THE IMPACT OF ICT ON PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING: A CASE STUDY OF TURKISH HIGHER EDUCATION
Istanbul University (TURKEY)
In the era of digital transformation, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has become as a must to achieve more people with affordable prices.Hence, in the delivery of psychological testing,the psychologists, counselors, and other experts become more and more integrated into the use of the ICT.Such integration would not only help to achieve more people, particularly those who are under privilege, but would also improve the quality, flexibility, and the rapidness of the services. In the global era, the importance of psychological testing has been markedly increasing in education as well in business world. However, the accessing more people and preparing the reports for those people are expensive and need more time. Therefore, most of the counseling and psychology based centers and institutions have preferred to use intensively the psychological testing by using ICT.
This paper has focused on the usage of ICT on psychological testing in one of the selected public university in Turkey. The aim is to find out why psychologists and counselors,and even students use ICT on psychological testing and their perceptions and expectations about this new service. A simple random sampling was chosen to select 38 undergraduate students who had taken the psychological testing online. Two psychologists and three counsellors, who had been using ICT on psychological testing more than 8 months, were engaged to the research. In the research study, the phenomenological analysis had been preferred by giving nine research questions. The participants had answered why they used this service, and what were their perceptions and expectations in the semi-structured interviews.
By using Atlas.ti 7, the collected data were studied critically.The findings of this study revealed that the psychologists and counselors use ICT on psychological testing for reaching more students. More importantly, according to the participants as experts, the number of attendance has increased significantly because of the flexibility of time and space. Additionally, the quality of testing has improved dramatically due to the ICT’s effectiveness and efficiencies in collecting and storing data. Furthermore, as the psychologists and counselors point out, they have spent less time in reporting and they find better opportunities to collect more data and to make comparative studies.According to them, even though their perceptions and expectations about using ICT on psychological testing are negative at the beginning, they change after seeing the positive sides for themselves as well for the students.
Furthermore, most of the students (98%) clarify that they enjoy being parts of this service since it is easy, friendly use, flexible, attractive, and innovative. Since they can access even through the social media, the large number of the students (86%) have clarified that integration of ICT through the use of chat rooms, email and social networking, they become more interested and being aware about certain aspects.Even though a large number of them (91%) say that they like to have face-to-face relationship with the psychologists and counselors, they all agree that ICT increase visibility, affordability, and accessibility of the service. In conclusion, the study recommends that ICT would play important roles to achieve more and more students with a few experts since they increase capacity building by improving visibility, affordability, and accessibility of the service.