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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

EDUC 5521: Assessment and Evaluation in Counselling

NOTE: To register for this course, please email or call 250-377-6067.

This course is a study of group and individual assessments used in schools and agencies.

Data from assessments are often used to help inform decision-making and to construct intervention and treatment plans. The focus of this course is on the nature, use, and interpretation of various evaluation methods used to measure/assess aptitude, achievement, career interests, personality, mental health functioning, and intelligence of students and clients. Emphasis is placed on being a competent consumer of assessment tools and on examining how assessment fits into the overall counselling process. Within this framework, the focus is on appropriate and ethical assessment selection, administration, and interpretation, the use of both formal and informal assessment tools, and the ethical use and communication of assessment results.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify the history, purposes, utility, and limitations of assessment instruments and methods used in educational and other counselling settings. Define assessment as related to counselling and describe how it is part of the larger counselling process.
  • Differentiate between group versus individual, and formal versus informal assessment instruments/methods and their appropriate use in educational and other counselling settings.
  • Characterize assessment issues such as test bias, value-laden constructs, linguistic validity, translation, and individual/group identities giving special attention to assessment of children and adolescents, and assessment of clients who are members of equity-seeking groups.
  • Analyze critical ethical and legal issues related to assessment and specifically the process when evaluating diverse clients. Integrate analysis of these issues into professional learning and decision-making.
  • Define concepts related to psychometrics and statistics involved in instrument development, reliability coefficients, variance, standardized and converted scores (T-scores, z-scores), validity, and measures of central tendency.
  • Analyze, evaluate, and choose, based on appropriateness, formal and informal measures, outline their uses and limitations, and learn how to interpret assessment scores utilizing available technical information and published critical evaluations.
  • Prepare a basic assessment report incorporating multiple sources of data and relevant cautions and recommendations.
  • Demonstrate basic skills in learning how to communicate assessment results to parents/guardians and clients themselves.
  • Explain the differences between specific types of assessment instruments and implement appropriate measures/processes based on client needs.

Course topics

  • Module 1: What is Assessment and How Does it Fit Into the Counselling Process?
  • Module 2: Fundamentals of Assessment for Counsellors: Methods and Sources of Information
  • Module 3: Ethics and Multicultural Practice in Assessment
  • Module 4: Statistical Concepts and Assessment Scores
  • Module 5: Reliability and Validity
  • Module 6: Ethical Selection and Administration of Assessment Instruments
  • Module 7: Assessing Intelligence and Achievement
  • Module 8: Aptitude and Career Assessment
  • Module 9: Personality Assessment
  • Module 10: Clinical and Mental Health Assessment
  • Module 11: Assessment in Education/Assessment with Children and Adolescents
  • Module 12: Communicating Assessment Results

Required text and materials

Online MEd students are responsible for sourcing and/or ordering their own books. Please see the list of required textbooks here:

Students may be able to order the text through the TRU Bookstore at

If students have any questions about obtaining the correct textbook, please contact


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Assignment 1: Test Critique/Presentation 20%
Quiz 1: Modules 1-5 10%
Online Discussions 1: Modules 1-6 7.5%
Assignment 2: Case Study Summary Project 20%
Quiz 2: Modules 6-12 10%
Online Discussions 2: Modules 7-12 7.5%
Final Project: Self Report (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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