The use of technology in education is beneficial for both educational establishments and learners since it provides many opportunities. First of all, online education enables more people to obtain the necessary education. On the other hand, educators can concentrate on individual teaching and assessment strategies. It is necessary to point out that assessment plays a crucial role especially in online learning which presupposes that learners participate in an asynchronous environment.
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Evaluation can be defined as “a systematic process of collecting and interpreting information as a basis for decisions about learners” (as cited in Duffy, 2005, p. 60). To evaluate the progress of each student it is important to take into account many factors: students’ academic performance, working experience, and even cultural background.
There are many effective assessment strategies that can be used in every particular case. It is possible to distinguish two majors in nursing students’ assessment: academic progress and their clinical performance (Billings and Halstead, 2009). Thus, the most common assessment strategies include questionnaires and tests. However, recently educators start paying more attention to problem-based learning which presupposes that students should cope with specific clinical situations (Russell, Comello and Wright, 2007). It goes without saying that it is important to choose the right assessment strategy for every student.
For instance, it is essential to take into account students’ working experience. Thus, in the group in question two students do not have clinical experience: Olga Bartold and Joe Antone do not have any experience working in a health care environment. These students should be assessed using quite a specific strategy. At this point, it is necessary to point out that while assessing Barthold educators should also take into account her level of English proficiency. So, it is necessary not to overload the communication with this student with some difficult language. Nevertheless, there is no need in simplifying communication since the student will face the same situations in her working place.
First of all, Bartold and Antone’s academic performance will be assessed with the help of questionnaires and tests. It is necessary to use Bloom’s taxonomy while constructing the questions for these students (Russell, Comello, and Wright, 2007). This strategy presupposes that students will have to answer first easy and then more complex questions. However, it is important to remember that students should be continually challenged, they should not constantly be in their comfort zone, and this will stimulate them to try to learn more and work harder (Paterson & Pratt, 2007).
Thus, the questionnaires designed should also contain challenging questions and tasks. Apart from this, it is helpful to use the strategy of self-assessment (Young and Paterson, 2007). Reportedly, students are more critical of their performance and are encouraged to improve the assessment of their results (Young and Paterson, 2007). Thus, Bartold and Antone will be able to evaluate their own progress and see their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, these two students need to have a lot of practice in solving real-life problems. So, it is essential to focus on providing many problem-based tasks while assessing these students’ results which will enable them to be ready for new challenges in their working places.
As far as the rest of the group is concerned it is necessary to point out that those students have some experience in the healthcare environment and that is why the assessment strategy will be a bit different. Thus, Maria Sanchez, Dr. Ranzin and Martha Scott having a certain experience can concentrate on some more complex problems and more precise knowledge. Thus, their academic performance assessment strategy will be also based on tests and questionnaires but the questions will require more precision from the students.
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It goes without saying that problem-based assessment will be also dominant. Of course, these students will need to solve more complex clinical instances. It can be also beneficial to launch discussions of clinical cases and providing certain solutions (both groups should participate in this kind of assessment). As for self-evaluating, it is also necessary to use it in this group. Thus, students will know what they should focus on and what needs thorough study and consideration.
Basically, the assessment strategies of the two groups of students differ in material complexity. This differentiation will be beneficial for the students since those who have no experience will not have to complete two difficult tasks, and more experienced students will not waste their time repeating what they know well, instead they will face new challenges. Thus, the students will not be discouraged to study new material and will be eager to fulfill the tasks.
Apart from this, the problem-based assessment will help the students to gain the necessary experience which can be used in their working paces. Finally, it is also important to take into account the cultural background of each student and launch a discussion of various clinical cases and healthcare practices which the student experienced in their native countries. This will be additional information that will enrich students’ knowledge and experience.
Billings, D. M., & Halstead, J. A. (2009). Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: WB Saunders.
Duffy, J.R. (2005). Want to Graduate Nurses Who Care? Assessing Nursing Students’ Caring Competencies. Annual Review of Nursing Education: Strategies for Teaching, Assessment, and Program Planning, 3, 54-77.
Paterson, B.L. & Pratt, D.D. (2007). Learning Styles: Maps, Myths, or Masks? In Young, L.E. & Paterson, B.L. (Eds.), Teaching Nursing: Developing a Student-Centered Learning Environment (78-97). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Russell, A.T., Comello, R.J. and Wright, D.L. (2007). Teaching Strategies Promoting Active Learning in Healthcare Education. Journal of Education and Human Development, 1(1), 21-30.