Assessing Skills and Abilities through Oral and Practical Exams

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$0 members / $0 non-members     4.0 CE credits

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As an educator, you focus your energy on teaching massage therapy students the knowledge and skills you know they are going to need in order to succeed in the massage therapy profession. Then, students are assessed on how well they process this information.

As a profession, we identify higher standards for student learning and performance in school and in the workplace after graduation. Quality methods of assessing performance help reach those goals. Most teachers of massage therapy are not trained as educators and therefore don’t know all of the educational tools that have been developed. This course is designed to help in one area—the performance assessment.

The learning objectives of this course explain how to align student assessments with the knowledge, skills and abilities they are expected to grasp from a course. In addition, this course provides useful feedback in identifying areas and methods of correcting existing courses.


This course explains the role of oral and practical assessments and how to amend current courses to align the information presented with the assessments.

When you finish this course, you will be able to:

  • Align assessments with objectives and competencies in courses.
  • Identify the plan and goals of an oral or practical assessment.
  • Describe the criteria of fair and valid assessments.
  • Assess three levels of both oral and practical assessments.
  • Outline performance standards for an assessment.
  • Define subjective skills and abilities.
  • Distinguish between the four taxonomies using task terminology.
  • Apply a rubric as a scoring tool.
  • Explain the roles of content, student expectations and feedback in testing formats.

About the author(s)

Kathy Paholsky has been active in massage education for over 25 years. She is an instructor and Massage Therapy Program Coordinator at Schoolcraft College and a Craniosacral Therapist in the Integrative Medicine Department at Beaumont Hospital, Troy and Royal Oak, Michigan.

Course Expiration

Please note that you must complete each AMTA online learning course and pass the exam one year from the date of purchase. If you do not complete the course and pass the exam within one year, you will be required to re-purchase the course.

Online courses expire one year from the date of purchase. When a course expires, you will no longer have access to the course materials and will be required to re-purchase the course.

Course Approval Codes



This course contains information that is proprietary. None of the material contained within this course may be used without the express written permission of AMTA unless otherwise indicated in the course. As a reminder, before practicing any new modalities or techniques, check with your state’s massage therapy regulatory authority to ensure they are within the state’s defined scope of practice for massage therapy.


Online courses are non-refundable. AMTA will not cover fees incurred from duplicate payments, insufficient funds, stopped payments or credit/debit cards over credit limits.