Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education

By Marilyn H. Oermann; Kathleen B. Gaberson | Go to book overview
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Chapter 13
Clinical Evaluation Methods

After establishing a framework for evaluating students in clinical practice and exploring one’s own values, attitudes, and biases that may influence evaluation, the teacher identifies a variety of methods for collecting data on student performance. Evaluation methods are strategies for assessing learning outcomes in clinical practice. That practice may be with patients in hospitals and other health care facilities, with families and communities, in simulation and learning laboratories, and involving other activities using multimedia. Some evaluation methods are most appropriate for use by faculty or preceptors who are onsite with students and can observe their performance; other evaluation methods assess students’ knowledge, cognitive skills, and other competencies but do not involve direct observation of their performance.

There are many evaluation methods for use in nursing education. Some methods, such as journals, are most appropriate for formative evaluation while others are useful for either formative or summative evaluation. In this chapter varied strategies are presented for evaluating clinical performance.


There are several factors to consider when selecting clinical evaluation methods to use in a course. First, the evaluation methods should provide information on student performance of the clinical competencies associated with the course. With the evaluation methods, the teacher collects data on performance to judge if students are developing the clinical competencies or have achieved them by the end of the course. For many outcomes of a course, there are different strategies that can be used, thereby providing flexibility in choosing methods for evaluation.

Most evaluation methods provide data on multiple clinical outcomes. For example, a short written assignment in which students compare two different


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