Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Ethical considerations for online career development

There are some ethical issues we need to consider with online career practice:
Quality. We need to ensure that all the materials we use are of good quality. We need to ensure the validity of what we use meets "the same set of standards used for other psychometric measures. For instance, the validity of scoring standardized instruments includes the weighting of items into scales and assurance of error-free scoring. However, errors in these two processes are difficult to identify in computer-based assessment. Thus, career service providers might not be aware of potential errors and subsequent misleading results" (Osborn & Zunker, 2016, p. 150).
Evaluation. We need to ensure that we have evaluated the validity by obtaining test validity evidence; or that we let the client know that the test cannot be evaluated for quality.
Reliability. As CACGs can be delivered globally, we need to consider whether items have been normalised for local populations: those of us outside the USA are unlikely to have "high internal consistency" (Osborn & Zunker, 2016, p. 150). If tests have not been normalised for our populations, we need to advise the client of this, and have a discussion about the results and the likely meaning as applied to our own context.
Unfamiliar tests. As practitioners we need to be able to discuss any test that our clients come to us with. If it is a test that we are unfamiliar with, we can use the structures introduced in Week 2 and 3 to help us learn about a new inventory, to attempt to establish validity, reliability and to find evidence of population normalisation. Only then can we discuss the test within the boundaries of our own practice: or refer the client to another practitioner who does have experience with that particular instrument.
Standards. We need to ensure that tests our clients do provide "Evidence of valid testing standards [which is] clearly delineated in promotional materials of CACGs and online assessments as well as in professional manuals" (Osborn & Zunker, 2016, p. 150).
Security. Advise clients of the potential for security breaches during online test use, and suggest more secure alternatives wherever possible. Remember that Cambridge Analytica harvested some 64,000 Facebook profiles by using quizzes which users had to agree to allow the test access to their Facebook profile (Iles, 2018). A more secure practice is to get students to create an additional email account to use only for test results, with minimal profile information.
Some things for us all to think about carefully.



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