Sunday, May 19, 2013

Postcard from WAIS-IV Bootcamp

I feel like I have been at WAIS-IV bootcamp for the past month, or even better working daily with a personal test administration trainer!  How you might ask?  Well, I was also lucky enough to be included in the Pearson’s beta testing trials of the WAIS-IV on iPad.  So in the interests of transparency I should let you know that I got to use it for free, and get to keep the iPads...

So, what’s it like?  It’s wonderful if you like to administer the WAIS-IV exactly as it should be done, it doesn’t allow you to make administration errors.  Forget to give the prompt in visual puzzles that time is almost up?  No trouble, the iPad reminds you.  Hate to do the reversal items when clients make an error on the first two items of matrix reasoning? No trouble, it automatically goes back to the correct item.  The best news, the clients don’t know they’ve had to reverse, because the items come up automatically on the iPad screen, they haven’t seen you turning the book backwards.

Do you hate writing answers out verbatim? You can just touch on the box that corresponds to that answer.  If, like me you are a bit pedantic, and like to have a record of exactly what was said, you can write it down (on the screen – saves you scanning it in later), and you can check that you got it right with the audio recording of the responses.

Do you ever make scoring errors? Of course not deliberately, but you’d be surprised how many people do make – this overcomes that.  If you can score the responses on the go, it can give you subtest and index scores – and even work out differences amongst indexes.  All on the iPad, surreptitiously without the client even knowing.  Of course to do fancy analyses and to compare to the WMS-IV & ACS you still need to input the data into the scoring system, but it gives you lots of information as you go along.

Yes there are a few tweaks I’ve suggested, but don’t panic -  I don’t think computers will replace us yet.  The main difference from the client’s point of view is that they are looking at a screen, rather than a book.  All of my patients, of all ages, have really enjoyed the experience.  They can touch the screen to indicate their answers, which is also another feature that makes the examiner’s life easier.

Looks like we’ve entered a brave new world ...

Debbie Anderson

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