sources must be used, at least two
of which must be from peer-reviewed journal articles published within the last 10 years and obtained from
the Ashford University Library. Some sources may be relevant for more than one category of assessment;
therefore, it is acceptable to use relevant sources in more than one category. Remember that the language
for each information sheet should be at the sixth- to ninth-grade reading level to allow a broad audience at
various ages and levels of education to better understand each category of assessment.
For each category of assessment.
• Introduce and offer a brief, easy-to-understand definition for the broad assessment category being
measured. (e.g., What is intelligence?, What is achievement?, What is personality?, What does
“neuropsychological” mean? What does “forensic” mean?)
• Provide a brief overview of the types of tests commonly used within the category of assessment
explain what they measure. Compare the commonly used assessment instruments within the
• Describe appropriate and inappropriate uses of tests within the category of assessment. Explain
why some tests are more appropriate for specific populations and purposes and which tests may
be inappropriate. Analyze and describe the challenges related to assessing individuals from
diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Evaluate the ethical interpretation of testing and
assessment data as it relates to the test types within the category. Describe major debates in the
field regarding different assessment approaches within the category. (e.g., Intellectual disabilities,
formerly known as “mental retardation,” cannot be determined by a single test. Thus, an
inappropriate use of an intelligence test would be to use such a test as the sole instrument to
diagnose an intellectual ability.)
• Describe the format in which assessment results may be expected. Evaluate and explain the
professional interpretation of testing and assessment data. Analyze the psychometric
methodologies typically employed in the validation of types of psychological testing within the
category. Include information about the types of scores used to communicate assessment results
consistent with the tests being discussed (e.g., scaled scores, percentile rank, grade equivalent,
age equivalent, standard age score, confidence interval).
• Explain the common terminology used in assessment in a manner that demystifies the
professional jargon (e.g., In the course of discussing intelligence testing, students would define
concepts such as I.Q., categories of intelligence, and the classification labels used to describe
persons with intellectual disabilities.)
• Include a bulleted list of at least three credible professional and/or educational online resources
where the reader can obtain more information about the various types of testing in order to aid
him or her in the evaluation and interpretation of testing and assessment data. No commercial
websites may be used. Include the name of the organization that authored the web page, the title
of the web page and/or document, and the URL. (These websites will not count toward the 12
scholarly resources required for the assignment.)