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Dynamic Assessment


Entry requirements

Open to MSc Psychology (research) students


This course provides state-of-the-art knowledge in the field of intelligence theories, specific aspects of intelligence and testing, and, more in particular, on dynamic forms of assessment. The course focuses on the process and varieties of dynamic assessment of the cognitive-intellectual potential of children (4-12), on plasticity of the mind, on strategies children use in solving cognitive tasks and on the variability in their use of these strategies and the amount of hints they need during dynamic forms of assessment. In dynamic ways of assessing children’s cognitive potential, they are both given hints to enable them to solve cognitive tasks and tested repeatedly over a relatively short period of time. Therefore, their strategies for solving the tasks of the test and the plasticity of the mind can be studied along lines of micro-genetic research. In this course, our main focus is directed at the possibilities this information on use of strategies, variability in strategy use, number and type of strategies needed, etcetera, gives us for the psycho-diagnostic process: Are we able, based on these hints and the ways children handle them, and on their use of strategies, to say more about children’s learning processes and their quality? Can we conclude something about children’s progress in time?

How can the information collected during test administration be used in both the study of core cognitive processes in children’s problem solving and the psycho-diagnostic process, and gives this information additional information for advising both psychologists and teachers how to help children to cope with demands of the classroom environment. Additionally, information has to be collected and critically discussed about different kinds of learning potential tests and dynamic assessment, the predictive validity of dynamic test procedures, and the utility of learning potential test scores, i.e. hint scores, in the process of placing and selecting children in educational settings. Students have both to study and to collect several new sources of information in this field.
All forms of dynamic testing require measuring the child’s abilities on several moments in time. One needs longitudinal or micro-genetic research designs. The various research designs prescribed in different theories on dynamic assessment and measuring learning potential all have their own idiosyncrasies. In the first part of the course, students discuss methodological and theoretical aspects of dynamic assessment, and both study and evaluate the various theoretical points of view in relation to their psycho diagnostic value in practice. Presentations by the students, have to demonstrate materials and dynamic assessment methods, and have to discuss the pro’s and con’s of such testing methods. In the second part of the course, on advanced theoretical tracks, students have to search and read the newest literature in this field, to discuss their findings in an oral examination, and have to integrate these findings with results from the course literature.

Course objectives

Get insight in more advanced ways of intelligence testing, in the field of dynamic assessment and different assessment instruments, in brain plasticity, and in ways of micro-genetic research and variations in strategy use of children
second goal is to take into practice the learned principles of dynamic assessment, professional and methodological, and to discuss them critically. Students have to search literature, to summarize various studies, and have to be able to discuss literature critically and integral in oral examination.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

The course consists of 7 interactive lectures of 2 hours each. Students have to read and discuss actively the literature for each lecture, have to do presentations, have to demonstrate materials and dynamic assessment methods, and have to discuss the pro’s and con’s of such testing methods. They have to find new literature on research data and have to be able to discuss their findings and integrate them with the core literature in oral examination.

Assessment method

  • Verbal examinations, integrating of theory and practice: during this examination the student must be able to integrate all the literature of this course (obliged as well as free choice literature)

  • Written reports

  • Presentations

  • Active participation in discussion

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

  • Sternberg, R.J., & Grigorenko, E.L. (2002). Dynamic testing: The nature and measurement of learning potential. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [some chapters, see more information on Blackboard)

  • Fixed number of articles

  • Free choice of 8-10 articles

Contact information

Prof.dr. Wilma Resing