Psychology 633

PSYC 633: Instructional Assessment and Intervention

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in psychology or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

This course is intended to provide students with the skills necessary to assess academic skills and instructional environments within a consultative framework and to develop instructional interventions. The course will teach skills intended to integrate assessment, consultation, and intervention functions. Students will learn and practice skills necessary to address academic referrals within the context of the educational system. This course has a specific focus on understanding the relationship between the instructional environment and academic difficulties that students experience. This class will emphasize the use of curriculum based assessment within a decision making model and linking assessment practices to intervention. Focus will be placed on behavioral and ecological interventions that have an empirical basis.


Detailed Description of Course

This course will cover the following topics:

1.     Instructional Consultation and its roles as a service delivery model in school psychology.

2.     Theoretical models for understanding student learning within the context of the classroom ecology.

3.      Identification of Student Learning Problems through a) records reviews, b) curriculum analysis, c) conducting instructional interviews that are problem solving focused, and d) systematic observation techniques.

4.      Examine and understand state curriculum standards such as the Virginia SOL’s.

5.      Develop advanced skills in systematic behavioral observation that focuses upon tying a relationship between target academic behaviors and environmental variables that facilitate those behaviors. Students will learn how to conduct partial interval recording procedures, in which on-task and off-task behaviors are identified and coded, and the relationship of these behaviors to teacher and peer attention, object play, work completion, and work accuracy are determined.

6.      Brief Functional Behavioral Analysis – including training in observational and intervention tests. Functional Academic Assessment.

7.     Curriculum Based Assessment and Curriculum Based Measurement

8.     Hypotheses Development and Testing in a Naturalistic Setting

9.     Development of Intervention Protocols and Scripts

10.   Measuring Intervention Integrity

11.   Reading Interventions

12.   Math Interventions

13.   Written Expression & Spelling Interventions

14.   Applying intervention models to Response to Intervention. Conducting assessment of students with suspected learning disabilities.

15.   Single subject design methodology.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will involve lecture, in-class activities lab and/or field based experiences for skills practice. Students will be presented with actual cases using the methods trained in class and will have an opportunity to engage in their own presentation of cases with which they are actively engaged. Skills based experiences will include opportunities to develop or enhance individual skill sets in interviewing, data review, observation, and direct assessment of academic skills and how these skills should be integrated into case conceptualization, report writing, and the implementation of interventions.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1.      Understand and articulate the advantages of comprehensive school psychological services that emphasize intervention based assessment and consultation (NASP Standard 2.10).

2.      Identify specific ecological determinants of referred psycho-educational problems and analyze them from an intervention perspective (NASP Standard 2.1 & 2.3).

3.      Understand the relationship between these ecological determinants and the process of student learning (NASP 2.3).

4.      Develop beginning level skills necessary to identify relevant information collected through record reviews, interviews, behavioral observations, and assessment procedures (NASP Standard 2.1).

5.      Assess and analyze academic functioning using curriculum based assessment and measurement procedures (NASP 2.1 & 2.3).

6.      Develop relevant hypothesis regarding student academic difficulties that can be confirmed or rejected through data collection and analysis (NASP Standard 2.1).

7.      Expand knowledge of evidence based interventions that address academic concerns (NASP Standard 2.3).

8.      Develop intervention protocols that are realistic, ecologically based, and empirically valid (NASP Standard 2.3).

9.      Develop an appreciation for the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners and how these needs interact with academic enablers to promote positive interventions and learning outcomes (NASP Standard 2.5).

10.  Monitor the implementation and effectiveness of interventions using both formative and summative data collection procedures and analyze that data relative to both short and long term student objectives (NASP Standard 2.9).

11.  Develop an understanding of how to deliver interventions that are both sensitive to the needs of the supporting environment and that are effective in impacting student outcomes via an indirect service deliver model (NASP Standard 2.2 & 2.6).


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using a variety of measures, which may include written exams, evaluation of supervised assessment and intervention activities, case report writing, assessment and intervention presentations, analysis of commercially available curriculum materials, review of the intervention literature, and class participation.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

December 20, 2007