My Work as a Counselor in High School
How it works
Technology has become the “go-to” for endless entertainment, solving any conceivable problem, and even combatting boredom. With technology so readily available, individuals often resort to the internet for quick answers and solutions. For example, visiting the doctor is now optional due to websites like WebMD! While people may not have the answers themselves, endless solutions are just a click away. In this write-up, I assess and analyze a technology-based assessment tool that is easily accessible to a high school student population. As future counselors, it is essential that we understand what makes an assessment effective or ineffective, especially those that students use themselves. This understanding may provide counselors with the opportunity to help clients make better life decisions, rather than clients steadfastly defending the results of their Facebook quiz.
Reaction and Analysis
As a counselor, I plan to work with high school students, who are notoriously tech-savvy. One interest of these students might be deciding what they plan to do after high school. Thus, I entered “What should I do after high school quiz” into a Google search and chose the first link. Since I work with high school students on a daily basis, I know they want quick and easy answers. I can imagine them choosing the first link they see on the screen.
My reaction to this quiz ranged from shaking my head in disbelief to confusion and annoyance due to the distractions. However, I was ultimately surprised, yet still suspicious, by the results. The website is called “ProProfs Quizzes”, and at first glance, it appears like a cheap, unreliable website with too many advertisements. Nevertheless, if you analyze the “about” section, it seems more professional with a note from its CEO and a list of all the companies that use its trusted software. Besides quizzes, they offer resources to “work better, get smarter employees, and create happier customers”. But, the quiz itself does not exhibit the same level of professionalism that the website portrays. The personality type quiz is labeled “What to do after high school?” and was created by an individual named “Kenneth254”. It costs nothing to take the quiz, and it takes less than five minutes to complete. The quiz consists of eight multiple-choice questions, with topics surrounding personal preferences including movies, music, leisure time, and school subjects. The results page was simplistic, describing the career you should be in, a one to two-sentence description of the career, and an accompanying picture.
In terms of an effective assessment, this quiz is a truly poor example. As stated before, the website claims its validity, but the appearance lacks professionalism. The first thing I noticed was all the distracting advertisements. Not only did this appear cluttered, but some of the advertisements were inappropriate for students in a school setting. It’s also problematic because the quiz taker is essentially leaving their professional fate in the hands of “Kenneth254”, who could be anybody. I checked the protocol for creating quizzes as a user, and there were barely any limits. Although a user can pay for a premium account, there is a free version that allows users to create and even sell quizzes. This shows that anyone can create a quiz, and there isn’t enough information about this user to render the quiz valid or reliable.
Another problem with this assessment is its makeup. Choosing a professional career is a complex decision that requires a holistic analysis of a person’s academic, social, and emotional traits. The quiz limits an individual to eight questions to determine a career. Furthermore, the questions themselves are trivial, simply addressing favorite movies and music. I found that for a couple of questions, I did not know or agree with any of the choices, so I took my best guess. This may be a multicultural concern, especially for students who have little knowledge of popular culture. In fact, I was quite offended when I had to choose a male “hero who has inspired me” and had no females to choose from! So, while the questions appear “fun” and interesting, they do not and cannot provide an accurate measure of an individual.
Interestingly, I enjoyed my results. Although I had previously dismissed the quiz as silly, I was pleasantly surprised to see it point towards a career in criminology for me. I have always been intrigued by the study of crime, and have toyed with the idea of pursuing it but did not believe I was capable of succeeding in this field. Hence, the accuracy of the quiz with regards to my personal preference surprised me. This could indeed be a mere coincidence, but it might also hint at a small correlation between personal likes and potential career paths. However, I do not think that the results are infallible. This quiz might be a fun distraction for those who are curious, but the outcomes should definitely be taken with a pinch of salt. The results may encourage individuals to either agree with the results and pursue that career, or disagree, thus prompting them to more seriously consider other career paths. Furthermore, I strongly feel that this is not a reliable assessment tool. To accurately gauge an individual’s compatibility with a particular career would require more detailed questions, a broader spectrum of answer choices, and the inclusion of deeper, non-trivial inquiries. In terms of reliability, it does produce consistent results when taken multiple times. I verified this by taking the test repeatedly, along with a handful of other individuals.
In conclusion, this assessment is not truly useful for high school students. Students may find it fun and interesting, but it is a poor assessment in terms of measuring which career their attributes match. Although it is quick and easy to complete, the results are frivolous due to several weaknesses: item format, response format, appropriateness, and multicultural issues. It is important for students to be aware of this type of assessment before they start giving it too much credit. Furthermore, it is important that counselors help provide accurate assessments to help clients make their own choices.
How it works