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Introducing a design exigency to promote student learning through assessment: A case study

journal contribution
posted on 2019-03-04, 00:00 authored by LA Grealish, Julie Shaw
Background Assessment technologies are often used to classify student and newly qualified nurse performance as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, with little attention to how these decisions are achieved. Examining the design exigencies of classification technologies, such as performance assessment technologies, provides opportunities to explore flexibility and change in the process of using those technologies. Objective Evaluate an established assessment technology for nursing performance as a classification system. Methods A case study analysis that is focused on the assessment approach and a priori design exigencies of performance assessment technology, in this case the Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool 2016. Findings Nurse assessors are required to draw upon their expertise to judge performance, but that judgement is described as a source of bias, creating confusion. The definition of satisfactory performance is ‘ready to enter practice’. To pass, the performance on each criterion must be at least satisfactory, indicating to the student that no further improvement is required. The Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool 2016 does not have a third ‘other’ category, which is usually found in classification systems. Discussion Introducing a ‘not yet competent’ category and creating a two-part, mixed methods assessment process can improve the Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool 2016 assessment technology. Using a standards approach in the first part, judgement is valued and can generate learning opportunities across a program. Using a measurement approach in the second part, student performance can be ‘not yet competent’ but still meet criteria for year level performance and a graded pass. Conclusion Subjecting the Australian Nursing Standards Assessment Tool 2016 assessment technology to analysis as a classification system provides opportunities for innovation in design. This design innovation has the potential to support students who move between programs and clinicians who assess students from different universities. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd




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Churchill Livingstone, UK

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Acceptance Date


External Author Affiliations

Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service;

Era Eligible

  • Yes


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