PSYCHOL 7132 - Psychological Assessment

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course aims to introduce students to the principles and practice of psychological assessment. The course will focus on a small number of widely used norm-referenced tests of abilities, and both clinician rated and self-report measures used in the assessment of emotional and behavioural problems.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 7132
    Course Psychological Assessment
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge Honours level knowledge of the purpose for assessment and the basic principles and practices of psychometric testing.
    Restrictions Available to M Psych (Clin) and PhD/MPsych(Clin) students only or by permission of Head of School
    Course Description This course aims to introduce students to the principles and practice of psychological assessment. The course will focus on a small number of widely used norm-referenced tests of abilities, and both clinician rated and self-report measures used in the assessment of emotional and behavioural problems.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rachel Roberts

    Additional Academic Staff:
    Dr Linley Denson: Ph - +61 8313 4128; Email -

    School of Psychology Office:
    Ms Janine Flory: Ph - +61 8313 1540; Email -

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The following learning outcomes are consistent with the APS College Course Approval guidelines for Postgraduate Specialist Courses in Clinical Psychology

    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1.    Apply knowledge and clinical skills in the practice of psychological assessment for a variety of assessment tasks, across the lifespan.
    2.    Demonstrate competence in the selection, administration, and scoring of assessment measures
    3.    Demonstrate competence in drawing inferences from the results within a hypothesis generating and hypothesis testing framework
    4.    Demonstrate competence in writing a report and letter to a referral source of a professional standard. 

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecturers will provide reading material which will be made available on MyUni, prior to or at each session.
    Recommended Resources
    Lecturers will provide reading material which will be made available on MyUni, prior to or at each session.
    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:
    - Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    - Submission of assessment
    - Access to resources such as additional readings
    - Self-directed learning activities

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lecturers will support group discussion related to the lecture content. This will include clinical case scenarios to guide the development of psychological assessment practice. Time will also be spent familiarising students with tests, as well as practice and supervision in administration, scoring and interpreting psychological tests.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Seminars: 3 hours each week for 12 weeks = 36 hours
    Video assessment: 2 hours (not including preparation time)
    Independent test familiarisation and practice administration: 3 hours per week = 36 hours
    Independent reading: 3 hours per week =  36 hours
    Assignment 1: 26 hours
    Assignment 2: 20 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecturer will be held weekly on a Wednesday morning from 9:10am- 12 noon. The following is a provisional program. The final program will be advised at semester commencement.

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Assessment planning and test selection Assessment principles
    Week 2 Introduction to the Wechsler Scales Assessment of intelligence
    Week 3 Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV Assessment of intelligence
    Week 4 Assessment of intellectual ability in children and adolescents Assessment of intelligence
    Week 5 Report writing 1: Planning, organisation, professional standards Communicating assessments
    Week 6 Report writing 2: Interview content, legal and ethical implications Communicating assessments
    Week 7 Assessment of mental health Assessment of mental health
    Week 8 Personality assessment Assessment of personality
    Week 9 Assessment of memory (focus on WMS-IV) Assessment of memory
    Week 10 Assessment of adaptive behaviours, support needs, systematic observation Assessment of adaptive behaviour
    Week 11 Assessment of older persons Focus on older persons
    Week 12 Assessment of infant development Focus on infants

    Disclaimer: This program is provisional and subject to change.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment comprises of two  assessments as detailed below, and both must be passed to successfully complete  the course. Due dates will be provided at the beginning of the course.

    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning outcome(s) being addressed
    Administration (video), scoring (test record), and reporting (written report) on a cognitiive assessment, with self and peer rating Summative NGP 1-4
    Scoring, hypothesis generation and reporting (letter) a mental health assessment Summative NGP 1-4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance is required for 80% of classes, with attendance lists maintained. Failure to meet this attendance requirement (i.e., absence from three or more classes in the course) may lead to exclusion from the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment 1: This assignment involves student’s videoing themselves administering an intelligence scale, and then scoring the test, interpreting the results and writing a report. Students also complete a self and a peer rating of the administration of the test. The scale is administered to a role played (pseudo) adolescent ‘client’.

    Assignment 2: This assignment involves students being provided with test forms, and initial  information from which they are required to develop a provisional formulation of a client with a mental health problem and compile this information into a letter to a GP referrer.

    Further details of both assignments will be provided in class.
    Assignments are to be submitted to the Psychology Office, along with a signed cover sheet (available on MyUni).

    Extension of time for an assignment may be granted at the discretion of the Course Coordinator, to whom students should apply in writing (or email) before the due date and time.No requests for extensions will be considered if made after the due date and time.

    Please refer to the Assessment Policy in the Master of Psychology (Clinical) Program Handbook
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    RP Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Students will have the opportunity to resubmit any assessment that received a fail grade.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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