Resources for Assessment, the Consent Form

One major issue facing the field of assessment is the lack of consistency. Many people begin this job (like myself) never intending to arrive in it in the first place. Psychology being such a board brush for careers it is hard to know what to study, research, or think about before starting. As I encounter problems I want to share them here to help others who might have the same questions I did when I started. To start things off, here is Sign-In Consent Form:

USAO Assessment Center Consent Log

USAO Assessment Center Consent Log

When I started, students just had to sign in with their basic information (name, ID number, date and so forth). After a tense possible cheating scenario I learned that the stakes for academic dishonesty could be very high. The problem being that I had very little power in the current system to protect students from themselves.

Enter the Consent Form!

I added a list of rules to the sign-in sheet and had students sign rather than just print their name. By signing I had them agree that tests could be tossed out for breaking said rules. Now instead of making an issue with a student I can just excuse them without having to report their scores. If nothing else it says that’s what I can do which is better than any ambiguity in the rules.

What we found was that it help to deflate tense moments in the office when we found cheating. Knowing that we would report them or that we were not obliged to report their scores if we thought they were cheating has seemed to lower the amount of cheating over all.

This may not be a perfect system but we think it is helping.

The columns we have are SEQ#, Date, ID Number, SSN?, First and Last Name, Signature, and Test. SEQ# stands for Sequence Number and is used during CAAP, CLEP, or ACT test batteries where we have a seating chart in place so that we can track where students sat. The Date is the date testing. ID Number is how we assign them internally for some exams. Typically they need to look like SSN’s but can be there a university generated number the same length for our system which is why the next field asks if the preceding one is a social security number.

Then we have them print and sign their name. This is also when we check to be sure their name matches the photo ID we have them bring to ensure they are not trying to take an exam for another student. Lastly they mark which test they will be taking. That portion I have been less exact about. I want a way to remember why they were they were there in case I need to look up something about them later.

And that’s it. Nothing too it. I made this in Word; added text, a picture, and a table. It was a simple fix in policy that has made my workflow much easier.

One Comment

  1. I recall some of those tense moments early on. By setting expectations early in each assessment contact you minimize the potential for conflict. Being human, we can never completely eliminate said potential, but I will take a reduction in it any day.

    Though I don’t spend all that much time in the assessment office (your’e welcome), operations seem very smooth. I am grateful for your efforts here, as well as your results!


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