fairness

Chapter 31: The IAC approach to assessment: A family consultation model of child assessment

AUTHOR: Z. Amod

ABSTRACT: Innovative assessment procedures which take into account contextual factors such as language, culture, education, socio-economic status and recent educational policy developments are needed in South Africa.  In the democratic South Africa, both Education White Paper 6 (2001) and Curriculum 2005 call for assessment practices that are less expert-driven, non-deficit focused and linked to curriculum support.  The Initial Assessment Consultation (IAC) approach, which is the focus of this chapter, encompasses and addresses such aims.  This shared problem-solving approach to child assessment has at its core a focus on collaboration with parents and caregivers as well as significant others such as teachers, with the purpose of facilitating learning and the empowerment of clients.  The approach is based on a sound philosophical and theoretical foundation and is a radical departure from the belief that assessment and intervention are discrete clinical procedures.  The IAC approach to child assessment, which represents a paradigm shift in assessment practice, was initially developed by Adelman and Taylor (1979) at the Fernald Institute at the University of California to address prevailing criticisms of conventional assessment procedures.  Over the last two decades the IAC family participation and consultation model of assessment has been adapted and implemented at the University of the Witwatersrand.  Research has supported the usefulness of this holistic and egalitarian form of assessment which mirrors the more democratic environment of post-apartheid South Africa with its strong endorsement of human rights, sensitive cross-cultural differences and its changing educational policies on assessment practice (Amod, 2003; Amod, Skuy, Sonderup and Fridjhon, 2000; Dangor, 1983; Manala, 2001; Skuy, Westaway and Hickson, 1989; Sonderup, 1998).  The post-modernistic IAC model of assessment which emphasizes interpersonal, intrapersonal and environmental transactional factors in assessment has also been perceived positively by post-graduate students who have been trained in this approach at the University of the Witwatersrand (Dangor, 1983; Warburton, 2008).

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Chapter 29: Using computerised and Internet-based testing in South Africa

AUTHOR: N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: South Africa was an early adopter of computerised tests, with the earliest testing systems being developed in the late 1970’s. Initially computerised testing systems were developed by state-funded organisations, with some funding from the private sector. As a result of political changes in South Africa, financial support for research and development in Psychometrics in statutory organisations decreased. Psychometrics, and specifically computerised testing, was then advanced by various private commercial interests, with increasing involvement from foreign test publishers. With the development of the World Wide Web and the availability of broadband connectivity, delivery of tests and reports across the Internet became a reality.  Publishers were concerned about piracy of content and cheating by respondents who were doing the tests unsupervised.  The International Test Commission drew up guidelines for computer-based and internet-delivered testing, and these were adapted to the existing South African legislative framework and ethical guidelines for psychologist. A legal battle ensued, resulting in the repeated withdrawal and re-adopting of the South African guidelines. The main point of contention was whether or not unsupervised Internet-based testing should be allowed.  This legal battle eventually led to changes in legislation.  This chapter will discuss the regulatory framework as it currently stands.  The risks attached to different types of computerised implentations of tests will be considered, taking into account the rights of the respondent, the psychometric impact of computerisation, and the exposure for the practitioner to charges of possible misconduct. A proposal for best practice in South Africa will be formulated.

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Chapter 28: Ethical Perspectives in Assessment

AUTHOR: N. Coetzee

ABSTRACT: Psychological assessment practices in South Africa are informed by several governing bodies. Firstly, there are the codes of conduct proposed by the International Test Commission and the American Psychological Association (APA). Secondly, practitioners must adhere to statutory control in the form of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Thirdly, practitioners working in organizational and institutional contexts soon discover that they must also deal with two other forms of important legislation, namely the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998). Add to this the fact that South Africa is in dire need of appropriate measures of assessment, and it soon becomes clear that practicing psychological assessment could approximate a walk through a mine-field. The aim of this chapter, however, is not to add to the sense of confusion South African practitioners currently experience, but to provide them with detailed step-by-step guidelines on how to interpret and integrate the ethical codes proposed by the International Test Commission, the APA and the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Discussions and guidelines on how to interpret the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998) when conducting psychological assessment within the organizational context will also be provided. Research findings of relevant South African studies on psychological assessment will be incorporated throughout the text to illustrate that, despite all the hindrances experienced by practitioners, the ethical use of psychological assessment is possible.

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Chapter 17: The MBTI in South africa

AUTHORS: K. Knott, N. Taylor, Y. Niewoudt

ABSTRACT: This chapter provides an introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), a well known and popular measure of personality type.  The basic theory and development of the indicator are covered, followed by a summary of South African research and psychometric properties of this well loved instrument.  In particular, the issues of reliability and validity are addressed, and an analysis of the two current forms, namely Form M and Form Q, is presented.  As the instrument is so widely used, some information on the misuse of type is included and there is a focus on the ethical use in South Africa. A substantial portion of the chapter will be spent on the application of type, and how it can be used to improve self understanding, communication, team work, managing change and conflict, among others.  Lastly, we look at the future of the MBTI and new and exciting ways to bring type to life in different contexts.

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Chapter 20: The OPQ in South Africa

AUTHOR:  N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: With the current population norm group for the Occupational Personality Questionnaire at almost 55000 people, this is one of the most widely-used personality questionnaires in South Africa. This chapter will give an overview of the development of the Occupational Personality Profile and the rationale for the various scales. A brief historical review of reliability and validity studies in South Africa will be discussed, and the different norm groups available for the test will be compared.  In the context of fairness and best use, the relationship between the reliabilities of the OPP scales and the home language, race and educational level of the respondents will be discussed. Age groups and sexes will also be compared. The groups will also be compared in terms of their mean scores on the OPP scales. This leads us to the question of whether one should use a group-specific norm or a general population norm, and how to decide between the options.  A discussion of differential item functioning for race and language groups will follow.   Some attention will also be given to the decision of whether the Occupational Personality Profile is suitable for an intended respondent, or whether a different means of assessing personality (which need not be a questionnaire) should be employed.  The different delivery methods of the OPP, and the available computer-generated reports will be discussed, with the emphasis on using technology to facilitate the fair and appropriate use of the questionnaire. The use of the Occupational Personality Profile for assessing competencies will be discussed, as well as the implications of automating this process. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of doing an integrated assessment and not relying on one source of information only.

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Chapter 19: The OPPro in South Africa

AUTHOR:  N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: With the current population norm group for the Occupational Personality Questionnaire at almost 55000 people, this is one of the most widely-used personality questionnaires in South Africa. This chapter will give an overview of the development of the Occupational Personality Profile and the rationale for the various scales. A brief historical review of reliability and validity studies in South Africa will be discussed, and the different norm groups available for the test will be compared.  In the context of fairness and best use, the relationship between the reliabilities of the OPP scales and the home language, race and educational level of the respondents will be discussed. Age groups and sexes will also be compared. The groups will also be compared in terms of their mean scores on the OPP scales. This leads us to the question of whether one should use a group-specific norm or a general population norm, and how to decide between the options.  A discussion of differential item functioning for race and language groups will follow.   Some attention will also be given to the decision of whether the Occupational Personality Profile is suitable for an intended respondent, or whether a different means of assessing personality (which need not be a questionnaire) should be employed.  The different delivery methods of the OPP, and the available computer-generated reports will be discussed, with the emphasis on using technology to facilitate the fair and appropriate use of the questionnaire. The use of the Occupational Personality Profile for assessing competencies will be discussed, as well as the implications of automating this process. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of doing an integrated assessment and not relying on one source of information only.

 

Chapter 18: The NEO-PI-R in South Africa

AUTHOR: S. Laher

ABSTRACT: The NEO-PI-R is a widely used test both in assessment and research locally and internationally. Aside from being used in research and practice to assess personality, it is also amongst the most commonly used instruments to operationalise the FFM of personality. Thus this chapter intends providing a brief history of the development of the NEO-PI-R, followed by a brief description of the NEO-PI-R domain and facet scales. Following this research using the NEO-PI-R in the South African context will be presented. Finally the chapter will conclude with some discussion on the use of the NEO-PI-R in the SA context.

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