Atinuke Ogunnaike CEA

The context of my portfolio was the Psychology department within a special needs school located in Lagos State, Nigeria. The department is dedicated to conducting Psycho-educational assessments for students (aged 5 years – adulthood) based on internal or external referrals from mainstream schools. The department uses a battery of standardized tests to obtain standardized measures of students’ current level of functioning in areas such as academic achievement, intellectual ability, cognitive skills, behavioural functioning and social-emotional functioning. The findings from the assessments are used to provide documented evidence mainly for access arrangement, intervention planning and school/class placement. I work at the school as the Assistant Principal and team lead of the Psychology department where the psycho-educational assessments are conducted. This project was an opportunity for me to act as both an internal and external auditor in the sense that internally, I was involved in the change process whilst also being an external auditor who allowed the other members of the assessment team to identify and implement the changes as I monitored the implementation process in a supportive and observant manner.

I decided to focus my portfolio on the adaptation of one of the five standardized assessment tools to the Nigerian context since some items of the selected standardized test were found to be problematic in terms of its language (familiarity of items) and context. My portfolio reflected on the comparison of students’ performance on the original standardized assessment administered in term 1 (September – December 2022) to students’ performance on the administration of the adapted version in term 2 (January – March 2023).

Having clearly stated my intentions to quality assure the assessment processes used by the Psychology department of the special needs school, the buy-in of the senior management and that of the other members of the assessment team was secured seamlessly. The team was supportive and quickly began making contributions after an initial audit of the department’s assessment practice was conducted. The initial audit table of evidence showed no evidence of good practice in the department’s adaptation of test items and with language (familiarity with items in the test-taker’s environment). It also showed some evidence of working towards good practice with the department’s review processes for assessment and with cultural considerations of test items. Furthermore, the initial audit table showed evidence of good practice being routinely followed with the department’s documentation, assessment- types and purpose, referencing standards and testing conditions.

The action plan was the adaptation of the selected assessment tool to the Nigerian context by changing the identified language items that were unfamiliar to the students’ environment (Nigeria).

After successfully implementing the action plan, the performance of the students in term 1 (original test) and that of students in term 2 (adapted test) were compared to evaluate the impact of the adapted tests on Nigerian students. Conclusively, the students in term 2 performed better when administered the adapted items than the students in term 1 who were administered the original test items.

I met with the team during the final audit and discussed the entire process as well as the impact it had on the Psychology department’s assessment process. The changes in the department’s assessment practice showed evidence of good practice being routinely followed on all aspects at the end of the final audit.

When asked if the team will be adopting the changes. It was agreed that the department will continue administering the adapted tests to Nigerian students with Nigerian backgrounds since we found that it had a positive impact. In addition, the team also felt that keeping the two versions of the tests (original and adapted) will be necessary for cases when foreign students or students with foreign backgrounds are evaluated.

The team felt proud of the result of the final audit evidence table in comparison to the result of the initial audit evidence table. The team also felt empowered by the entire process of change. I assured the team of my availability to further support them in the future.