We only discovered remote assessment in 2020, but many have been putting it to excellent use for years! We are grateful for the technology that allowed important work to continue while also being very happy to be back face-to-face. Sometimes it is still very beneficial to use screens.
Studies looking at the equivalence of remote assessment were well underway prior to COVID-19. We have the benefit of data that examines what's different and the same about typical (pre-COVID) in-person assessment and teleassessment. The following is an excerpt from an article written by A. Jordan Wright, PhD, Joni L. Mihura, PhD., Hadas Pade, PsyD., and David M. McCord; published by APA early in the pandemic:
The overarching context within which these principles are being developed is an understanding that the research and evidence base for equivalence of cognitive, neuropsychological, and other interactional measures in a remote, online format compared to a traditional, face-to-face format is extremely nascent. Some early evidence, under very controlled circumstances, of possible equivalence exists (e.g., Brearly, 2017; Cullum et al., 2006; Galusha-Glasscock et al., 2016; Harrell et al., 2014; Parmanto et al., 2013; Smith et al., 2017; Wadsworth et al., 2018; Wright, 2018).
Of course, they cited a need for study replication and were careful to restate that equivalence between in-person testing and tele-testing is not guaranteed. Since that time, additional studies have been published and we have had an opportunity to apply our own experience and clinical judgment to the questions raised by COVID-conditions. We know that few people are functioning in the same way cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, and certainly socially—as we were before March 2020. As evaluators, we have to account for those changes as well through shifts in test selection, methods of delivery, interpretation, etc.
Successful remote assessment occurs when all parties work together to consider individual needs and circumstances, and take time to plan and prepare. It requires strict adherence to professional ethics and testing guidelines but a gentler, more flexible execution. Some technology is required (i.e. laptop with video camera), but we have now had a lot of practice and it's a smooth process! Testing companies continue to update products, hosts upgrade the functionality of virtual platforms, and we learn and grow in our own test selection, administration, and interpretation efforts.
We expect and invite questions!! Please reach out so we can talk through various options.