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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.