CSD 5900: Appraisal

Instructor: Steven R. Conn, Ph.D.
Phone: 581-7242                               E-mail: cfsrc@eiu.edu
Office: 2112 Buzzard                         Office Hours: TBA

Course Description: This course is designed to provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.

Course Objectives:

Students will:

a. Study the historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment.
b. Understand basic concepts of standardized and nonstandardized testing and other assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, performance assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer- assisted methods.
c. Understand statistical concepts including scales of measurement, measures of central tendency, indices of variability, shapes and types of distributions, and correlations.
d. Understand measurement concepts including reliability and validity.
e. Understand issues related to the needs of diverse populations including race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, language, disability, and sexual orientation.
f. Apply strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling.
g. Understand general principles and methods of case conceptualization, assessment, and/or diagnoses of mental and emotional status.
h. Address ethical and legal considerations.

Course Text

Whiston, S. C. (2000). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling
      Stamford, CT: Thomson Learning.

Supplementary Materials

APA/NCME/AERA. (1999). The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Copies can purchased from any of the above associations. Visit their websites for details. [APA: American Psychological Association; NCME: National Council on Measurement in Education; AERA: American Educational Research Association.]

Primary Learning Model

The lecture method (information processing) will be used when applicable. Concepts introduced in the course will be applied to a specific instrument. Students will administer, score, and interpret results of that psychological measure. A cooperative learning model will also be used through student participation and presentations.

Appraisal is intended to give the candidate in counseling and student development an understanding of the use and suitability of measurement instruments. Since a large proportion of the professional counselor's time is devoted to gathering information, skills in this area are of importance.

Notice to Students with disabilities: If you have a documented disability and wish to receive academic accommodations, please contact the Coordinator of the Office of Disability Services (581-6583) as soon as possible.


1.      Test Interpretation Project [two administrations]. Each student will administer three instruments to two different people, or “Clients” (not classmates). The three instruments you will administer are: the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF: a measure of normal personality) and the Self-Directed Search (SDS: a measure of vocational interest), and the Multidimensional Aptitude Battery II (MAB-II: also serves as a measure of intelligence).
     For your First Client, you will administer, score, interpret, and give client feedback using only the 16PF and the SDS. For your Second Client, you will administer, score, interpret, and give client feedback for all three instruments.
     After you have administered and scored these measures, you will be required to provide feedback to your examinees. You will then be required to turn in a written report for each administration containing an interpretation of the test scores along with a summary of your feedback session. Keep in mind that your interpretations are to be based on test scores, not personal impressions or opinions. However, your feedback summary will contain impressions and opinions of your experiences during the feedback session you provided to your examinees.
     Your assessment report needs to be 5 - 6 pages in length, typewritten, and double-spaced. Construct your paper using the following components:

I. Score Interpretation section.

    A. Demographic information along with notable physical and emotional characteristics. Include an overall assessment of the person’s appearance and mood they present at the time of testing. These aspects can have clinical implications, particularly in relation to the purpose for being tested.

     B. Problem-solving approach. Use 16PF [and MAB-II] scores to address questions such as: How does the individual approach solving problems facing him or her? Does he or she use a practical or novel approach? Does he or she tend to solve problems independently or with the help of others? How is the individual likely to react, emotionally, to obstacles to solving problems? How is the individual likely to manifest his or her emotional responses?
Also compare and/or contrast the individual's problem-solving approach with characteristics of occupational areas suggested by the interest inventory. Discuss your interpretations using specific job characteristics or duties [and mental abilities] that the examinee is likely to perform well and those that might be challenging for the individual.

     C. Social life preferences, interests. Use 16PF [and MAB-II] scores to address questions such as: Does the individual prefer to spend his or her time primarily alone or with others? Does he or she prefer meeting people who are pragmatic or creative? What roles does the individual adopt most often in social interactions? What emotions does he or she usually experience when in social settings?
Similar to the previous section, compare and/or contrast the examinee's social orientation with characteristics of occupational areas [and mental abilities].

      D. Work orientation. Use 16PF [and MAB-II] scores to address questions such as: Does the individual like to work with others or independently? In what kind of work settings would this individual most likely be successful? Is this the same for hobbies? Does he or she prefer highly structured environment or one that is flexible? Does the individual view himself or herself as an "idea" person or someone who makes things happen? Likewise, how does the individual's work orientation compare/contrast with his or her occupational interests [and mental abilities]?

     E. Include a table containing your Client’s demographic information and test scores, for all the appropriate tests. A format for constructing your table has been attached to the syllabus.

II. Feedback Analysis

Your analysis of the feedback session you provide for your examinee should cover two main areas: What worked for you in the session, and what you would do differently.
A. Summarize your successes at communicating the test results to your examinee. What aspects of the feedback went well for you and your examinee?
B. Briefly describe what you would have done differently in giving feedback. What specific knowledge or experiences would have helped you feel more confident in giving feedback?

2. Final Exam [optional]. A final exam will be offered and will cover material related to the various concepts of testing as well as ethical issues. You will be informed as to the specific chapters as the semester progresses.


     To receive a grade of B in this course, you must complete the Test Administration and Feedback projects and turn in the above-mentioned summary papers. For each of these administrations, you are expected to produce graduate level work. That is, complete each project independently, provide a thoughtful effort, and hand in by the scheduled due dates, respectively.

     To receive a grade of A in this course, you must complete to two projects discussed above AND obtain a score of 85% or higher on the final exam. Provided you have completed the two projects satisfactorily, taking the final exam will not adversely affect your grade.