Online psychological assessment

Creating an online psychological assessment can be challenging, at the least, but it is possible and I have faith that with instructions from this article you will be a whiz at developing these type of assessments in no time at all. The most important thing to keep in mind as you create an online psychological assessment is to make sure the assessment is credible, reliable and valid. It will take time to successfully construct the assessment so do not be surprised if it is not 100% complete two or three years after you first started creating it. The only way you will be able to determine if the assessment is credible (i.e. the results can be trusted), valid (i.e. it tests what it is supposed to test) and reliable (i.e. the results are measurable and repeatable) is to test out your online psychological assessment on test participants – lots of test participants. If you are interested in learning how to create an online psychological assessment – you have come to the right place. This article will teach you how to effectively develop an only psychological exam.
Listed below are steps that can help you create an online psychological assessment:
• Determine the Purpose

If you are ready to create an online psychological assessment, your first step will be to determine the purpose of the assessment. In other words, what are you trying to measure and/or achieve? What is the purpose of the assessment? For instance, are you trying to test whether or not a child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or are you trying to determine if a potential employee has a mental illness or psychological disorder that could potentially affect his/her ability to be productive at work? In order to successfully craft an online psychological assessment, you need to have an idea of why you want to develop it and who you want to test.

• Research

Next you will need to research the areas that you want to test. It is extremely important that you have some kind of background in the topic, either from reading literature and studies on the topic or working with a specific population who exhibited certain signs and symptoms related to your topic. In other words, you need to a good grasp on what you are trying to test. For instance, if you want to create an online psychological assessment to evaluate children with ADHD, you first need to research “children with ADHD.” If you try to write questions on a topic that you do not fully understand the participants, potential employees, clients and/or patients will become confused and the assessment results will be invalidated.

• Write the Questions

With your newfound knowledge, your next step will be to write the questions. This is the longest part of the process because you have to make sure each question is clear, valid and reliable. You also have to make sure that the knowledge and/or skill level of the assessment matches the knowledge and/or skill level of those taking the assessment. Try to refrain from putting a lot of “trick questions” on the online psychological assessment. If the participants feel that you are trying to “trick” them, they may alter their answers to fit what they think you want to hear. This too can render the test unreliable and invalid. You want a true representation of how the participants really feel and think. You may decide to do all multiple choice questions or you may include some short-answer questions. Regardless of what format you choose, you will need to have a quantifiable way to measure the responses of the participants.

• Consult with Experts

If you do not have a strong background in psychology and even if you do, you will probably want to consult with psychology experts to make sure you are asking appropriate questions. These experts will also help determine if the questions that you are asking coincide with what you are trying to measure and evaluate. Ask several psychologists to review your questions and make suggestions on what to add or delete. These experts will add credibility to your online psychological assessment.

• Administer the Online Assessment to Test Participants

Once you have been given the “green light” by your psychology experts, you will be able to do a pilot study (i.e. a test study to see how well your assessment works). During the pilot study, you will test specific populations to see how credible, reliable and valid the online assessment is. Once the participants have finished taking the assessment, ask for feedback. In other words, ask the participants if the questions were clear. Did they understand the questions? How did they answer the questions? Why did they answer questions they way they did? What questions could be improved upon? What questions were strong? Listen to the participants and make the needed adjustments. Once you have made the suggested changes, re-administer the online assessment to a new group of participants. Repeat the previous process to obtain important feedback. Validate the norm of your results by comparing previous study results and statistics to your test assessment results. Take into account any external or internal factors that may affect test results.

• Go Live!

Once you feel good about the credibility, validity and reliability of the online psychological assessment, you will be ready to “go live.” In other words, you will be ready to administer the test to clients, patients and potential employees. Continue to improve your test questions until you feel that “hits” all of the points that you want it to “hit” and measures what you want it to measure.
References:
American Psychological Association. (2014). Testing and assessments. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/science/programs/testing/index.aspx
Psychological Assessments. (2014). Psychological assessments. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalassessments.org/

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