Agreement Between Lay Participants and Professional Assessors: Support of a Group Assessment Procedure for Selection Purposes

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This study investigates agreement between professional assessors and laypersons (participants) in a group procedure that draws from assessment center principles designed to evaluate candidates to teacher-education programs. Earlier studies have established the validity of this assessment procedure and indicated high interrater agreement of professionals. Evidence that participants concur with professional evaluators will further increase our confidence in the process. The study was conducted in Israel and encompassed 159 applicants to two different educational programs. Results showed high correlations between professional and participant ratings, suggesting that the interactional process provides sufficient information for lay assessors to reach judgments that agree with expert evaluations. Nonetheless, the finding that professional ratings were significantly lower than peer and self-evaluations seems to imply that participant assessors can enhance, but by no means replace, professionals. The social and economic benefits of including lay participants in the assessment process are discussed.

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