Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Sydney Parent

Abstract

Nursing programs have traditionally used teacher-developed multiple-choice (MCQ) examinations to prepare students for licensure. Researchers have determined that poorly constructed MCQ tests used as formative and summative evaluations may penalize nursing students and impact progression and retention in nursing programs. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to examine issues related to the use of teacher-developed MCQ examinations as the only method of student assessment in the theory component of nursing courses. The National League for Nursing Core Competencies for Nurse Educators and the revised Bloom's Taxonomy were used as the conceptual frameworks for this study. The Director of the Nursing Program and 9 faculty members participated. Data were collected from a review of documents, 2 focus groups, faculty-maintained diaries, and an interview. During data analysis, categories were identified and themes emerged, revealing the key findings. Using a single method alone to assess student learning limited the opportunity for formative assessment, the ability to assess higher order thinking, and the development of metacognition on the part of students. To assist faculty in creating assessments of student learning that would address these themes, a 3-day faculty professional development project followed by 4 monthly lunch and learn sessions was designed. Providing additional faculty development in assessment methods may promote positive social change as it may ultimately increase the retention of qualified students to meet the demand for registered nurses within the community.