Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Testing: How Should the Evidence Be Used?

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Testing: How Should the Evidence Be Used?

Article excerpt

Objective measures of student and teacher performance are subjects of discussion throughout the education literature. A key issue that is addressed frequently is how the objective testing of students should be used in teacher evaluation.

The debate about the weight of students' standardized test scores on teacher performance in elementary and secondary schools continues.

There are strong opinions on both sides of the debate, especially when the most important test scores (the high-stakes scores of math and English) are used to rate the performance of all teachers in a school. While complicated, value-added models are often used to modify the direct relationship that links teacher performance to student test scores, and there are strong opinions supporting the value of these predictive models. Generally, student test scores are most often acknowledged as only one of the key measures of success in education, albeit a very important objective measure.

What about linking nursing student test scores to faculty evaluations? Currently, there are a number of ways in which faculty are evaluated, including student ratings of faculty. Typically, only a small percentage of students complete the faculty evaluation forms--often students who have the most positive and the most negative views, and often for faculty assigned the most difficult courses (e.g., pathophysiology), or faculty teaching certain courses for the first time, with new assignments each semester. Yet, these unrepresentative evaluations are used in rating teacher performance. On the other hand, student standardized test scores and student NCLEX test scores are not linked systematically to teacher evaluations in nursing. …

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