The three primary goals that guide most assessment procedures are
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The wider range of psychological assessment includes forensic assessment. Since the intent of forensic assessment differs from that of conventional clinical evaluation, forensic evaluators receive different training and follow different practice guidelines. Forensic assessments may take place in a variety of environments, including law enforcement, correctional facilities, and civil and criminal courtrooms. Traditional psychological tests and specially developed forensic measures can be used in forensic assessment.
Many forensic assessments are carried out by mental health practitioners who may or may not have received advanced forensic training. The teaching, preparation, and supervision of psychology graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows has increased dramatically in recent years. There have also been an increase in the number of seminars and resources for continuing education. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) began granting diplomate status to psychologists with advanced experience and competence in forensic psychology in the mid-1980s, and the American Psychological Association (APA) approved forensic psychology as an APA specialization in the early 1990s.
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Since 2013, the SOTAP has implemented policy and practice improvements to better assess, screen, and engage higher-risk offenders in care, with the aim of improving treatment entry and retention. This is in line with industry best practices and the Risk Need Responsivity (RNR) model. This model identifies best practices for treating high-risk offenders, including identifying criminogenic needs and using a cognitive behavioral approach to provide care.
“Any criminal crime committed by an inmate within 36 months of release from prison that results in a readmission to prison,” according to the Department of Corrections. In 2015, the Department will be able to look at the recidivism rates of prisoners who completed the SOTAP in 2012 and were released from jail. According to the findings, all sex offenders released from Department of Corrections facilities had an 18.2 percent recidivism rate, sex offenders who did not complete SOTAP had a 21.5 percent recidivism rate, and sex offenders who completed SOTAP had a 6.5 percent recidivism rate. Due to the selection of higher risk applicants starting in 2013, it is believed that recidivism rates among sexual offenders who complete the SOTAP would rise. The DOC will continue to track patterns and make adjustments to the software as required. Failure to register is the most common criminal sex offense that sends sex offenders back to jail (86 percent). About 95% of sex offenders sentenced to jail ultimately reintegrate into society.
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Kym teaches sixth grade students in an urban school where the majority of the students’ families are poor. Every year, the bulk of her school’s students fail the statewide exams. In her Language Arts and Social Studies courses, Kym meets the school district’s teaching guidelines and usually uses direct guidance. The classroom evaluations are structured to be similar to those used on statewide exams so that students are comfortable with the format.
Kym reads an article called “Teaching methods that respect and empower inner-city African American students” (Teel, Debrin-Parecki, & Covington, 1998) while taking a graduate summer course on motivation, and she agrees to change her instruction and evaluation in the fall in four ways:
Kym notes that her students’ effort and demeanor in class has improved dramatically: they are more optimistic, work harder, and produce better work. At the end of the year, twice as many of her students have passed the statewide exam as the year before.
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Student evaluation is perhaps the most important aspect of the teaching and learning process, and as a result, it has received a lot of attention in teaching and learning scholarship. We’ll never know if our teaching is successful until we have a way to collect and analyze evidence of student learning. To put it another way, teaching necessitates some method of determining whether students are gaining the desired knowledge and skills, and thus whether our instruction is successful. Learning appraisal is similar to a magnifying glass that we hold up to students’ learning to see whether the teaching and learning process is working well or if it needs to be changed.
This teaching guide has several objectives to include an overview of learning assessment: 1) identify student learning assessment and why it is relevant, 2) discuss several approaches that may help guide and refine student assessment, 3) address different methods of student assessment, such as the test and the essay, and 4) provide several tools for further study. You may also find this five-part video series on evaluation from the Center for Teaching’s Online Course Design Institute helpful.