The Development and Use of a Formative Assessment and Feedback Process in Clinical Nursing Education

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Filice, Sandra
Formative Assessment , Self-regulated learning , Nursing students , Clinical teacher effectiveness , Feedback
Background: Nursing students’ ability to self-regulate their learning is critical to their future as practicing nurses. Clinical teachers are key to this development. Pedagogical strategies to support self-regulated learning (SRL) in clinical education have not been well researched, especially, the importance of clinical teacher provided formative assessment and feedback. Objectives: 1. To develop a model of SRL and teaching for use in clinical practice and demonstrate its potential to enhance clinical teacher effectiveness and student SRL. 2. To assess the psychometric properties of the modified Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) for use in nursing undergraduate clinical education. 3. To develop and use theory-based formative assessment and feedback processes to support effective clinical teaching and nursing student SRL in clinical practice. Methods: Three interconnected research activities are reported. First, after reviewing existing SRL models, a SRL and teaching model for clinical education was developed. Second, MSLQ was modified to reflect self-regulated nursing students’ motivation and learning strategies in clinical practice education and then administered to third-year baccalaureate nursing students. Third, a formative assessment and feedback process developed and used with clinical teachers and third-year baccalaureate students in a clinical practicum course. Results: The Clinical Education Double Loop SRL and Teaching Model was developed. As predicated the modified MSLQ constructs of motivation and learning strategy did not support the use of the scales within clinical practice education. Further modifications could render the MSLQ useful in assessing self-efficacy for learning, performance, and task value. Clinical teacher and nursing student workload and lack of administrative support resulted in poor uptake of the formative assessment and feedback process. Despite this the participants’ qualitative reports indicated the importance of formative feedback for nursing students in clinical practice education. Conclusion: The Clinical Education Double Loop SRL and Teaching Model illustrates the process of SRL for both nursing students and clinical teachers. The importance of formative assessment and feedback for the achievement of nurses’ learning outcomes are highlighted. . However, innovation to change the process of formative assessment and feedback in clinical nursing education is challenging, and requires administrative support for a paradigm shift in nursing pedagogy.  
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