The assessment of active listening skills in HelpLine workers
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The goal of this project was to study the active listening skills of Student Counseling HelpLine workers at Texas A&M University. This research project was designed to determine if the test currently used by the HelpLine to objectively measure active listening skills is a valid and reliable test and if active listening skills are maintained after training. The test that this research attempted to validate was the Crisis Center Discrimination Index. This research, by administering the index to volunteers before training, immediately after training, and a period of time after training, attempted to assess if active listening skills are developed through training and if they are maintained after training. This study also used two supervisor ratings of active listening skills; one set of ratings were completed at the end of training and another were completed at a period of time after training. The study will correlate these supervisor ratings with the indexes given at the same time. There were no significant differences between indexes taken at the beginning of training, after all training was completed, and a period of time after training. This means that either active listening skills are not improved during training or practice on the HelpLine, or that the index is not a valid measure of active listening skills. By finding that there were no significant correlations between the indexes and supervisor ratings taken at the time same time, the test was not shown to be a valid measure of active listening skills. The test does have some reliability with an alpha over .7. Alpha is obtained by splitting the test in half in every possible way and averaging all the correlations between the halves. There is also high inter-rater reliability between the supervisors doing the ratings. There was a significant increase in supervisor ratings of active listening skills from immediately after training to a period of time after training, which indicates that practice on the HelpLine improves the active listening skills of its volunteers.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 18-19).
Argo, Amber Lynn (2002). The assessment of active listening skills in HelpLine workers. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from