Please respond to colleages paper and add 1 new item to each paper please.You will be asked or may even volunteer to participate in developing standardized tests. Standardized tests have come under scrutiny for their validity and appropriateness.
You will be asked or may even volunteer to participate in developing standardized tests. Standardized tests have come under scrutiny for their validity and appropriateness. Examine compare and contrast two standardized tests used in nursing. Discuss how they differ in their goals? Discuss how they are used? How is validity achieved? How is security maintained? The most common tests are the ATI NCLEX APTITUDE TEAS HESI.. Mary please describe HESI and NCLEX. Jennifer please describe ATI and EBI Educational Benchmarking INC. Post some useful links for your peers. Original posting due 4/5 responses due 4/12. Do not forget to respond to the work of some of your peers
There is information on the NLN website about high Stakes Testing is important for all to read. Go to www.nln.org and explore the testing sites
Response to Jennifer
One of the most vivid memories I have of my accelerated BSN program is studying for a test every-single-day. In nursing education not only is one tested on material taught in various courses and specialties one also participates in a standardized test at the end of the program in order to graduate and then go on to take the most important exam of them all the NCLEX-RN. This exam at the end of the program is frequently referred to as an exit exam which can be viewed as a high-stakes exam; it is supposed to determine your success rate in the NCLEX-RN. High-stakes tests as defined by the American Educational Research Association American Psychological Association and National Council on Measurement in Education (American Educational Research Association 1999) is a test used to provide results that have important direct consequences for examinees programs or institutions involved in the testing (Spurlock 2013). The direct consequences for these students would be that they are held back from graduation and sitting for the nursing boards exam. Some nursing education programs have implemented progression policies and high-stakes tests to maintain desirable pass rates by preventing students at risk for failure from taking the NCLEX-RN (Spurlock 2013). Desirable pass rates are not what this is all about. Ensuring the students are learning and truly retaining the knowledge are the key concepts that no one seems to be focusing on; rather all the attention is placed on these exit exams and the NCLEX-RN results. Perhaps there is poor instructional quality disruptive or inadequate learning environments and lack of effective learning resources (Spurlock 2013). Also of note making important educational decisions based on high-stakes test scores directly conflicts with the ethics of acceptable test use as described by the Joint Committee on Testing Practices- 2004 (Spurlock 2013). There are several test preparation companies available to the nursing programs with the goal of successful results in the high-stakes exams. Two companies I will be exploring are: Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) and Skyfactor formerly known as Educational Benchmarking Inc. (EBI).
ATI is test-prep company in Kansas focusing on nursing exams and education. On their website they boast their real understanding for what it takes to become a nurse because a nurse helped start the company. It goes on to discuss how nursing students are all different and how their learning systems are designed to teach the way each individual learns. They offer test-prep for every step of the way through nursing school and yield results closer to 100% than any other education system in the market (https://www.atitesting.com/About.aspx). In contrast Skyfactor is a company that focuses on student retention and program assessments. Evaluation of the student and the program are performed; personalized action plans are put into place to ensure success of both the student and the program they are attending. Their website describes their assessment method as direct and indirect meaning standardized exams directly measure student performance while indirect measures are collected through surveys interviews or course evaluations; through the combination of the two measures a campus can determine a holistic view of student achievement and gauge the efficacy of campus services initiatives and processes (https://skyfactor.com/nursing-education/). Both companies have the success of the student as their top priority. However it is interesting to see the different approaches and their means to the end goal of high performance in testing. Skyfactor creates a personalized plan for the student and identifies risks early enough to connect them with the appropriate resources that will help yield positive results. ATI provides students with skills lessons pharmacology flashcards etc. It appears to be useful as extra information to prepare for the test besides what is received in the nursing program. ATI also offers NCLEX-RN prep and resources for nursing faculty such as assistance in nursing curriculum development.
In standardized testing validity is an important component because it refers to whether or not a test measures what it was intended to measure. There are several forms of validity that are assessed: objective construct and content. All three forms correspond to parts of an exam that must be in line with its original intention for example when looking at content validity one examines the content provided in the class and exam and how the student responded to the topic in the exam. Validity in standardized tests is a key component that must not be overlooked. Just as important is the security and integrity of the exam. Due to the pressure of high scores and exemplary student performances many institutions have been stooped as low as cheating and helping students achieve high grades. Any unusual rises in student performance should be questioned and monitored for foul-play. Some instructors were discovered after changing answer sheets or preventing low-scoring students from taking exams (Samuels 2011). This unfortunate reality is due to the unrealistic expectations of both teachers and students. For many teachers their whole performance evaluation is based on students test grades; poor grades are attributed to a poor performance by the teacher. This system is obviously broken and needs fixing. Teachers and students alike should feel safe supported and encouraged to perform well. The anxiety and stress brought on by standardized testing has not changed in many years and does not seem to be changing anytime soon. Perhaps it is up to the new generation to fight the big fight and remove standardized testing from having so much influence on students and teachers. Until then companies like ATI and Skyfactor will continue to profit on test prep and their guarantees of student success.