Evaluation of Written Assignments
In most nursing courses, students complete some type of written assignment. With these assignments students can develop their critical thinking skills, gain experience with different types of writing, and achieve other outcomes specific to a course. Written assignments with feedback from the teacher help students develop their writing ability, an important outcome in any nursing program from the beginning level through graduate study. This chapter focuses on developing and evaluating written assignments for nursing courses.
Written assignments are a major instructional and evaluation method in nursing in both the classroom and clinical practice components of a course. They can be used to achieve many learning outcomes but need to be carefully selected and designed considering the instructional goals. With written assignments students can: (a) critique the literature, integrate the literature and other sources of information, and report on their findings; (b) analyze concepts and theories and apply them to clinical situations; (c) improve their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills; (d) gain experience in formulating their ideas and communicating them in a clear and coherent way to others; and (e) develop writing skills. Many of the written assignments in clinical courses assist students in mapping out their plan of care and identifying areas in which they need further instruction. Some assignments such as keeping journals also encourage students to examine their own feelings, beliefs, and values and to reflect on their learning in a course.
Not all written assignments achieve each of these purposes, and the teacher plans the assignment based on the intended goals of learning. Assignments