I looked at the course outline for the psychological assessment course I will be teaching. Students are expected to identify, differentiate, characterize, analyze, define, explain and implement a plan, prepare a report, demonstrate relevant skills and integrate the material.
Learning outcomes seem to, on the whole, reflect high level cognitive skills. The course also has some lower level cognitive skills such as identifying and defining. These are useful as building blocks for higher level skills.
Student learning is assessed through discussion with colleagues, 2 quizzes, a test critique/presentation, case study and a final project which is a self-report.
The learning outcomes and assessment appear to be well aligned. Students will have to identify and explain their thinking in discussion groups and in the written assignments they prepare. They will also have to analyze, explain and demonstrate their skills in the case presentation, case study and self-report. The self-report requires that students integrate course material and apply it to a real life person-themselves. These three activities in particular include a number of high level cognitive skills that are either relational or extended abstract in nature.
The quizzes are a small part of the final mark and they too are aligned to the learning outcomes as they require students to identify, describe and define. However, they mostly measure unistructural skills.
Two of the course objectives that seem to limit students to unistructural or multi-structural responses are:
- Define concepts related to psychometrics and statistics involved in instrument development, reliability coefficients, variance, standardized and converted scores (T-scores, z-scores), validity, and measures of central tendency.I would add to this: Apply these concepts and illustrate how to use them in a self-report.
- Define assessment as related to counselling and describe how it is part of the larger counselling process.I might add to this; justify your use/non-use of a formal and/or informal assessment in a given case study.