Composite evaluation by one group of student nurses undertaking a pre-registration diploma nursing course within one university setting highlighted a general perception among respondents that they only participated in ‘rote’ learning to pass the examination. It appeared that little knowledge was retained or used in their nursing practice. Views of students and lecturers were sought on whether the prescribed assessment strategy of a ‘seen’ examination does in fact restrict student learning.
A qualitative research methodology which adapted a phenomenological approach was used. Tape recorded semi-structured interviews were undertaken from a purposive sample of four university lecturers and six pre-registration nursing students. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.
The themes generated during analysis were: the advantages of the ‘seen’ examination, superficial learning, linking theory to practice, and the usefulness of other assessment strategies. There was an assumption made by lecturers that a number of students retained knowledge and information long enough to pass the ‘seen’ examination but not long enough to use it in their nursing practice.
The overall impression from the majority of respondents interviewed in this study was that the assessment strategy of a ‘seen’ examination is valuable to enhance knowledge and skills. However, most lecturers who participated in the study felt sitting a ‘seen’ examination did not encourage ‘deep’ learning among students. They believed this form of assessment encouraged students to ‘rote’ learn and therefore learn in a ‘shallow’ way.
Keywords: Student assessment; seen examinations.
Proposed Policy for Journals That Offer Delayed Open Access
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work for one year after publication simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).