Foundations of Psychological Assessment
Syllabus - Fall 2008
Adam Weaver, Ph.D.
Office phone: 712-366-4210
Office hours: TBA
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Class: Thursdays, 6:00 - 8:40pm, AS 308
Course texts and materials:
Anastasi, A. & Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological Testing (7th ed.). Prentice-Hall.
Additional required readings will be assigned throughout the semester. Some may be provided in class.
Many will be your responsibility to find!
For students to demonstrate understanding of measurement concepts, types of assessments, and
purposes of various types of assessment tools. Students should be able to critically review assessment
measures, be familiar with different types of test scores, and be able to interpret test results.
UNO School Psychology Program Training Objectives
Based on the UNO School Psychology Program’s philosophy, students are trained according to the
following objectives throughout their coursework. The specific action steps that correspond to each
objective and that directly relate to the teaching, content, and goals of this course are indicated in
1. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills represented in the scientist-practitioner model of
school psychology (1.2).
· As reflected in course goal: “Be able to critically review assessment measures.”
· Students are assigned various readings beyond the textbook.
2. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to become data-based problem-solvers for
individual, group, and system-level issues (2.1, 2.3).
· As reflected in course goal: “Demonstrate understanding of measurement concepts, types of
assessments, and purposes of various types of assessment tools.”
· Assigned readings and discussion topics include: functional behavior analysis and
curriculum based measurement.
3. Students will practice in a respectful and sensitive manner when addressing the needs of
individuals from diverse backgrounds (3.2).
· Assigned readings and discussion topics cover testing special populations.
4. Students will become reflective practitioners and productive contributors to the profession
· Students participate in discussions.
NASP Blueprint Domains of School Psychology Training and Practice (of major emphasis):
The following domains are emphasized throughout the School Psychology coursework and field
experiences. Competency in each of these domains is established by developing the knowledge and skills
in the following areas, which is the focus/purpose of this course.
· 1. Data-based decision-making and accountability.
o As reflected in course goal: “Demonstrate understanding of measurement concepts, types of
assessments, and purposes of various types of assessment tools.”
· 5. Student diversity in development and learning.
o Assigned readings and discussion topics cover testing special populations.
· 9. Research and program evaluation.
o Students learn about the core components of research-based assessment measures and
how to evaluate these tests.
· 10. School Psychology practice and development.
o Students reflect on the reliability, validity, and use of various assessment measures.
Course Requirements and percentage of grade:
Weekly quizzes 30 percent
Test review: ability 20 percent
Test review: achievement 20 percent
Test review: other 20 percent
Participation (class discussions, questions, etc.) 10 percent
97% - 100% = A+
90% - 96% = A
87% - 89% = B+
80% - 86% = B
70% - 79% = C
60% - 69% = D
Below 60% = F
Description of Requirements:
Weekly Quizzes: The purpose of quizzes will be to ensure that students are gaining the knowledge
presented in class lectures and readings. Quizzes will be held at the beginning of the class period and
cover the preceding lecture(s) and readings that have not been covered on a quiz. Quizzes will consist of
multiple-choice and/or short answer/essay responses. Questions will be pulled from class lectures and
readings. All quizzes missed must be made up prior to the next scheduled class after which time 5 points
will be docked from the quiz per day.
Test reviews: The purpose of the test reviews will be to have students review common assessment tools to
determine acceptable uses for the tool and to assess the merit of the measure. Two test reviews will be
completed. The first test to be reviewed will be an intelligence test. The second test to be reviewed will
be an achievement test. Potential tests for review will be provided in class although students may
purpose reviewing a test not on our list.
In preparing the test review, students should rely heavily on the Standards for evaluating the assessment
measure. Information regarding the test can be found in its manual, The Buros Mental Measurement
Yearbooks (http://www.unl.edu/buros/), and through literature reviews. Literature reviews only need to
be conducted if a test manual and The Buros Yearbook does not present sufficient reliability or validity
support. If using additional literature, please cite the references in APA style. However, if a literature
search is conducted but additional evidence is not found, please attach your literature search. Reviews
should include the following information;
1. Description and purpose of the test.
2. Populations the test was developed with and those appropriate for the test.
3. Test results information (e.g., does the test give scaled scores, percentile ranks, z-
scores, t-scores, etc.).
4. Reliability evidence collected
5. Validity evidence collected
6. What kind of interpretations can the test giver make given the results?
7. Under what circumstances would you give this test? How would it be helpful to a
school psychologist, parent, teacher, and student?
The following should be handed in on the date it is due: review paper, The Buros Yearbook review,
and literature search if necessary. Also, provide copies of your review for others in the class.
Papers turned in late will be penalized 10 percent for each day.
Final test review and presentation of other test:
The final test to be reviewed will be presented to the class. The same information should be
covered in the presentation as would be in a test review write-up. The presentation test review should be
from one of the following assessment areas: adaptive behavior, projective techniques, personality,
interests, attitudes, behavior rating forms, or neuropsychological instruments. Be prepared to give a
handout to the class when you present the test. Test review presentations should be about 15 minutes.
[subject to change]
Week Date Topic Readings
1 8/28 Introduction & syllabus review Anastasi: Chapter 1
2 9/4 History of testing, Test Uses, Ethical Anastasi: Chapter 2 & 18
considerations Additional Reading
3 9/11 Weekly Quiz (Week 1 & 2) Anastasi: Chapter 3
4 9/18 Weekly Quiz (Week 3) Anastasi: Chapter 4
5 9/25 Weekly Quiz (Week 4) Anastasi: Chapters 5 & 6
Validity Additional Readings
6 10/2 Test interpretation, review Additional Readings
7 10/9 Weekly Quiz (Week 5 & 6) Anastasi: Chapters 11, 12
Intelligence theory/Ability Tests
8 10/16 Intelligence continued Additional Readings
9 10/23 Weekly Quiz (Week 7 & 8) Anastasi: Chapter 9
Testing Special Populations, Adaptive Behavior Additional Readings
10 10/30 Weekly Quiz (Week 9) Anastasi: Chapter 17
Achievement Tests Additional Readings
Test Review 1 due (Ability Test)
11 11/6 Weekly Quiz (Week 10) Additional Readings
Curriculum Based Measurement
12 11/13 Weekly Quiz (Week 11) Additional Readings
Behavioral Assessment, Observations, Rating
13 11/20 Weekly Quiz (Week 12) Anastasi: Chapters 13, 14, 15
Projectives, Personality, Interests, Attitudes Additional Readings
Test Review 2 due (Achievement Test)
14 12/4 Neuropsychological Testing Additional Readings
15 12/11 Weekly Quiz (Week 13 & 14)
16 12/18 Presentations (continued)