Rethinking assessment for the science modules in the first year nursing programme
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.
Jane Stewart, Dr Gudrun Dannenfeldt, Angela Stewart, Dr Kevin Stewart, Victor Fester, Jackie McHaffie, Pam Williams, Dr Rose Hipkins.
Contractor: Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton
The report presents conclusions and some recommendations regarding how competency-based assessment of nursing science within tertiary environments might be enhanced.
The project evaluated a new practical science test, designed to assess all aspects of competence, for one module in the first year of the Bachelor of Nursing.
The assessment was carried out in a laboratory situation, but the context was related to nursing practice. The new assessment tool enabled assessment of all aspects of competence, including the contribution of student attitudes, values and abilities to knowledge and skills. These were the building blocks for further development of science informed competence by the student nurses.
Most students understood that the assessment tool had been designed to link to a ‘nursing perspective’. Their immediate response was negative and uncertain, with many students experiencing time constraints during the assessment.
Recommendations for future practice and further research are included in the report. The research report will be of particular interest to nurse educators and science educators, and more generally to tertiary educators interested in assessment and competency-based education.
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