Prospectus

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Dynamic Assessment

Course 2018-2019

Entry requirements

Open to MSc Psychology (research) students

Description

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 number 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, the 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: Based on these hints and the ways children handle them, and on their use of strategies, are we able to say more about children’s learning processes and their quality? Can we conclude something about children’s progress in time?

Other questions covered in this course include:
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? Does this information provide additional insight, suitable for advising both psychologists and teachers on how to help children to cope with demands of the classroom environment?

All forms of dynamic testing require measuring the child’s abilities on several moments in time. In order to do so, longitudinal or micro-genetic research designs are necessary. The various research designs prescribed in different theories on dynamic assessment and measuring learning potential all have their own idiosyncrasies.

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 this course, students have to gather information on and critically discus different kinds of learning potential tests and forms of dynamic assessment, the predictive validity of dynamic test procedures, and the utility of learning potential test scores in the process of placing and selecting children in educational settings.

In the first part of the course students discuss methodological and theoretical aspects of dynamic assessment. They both study and evaluate the various theoretical points of view in relation to their psycho diagnostic value in practice. In presentations by the students dynamic assessment methods and materials will be evaluated.

In the second part of the course, in which the focus will be on advanced theoretical tracks, students have to search and read the newest literature in this field, write a report on their findings which they will need to elaborate on further in an oral examination. In doing so, students have to demonstrate they can integrate these findings with results from the course literature.

Course objectives

After completing this course, students:

  1. Have gained insight into 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.
  2. Are able to apply into practice the principles of dynamic assessment, both from a professional and a methodological point of view.
  3. Can evaluate and critically discuss advantages and disadvantages of various forms of dynamic assessment.

Timetable

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

Lectures

Registration

Course

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

Examination

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 2-hour interactive lectures

Students have to read and discuss actively the literature for each lecture, give presentations, demonstrate materials and dynamic assessment methods, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages 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.

The interactive lectures will be taught in English.

Assessment method

Assignment 1: Designing a test to be used for dynamic assessment, including an oral explanation (in a group of students)
Assignment 2: Written report on the literature for this course, including an oral explanation

Course objective 1 will be assessed in Assignment 1
Course objective 2 will be assessed in Assignment 1 and 2
Course objective 3 will be assessed in Assignment 2

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

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

Dr. Bart Vogelaar
b.vogelaar.2@fsw.leidenuniv.nl