Assessment Techniques in Counseling – COUC 521

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation in a multicultural society. Comprehension and application of basic concepts of standardized and nonstandardized testing and other assessment techniques, including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, inventory methods, psychological testing, and behavioral observations are examined. Social and cultural factors related to the assessment and evaluation of individuals, groups, and specific populations are discussed. Identification of applicable ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling are evaluated.

Prerequisites

COUC 500, 501, 502, 504, 505, and 510

Rationale

The ability to use assessments in clinical practice is an integral part of the counseling process. Counselors must be able to competently and ethically assess clients' presenting issues, conceptualize and define these issues, evaluate and select the appropriate intervention, and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions on alleviating the clients' distress. Thus, regardless of the setting, counselors will administer and interpret a variety of assessments throughout the process of counseling. Therefore, it is essential to acquire the basic assessment skills needed to help clients gain deeper insight into themselves and their issues.

Method of Instruction: This 8 week course is delivered in an online format, with Blackboard® as the primary instructional delivery method. Students complete one module per week over the duration of the course.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment.
  2. Explain basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing and other assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test
    and inventory methods, and behavioral observations.
  3. Apply statistical concepts including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations.
  4. Explain and evaluate reliability in terms of theory of measurement error, models of reliability, and the use of reliability information.
  5. Explain and evaluate validity in terms of theory of measurement error, types of validity, and the relationship between reliability and validity.
  6. Identify how age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, language, disability, culture, spirituality, and other social and cultural factors relate to the assessment and evaluation of individuals, groups, and specific populations.
  7. Identify and utilize ethical strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments.
  8. Understand general principles and methods of case conceptualization, assessment, and/or diagnoses of mental and emotional status.

Common Core Courses Matrix of Student Competencies

F.7  Assessment and Testing


CACREP Standard

Course/Experience – Learning Experiences

F.7.a. historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment and testing in counseling

Quiz (Ch. 1)

 

F.7.b. methods of effectively preparing for and conducting initial assessment meeting

Quiz (Ch. 1), Initial Interview

 

F.7.c. procedures for assessing risk of aggression or danger to others, self-inflicted harm, or suicide

Quiz 4, Mental Status Exam

 

F.7.d. procedures for identifying trauma and abuse and for reporting abuse

Quiz 4, Mental Status Exam

 

F.7.e. use of assessments for diagnostic and intervention planning purposes

Quizzes 1, 4, 7, Discussion Board 1, Mental Status Exam, Psychological Report

F.7. f.  basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing, norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments, and group and individual assessments

Quizzes 1 6, 7, Discussion Board 3, Exploring Reliability and Validity, Mental Status Exam, Psychological Report, Test Critique.

 

F.7.g. statistical concepts, including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations

Quiz 2; Discussion Board 3; Exploring Reliability and Validity; Mental Status Exam;Psychological Report; Test Critique

F.7.h.  reliability and validity in the use of assessments

Quiz 3; Discussion Board 2, 3; Exploring Reliability and Validity; Test Critique

F.7.i. use of assessments relevant to academic/educational, career, personal, and social development

Quizzes 6, 7; Initial Interview; Mental Status Exam; Psychological Report

F.7.j. use of environmental assessments and systematic behavioral observations

Quizzes 1, 4; Discussion Board 1; Mental Status Exam; Psychological Report

 

F.7.k. use of symptoms checklist, and personal and psychological testing

Quiz 4; Initial Interview; Mental Status Exam; Psychological Report

 

F.7.l. use of assessment results to diagnose developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders

Quiz 5; Discussion Board 1; Initial Interview; Exploring Reliability and Validity; Mental Status Exam; Psychological Report

 

F.7.m. ethical and culturally relevant strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and test results

Quiz 8; Discussion Board 4; Initial Interview; Exploring Reliability; Mental Status Exam; Psychological Report; Test Critique

 

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

The student will participate in four (4) Discussion Board Forums. Discussion Boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will provide a discussion thread in response to the provided prompt in each forum. Follow the instructions provided for each discussion board forum; each forum should consist of one (1) discussion thread that responds to the forum prompt and at least two (2) responses to classmates' discussion threads. An open, curious, and honest attitude toward learning from others will facilitate development for all participants. Review the discussion forum assignment instructions for more information.

The student will use himself/herself or a fictional character as the subject of an interview that seeks to answer one of three referral questions. The interview will seek to gather all of the information that relates to the initial intake provided in the text, including identifying information, reason for referral, current situation and functioning, relevant medical history, psychiatric treatment history, family history, social and developmental history, educational and occupational history, and cultural influences. The information will be reported in a double-spaced, 900-1200 word document (not including title page). Review the assignment instructions for more information.

The student will analyze the psychometric properties provided in a test manual and evaluate the usefulness of the test for clinical practice based their review of the test. This includes describing the type and strength of reliability and validity measurements, the norm population, the quality of the information, and any discernible problems. The analysis must be reported in a 600–900-word,
double-spaced document. Review the assignment instructions for more information.

The student will build on the information gained from the initial interview. In this assignment, the student will gather all of the information that relates to the Mental Status Exam, which deals with the examinee’s appearance, manner, approach, orientation, alertness, thought processes, mood, and affect. The information will be reported in a 600-900 word document (double-spaced). Review the assignment instructions for more information.

Using the referral question and self-designed character from the Initial Interview and Mental Status Examination assignments, the student will self-administer the IPIP-NEO and the Jung Personality Test. They will then select, self-administer, and interpret two (2) additional assessments. Then, using the results from the assessments, the student will prepare and submit a 2100-2400 word Psychological Report. Review the assignment instructions for more information.

The student will write a 2100-2400 word critique for one (1) standardized test of his/her choice. The student must cite at least five (5) professional journal articles and format the paper according to current APA format. The paper will be composed of six (6) sections: general test information, test description, technical evaluation, practical evaluation, summary evaluation and critique, and references. Review the assignment instructions for more information.

After completing the assigned reading in the Sheperis, Drummond, and Jones (2020) text, students complete the chapter quizzes, consisting of 10 questions per chapter (20 items total per quiz). These questions are multiple-choice, open-book, and similar to the content found on state licensing examinations that cover the core competency of assessment and evaluation. The student
will have one (1) hour to complete each quiz.