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Assessment allows for the most important question to be asked and answered, such as whether the objectives of the course unit or goals of the curriculum have been met. It should aim at assessing an individual’s with the aim of satisfying the external requirements.
Assessing of nursing students should involve measuring their clinical/nursing competence in all their areas of practice such as how they manage patients’ histories and examinations. The issue of patient confidentiality is vital in the nursing practice and therefore appropriate assessment methods which take care of various cultural backgrounds and learning styles.
This class includes nursing students with different levels of work experience from different cultures. They include Maria Sanchez, Olga Bartold, Dr. Ranzin, Joe Antone and Martha Scott, all of whom come from different cultural and religious backgrounds and almost speak different native languages although most of them have some knowledge of the English language.
This means that the assessment criteria chosen should be able to evaluate learning in each of the students.
There are two major assessment methods, including summative and formative assessments. Summative assessments are normally used to evaluate what the students, which in this case are the nursing students, have learnt at the end of this unit. This method will only be appropriate when certifying the students for having successfully completed the unit.
Thus, it is normally used to grade the students to gauge whether they have achieved the learning goals of the course unit or have failed to meet them. In this case, it will also be applicable in situations where the unit is a pre-requisite for other units in the course.
The method will ensure that the nursing students have achieved the required standards on their way to earning certification for completion in their various courses or to enter their respective careers in the nursing profession.
On the other hand, formative assessment refers to the recurrent, interactive assessments of learner progress and understanding to identify the students’ learning needs so as to adjust the teaching suitably. This method helps better prepare and meet diverse learners’ needs, which is done through differentiation and, adaptation of teaching to increase students achieve. It also helps achieve higher equity of learner outcomes.
Formative assessment will be the most appropriate for evaluating the progress and performance of all the five learners. It helps raise the overall level of each student’s achievement since it provides reports for teaching interventions. The students in this case have different entry behavior and have different cultural backgrounds and work experience.
This method will enable initial assessment of their literacy level in the English language and diagnostic assessment of their experience in patient confidentiality issues and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as, continuous evaluation of each student’s course progress.
This will allow for the process of guiding the nursing students towards accreditation.Besides, it will help give feedback to each student in ways which will enable him or her improve as well as plan the next steps.
Formative assessment provides feedback to each leaner/group identifying areas as well as suggestions for improvement. This in turn will encourage each student to take greater responsibility for his or her own learning since the learning occurs in an asynchronous environment where each learner is mostly on his or her own.
Alternative assessment method
Another vital assessment method which can be used to evaluate the learning progress of five learners is the constructivist assessment (Bieber, Hiltz, & Wu, 2008). It also assesses the student’s points of view or perception. These assessments are normally done during the course learning progress.
In this method, learners are involved in oral and open discussions, and starts from the learners already know, what they have learnt, as well as, what they want to know, and ways which they used to acquire the knowledge. It starts by conducting a pre-test to determine what the students already.
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This will be very important in analyzing what each of the students already knows regarding patient’s confidentiality issues from their previous experiences and training. The method allows each student to categorize the concepts, as well as, ideas which relate to patient confidentiality issues and HIPAA.
This method allows the teacher to determine each student’s ability to bring into the classroom or the learning process previous experience and new knowledge. It is believed that learning is gained through real experience. It also uses a checklist as well as observation to assess each student’s success in the course unit.
Constructivist assessment puts emphasis on cognitive adaptation as well as social mediation especially for adult students, and this makes it suitable for the learners in this case class (Bieber, Hiltz, & Wu, 2008). It assumes that learning is a continuous process and occurs throughout ones life. This assessment method allows the teacher to focus on the understanding of each learner’s current thinking about the course unit or topic.
The teacher adopts ways of helping each learner to construct a new understanding, as well as, to acquire new skills. In essence, constructivist assessment and formative assessment are almost similar and can be applied to achieve the same goal.
As a teacher in charge of the course unit, it is important to understand that Sanchez, Dr. Ranzin and Scott have several years of experience in the health care environment. Their previous experience with patients can be useful in helping Antone and Bartold who have no past working experience in a health care environment.
Again, although all the five students speak different native languages, they have varying levels of knowledge in the English language. It is therefore imperative to provide those working in health care facilities with cultural competence training so as to ensure that the patients they meet receive quality care.
These two factors mean that as the teacher, it will be important to adopt different learning styles to achieve success in every student. The learning criteria should address all possible patient confidentiality issues as well as organizational cultural competence while focusing on the specific population groups, as well as, health issues which are relevant to the community which each student serves.
Individual level criteria
During the learning process throughout the period, it is important to evaluate the individual nursing students so as to understand each person’s level of comprehension of the patient confidentiality, which includes HIPAA. Since the learning process occurs in an asynchronous environment, computer-interactive tests or written tests should be given to each student.
Other assessment forms should include asking each student to write essays and reports regarding patient confidentiality issues as well as what they have experienced in their previous healthcare work experience, and how they expected the knowledge gained through the course unit to influence their future practice.
During the teacher-student interaction lessons which are meant to assess the students progress and improve their understanding of the course content, the teacher has to provide oral examinations as well as individual interviews to understand what each person has been able to achieve and how the learning process has influenced his or her practice or expected practice.
Different learning styles and methods are likely to suit different nurses and doctors since they have different identified learning needs. According to Grant (2002) those working in the healthcare facilities apply wide range of formal as well as informal ways to identify their learning needs during their everyday practice.
The essays and reports should be used to understand the students knowledge of their previous experience or laws concerning patient confidentiality, privacy requirements and what is considered healthcare fraud in their past regions and places of work.
Sanchez, Dr. Ranzin and Scott who have previously worked in heath care facilities should be tested so as to help the teacher understand their rules and confidentiality issues in the various communities. The three of them should be asked to report or write an essay about a work-related harassment or health care information fraud/abuse which they have experienced or witnessed and the consequences which such actions attracted.
Bartold’s and Antone’s tests should aim at understanding what they think is considered confidentiality of patient information in Germany and Pima Indian Community respectively, and at the international stage.
Both of them should be asked to identify what they consider as work-related harassment and their perceived consequences. In addition, each one of them should write a report relating abuse of patient confidentiality to the provisions of the HIPAA. This will enable all of them to understand the need to hold patient confidentiality while working in healthcare facilities and to ensure the organization’s health care information confidentiality.
To help Antone and Bartold in the learning process, the instructions should be translated into German which Bartold is fluent in and Hindu for Antone. They can also be taught how to use the internet to translate information into the language that each of them understands best (Mayadas, 1997).
Individual assessment in this case should involve giving the students assignments to analyze reports, journals and healthcare policies concerning health care information privacy and work-related harassment on their own. This will help them develop their individual judgment, argument and reflection skills.
Group activity criteria
As the teacher in charge of the students while covering this unit, I will develop an asynchronous community which will include all the five students so as to enhance social relationships among them. This has to take place during the classroom orientation program. Asynchronous interactions will has to be developed to promote learning.
This will involve the use of online discussion boards as well as blogs (Ittelson & Lorenzon, 2005) developed specifically for the five of them so that they can conduct discussions on issues of patient confidentiality. The group leader in this group will either be Sanchez, Dr. Ranzin or Scott since they have a wealth of experience which they can share with Bartold and Antone who have no experience in health care environment.
Bartold and Antone will be required to use the internet or any other software to translate their communications. As the teacher, I will provide group work assignments, research, case analysis and problem scenario to be done by the five students as a group during the learning progress.
Sanchez, Dr. Ranzin and Scott have real experience in healthcare information privacy requirements, and this should help all of them discuss the assignments in relation to the provisions of HIPAA. These activities will enable the students develop problem solving skills since their ability to identify, pose, define and analyze problems.
The students are able to understand how patient confidentiality issues and work-related harassment and apply the knowledge and experience that they gain from one another.
Again, as the five students involve in discussions and participate in assignments, Bartold and Antone improve their literacy levels in English. They also learn to consult and work co-operatively, and this is very important to Antone and Bartold who have no experience in the health care environment.
Assessment in clinical setting
In a clinical setting, the assessment will involve assessing the thinking as well as problem solving abilities of each learner. It also involves how each student practices the knowledge learnt during the course unit to realities of practice. This will involve exposing each student to situations characterized by different levels of complexities, uniqueness, uncertainties as well as value conflicts.
In a clinical setting, the nursing students will be evaluated on how they use patients’ information to provide care and how they relate with one another in the work place. Thus, it involves observing the communication level between each student and other nurses and doctors whom they are working with. Each student will also be observed to understand the comfort level of each patient whom each student is caring.
In addition, the assessment will also entail observing communication between each student and the patients/patient’s families. Assessment should also involve asking each student to keep daily as well as weekly journal of his or her experience in the natural setting.
This will be used to counsel the student about the events that the student met during the practice. Since the learning takes place in an asynchronous environment, students will also be tested through simulated clinical setting where each student is asked to provide solution to the case or discuss the case as a group.
Teaching of culturally diverse learners who speak different languages and have varying levels of work experience requires that the teacher adopt various assessment strategies and learning styles. The teacher should translate the instructions into a language which every learner can understand in an asynchronous environment where the teacher needs to meet the needs of every learner.
In addition, the teacher has to implement strategies which enable the students to interact in an asynchronous community such as the use of online discussion boards and blogs. This will allow the teacher to assess what the students discuss in the assignments given to learner groups throughout the learning process.
Bieber, M., Hiltz, S., & Wu, D. (2008). Engaging students with constructivist participatory examinations in asynchronous learning networks. Journal of Information Systems Education, 19(3): 321-330.
Grant, J. (2002). Learning needs assessment: Assessing the need. BMJ, 324(7330): 156 doi:10.1136.
Ittelson, J. & Lorenzon, G. (2005). Demonstrating and assessing student learning with e-portfolios. Educause Learning Initiative, 3:1-19.
Mayadas, F. (1997). Asynchronous learning networks: A Sloan foundation perspective. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 1.