The Assessment Triangle website provides an excellent review of the concept known as the “Assessment Triangle,” which evaluates environmental impacts on a child during his or her development into an adult. The website includes five (5) main areas, including: Overview/Home, Assessment, Key Concepts, the Triangle, and Mairi’s Life. The site provides a strong introduction to a key theory in developmental psychology and includes a number of supplemental website links, key term definitions, an introductory video, as well as an interactive personal timeline for a fictional young woman named Mairi. The Assessment Triangle website is a multimedia learning material that is published by The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS).
Type of Material:
Reference material (website)
• The site would be best used by those interested in assessment but particularly those who already have formal training in assessment. The site is most beneficial for those already trained in therapy but the focus of the site – the importance of assessing the full context of the child’s life – is still valuable.
• This website would be a useful addition to a class syllabus as a reference (developmental psychology information).
• The interactive timeline presenting the fictional young female’s developmental course may be useful in a number of developmental psychology classroom or independent exercises, including but not limited to requesting a reflective assignment noting significant life impacts that have shaped an individual’s current standing in his or her lifespan.
Requires Internet access and a basic web browser. The site was successfully accessed and reviewed using recent versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome (25+), and Internet Explorer.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The site is designed to help users include the importance of a child’s complete context (family, home, school, etc.) in assessing needs and aspirations when there are child welfare concerns.
• Learners will understand the Assessment Triangle concept as a means for evaluating development.
• Learners will understand the importance of incorporating external influences into the comprehensive depiction of a young person’s developmental life-course.
Target Student Population:
• Undergraduate and graduate students as well as professionals who complete assessments for (or are learning about assessment with) children would benefit from the material on the site, particularly those in social work.
• The site may be particularly well applied at a lower undergraduate level with students who are beginning their study on developmental psychology, as an overview to environmental life impacts.
• The site also may prove useful in mid-level undergraduate courses that teach the assessment methodology used for the Assessment Triangle.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
• A basic understanding of developmental theory and introductory psychology principles would be useful for comprehending and applying this site’s materials. Familiarity with assessments in child welfare cases also would be helpful.
• Only basic computer usage skills are needed for viewing this website, for using the interactive life-course depiction, and also for viewing and navigating the introductory video.
This website is comprehensive overview of the Assessment Triangle. It provides extensive material on this subject, in both link-out and on-site fashion. It ranges from textual on-site to video on-site information, supporting a wide variety of material viewing preferences. The website includes references to support its premise and incorporates clearly defined terminology in the discussion under the Key Terms section. Overall the site is a well-grounded, useful compilation of materials.
Several links at the bottom of the Assessment page appear somewhat dated. One link was not functioning at the time of the review.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• The site includes needed information to understand The Assessment Triangle. The sample timeline in addition to the other materials help the user with the application of the Triangle.
• The site incorporates a wealth of information relating to the Assessment Triangle specifically, but may also be appropriately applied to general psychology as well as developmental or child psychology. It may alternatively be applied to teaching the concepts of genetic versus environmental influence on a person’s development.
• The homepage presents clear goals and accurately directs viewers to four (4) additional areas to review information regarding the use of the Assessment Triangle.
• It would be helpful if the home page addressed more specifically for whom the site is intended. While it would be beneficial for many to understand the importance of such a holistic approach to assessment, assessment should not be undertaken by untrained individuals.
• This particular resource does not list prerequisite knowledge that might be useful for students to know prior to evaluating the information that it presents on the Assessment Triangle. As the landing homepage clearly lays out intent, it would be simple to add one or two sentences that briefly note what background experiences students might benefit from in reviewing this site. [The site does provide link-outs to other sites for additional information.]
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• This site includes a large number of accommodations to address a viewer’s needs and preferences. Videos allow for navigating among various topics, or viewing altogether. On-board video captioning is available simply through a selection option, as are additional accommodation controls. The interactive timeline presents an alternative text-only version, which is an excellent accommodation that also is useful for viewing Mairi’s overall developmental trajectory.
• Explanations are simple and are presented in a logical pattern concluding with an example.
• It is very easy to move through the sections.
• The pop-up links on the timeline for Mairi provide additional information and link-outs to external sites. This approach is very effective; however, external links should be set to open in a new window, as they currently open in the same window and take the viewer out of the main site.
Other Issues and Comments:
• Fabulous site, very well constructed. Thank you very much for this resource.
• As a next step, it would be useful for the site to incorporate more explanation of who should be using this information. The sample leads one in one direction, but clearly there are multiple applications.
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