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Rethinking assessment for the science modules in the first year nursing programme: Final project report


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This project evaluated an innovative assessment tool that was developed to provide evidence that students were developing science-informed competence for nursing. Measuring and assessing competence in nursing education is a current world-wide concern, with few solutions offered (Anderson, 2008; Cowan et al., 2005; Lauder et al., 2008; Pincombe et al., 2007). At Waikato Institute of Technology, the prescription of Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) nursing competencies into the science modules of the Bachelor of Nursing curriculum commenced in 2009. Examination of the alignment of pedagogy, curriculum and assessment revealed that existing methods of assessment did not effectively assess all aspects of competence.
This research project investigated what tools could be used to assess evidence of the development of all aspects of science-informed competence in nursing education, and developed a new assessment tool. The tool was evaluated in terms of its construct, concurrent and consequential validity through a variety of data collection methods.
Findings indicated that the new assessment tool enabled assessment of all aspects of competence, including the contribution of student attitudes, values and abilities. It was also effective in providing students with opportunities to make links between science learning and nursing practice. Questionnaire and focus group results indicated that most students had some understanding of the purpose of the assessment tool and understood the practical test as linking to a ‘nursing perspective’. However, the students’ overall perception of the assessment was negative.

We concluded that this was influenced by three main variables; the length of the test, the readability and format of assessment items, and the perceived unfamiliarity of the assessment conditions (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007). As a result of these findings, recommendations for practice and further research are offered.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: competence, nursing education, assessment, evaluation
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Corporate > Assett Centre
Schools > School of Education
Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Schools > Centre for Science and Primary Industries
Depositing User: Jane Stewart
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2011 04:11
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 02:32

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