Assessment Processes : Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 634

Assessment Processes (Revision 2)


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Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP 633.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology

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The process of assessment, or appraisal, is an essential competency for counsellors and is required by counselling and psychology regulators. However, many new counsellors enter the enterprise of assessment reluctantly. Assessment is commonly thought of as testing. Commonly, new counsellors wonder how testing helps people, whether clients are unnecessarily pigeon-holed by testing, and if testing is useful given its purported biased nature.

The general purpose of this course is to familiarize students with a variety of assessment procedures commonly used in counselling settings. Data from assessments are used frequently in the process of self-exploration to assist in decision-making, to help formulate intervention plans, and to document client change. In order for such procedures to be effective, counsellors need a thorough understanding of the nature of assessment procedures, the nature of the data obtained from such procedures, and how the data may be used within the counselling process.

This course is designed to prepare entry-level counsellors to gain necessary knowledge of general principles of assessment in counselling and to enable them to begin the practice of formal and informal assessment under supervision. Students will have the background knowledge to administer and interpret Level B tests under supervision.


  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Assessment
  • Lesson 2: Ethics, Part 1: General Ethical Principles and Culturally Sensitive Practice
  • Lesson 3: Ethics, Part 2: Test Security and Copyright Issues
    • Embedding Systematic Assessment in the Counselling Process
  • Lesson 4: Assessment Interviewing
  • Lesson 5: Psychometric Concepts and Test Construction
  • Lesson 6: Nonstandardized Assessment Techniques
    • Designing an Assessment Process
  • Lesson 7: Assessment in Career Counselling
  • Lesson 8: Personality Assessment
  • Lesson 9: Behavioural/Observational Assessment
  • Lesson 10: Psychoeducational Assessment
  • Lesson 11: Clinical Assessment/Diagnosis
  • Lesson 12: Communicating Assessment Results
  • Lesson 13: Summary and Feedback on PowerPoints

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 634, students must submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The weighting of assignments is as follows.

The assessment structure for GCAP 634: Assessment Processes is based on the following course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Your final grade for the course will be a composite mark based on your performance in these course activities.

Course Activity Weight
Participation in Online Discussions 20%
Assignment 1: Write the Ending P/F
Assignment 2: Designing an Assessment Process 25%
Assignment 3: Self-Assessment 30%
Assignment 4: PowerPoint Presentation 25%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Course Texts

Erford, B.T. (2012). Assessment for counselors (2nd ed.) Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Other Materials

All other materials are available to students online.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.

Opened in Revision 2, April 2009.

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Updated February 24 2017 by Student & Academic Services