Grading students by other means (not just exam grades)

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    Is there anyone out there who uses any other means of grading in addition to exams, quizzes, midterms and final exams? We are looking to implement additional means to weigh into the final grade for our students. Clinical is not an option at this point (long story, but not gonna happen). My thoughts are it needs to be something rather objective (and something easily gradable ). Any suggestions/examples are appreciated.

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  2. 10 Comments...

  3. 0
    Some sort of paper ... clinical case study ... write a policy based on solid evidence ... written care plan ... with specific grading criteria clearly expressed.
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    I had my pediatrics class do a poster presentation on a topic. I weighted it the same as an exam, gave them the criteria for the poster ie...minimum size acceptable, typed or handwritten as long as it is legible, must include patho, clinical manifestations, treatment, nursing education, 2 sources sited with APA format. They really did an excellent job and had a good time with it. A paper would also be a good idea however you need to make sure that your students have been exposed to that before. I teach LVN students and many of them have never written a paper or done a poster presentation. One of the other instructors had her students write a paper and they were not very successful.
    showbizrn likes this.
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    A lot depends on the abilities of the students and course objectives. For example, really beginner level students might just be assigned to go to the library (either brick and mortar or online) and collect some information on a relevant topic. Or they might be assigned to write up a really good patient assessment. If appropriate for their level and the course, they might be assigned to do a "10-minute" teaching session for their classmates ... or, as the above poster said, make a poster.

    I like the idea of having such a project give them some more exposure to not only patient care information, but also to develop some skills that will help them be life-long learners.
    showbizrn likes this.
  6. 1
    have students search for evidence based literature on a particular topic.

    create models (3 dimensional) based on nursing theories

    develop case studies on particular topic

    interview persons of interest (including pharmacist, APN, MD, dentist, podiatrist, SANE nurse---special situations make it fun)

    Attend support groups for various conditions (provide list of approved types) then write paper on what was learned.

    In each example you need to provide objective grading criteria with points that may be acquired by successful completion.
    showbizrn likes this.
  7. 0
    when i was in nursing school, we had to go to an AA meeting and write a one page paper on it. it was in our psych nursing class, so i am sure we had to use certain terminology and make it relevant to the class. altho the teacher swears we just got lucky, the main speaker/sharer was an RN who spent about 20 minutes telling her story and how she became addicted as a nurse, getting caught and the process of getting back to work. we also were required to go to a state board of nursing hearing (this was in california) to listen to people present their cases about why they should get their licenses reinstated. both drug related cases that day. one person got his license back, the other one did not. and they told them why yes or no. and of course, we had to write a paper.
    the other thing that stiks in my mind, altho i don't know how you could grade it, is they had a prosecuting malpractice attorney come to our class and give us various scenarios of common nursing "mistakes" and he pretty much ended each sentence with "i don't care how long you've been a nurse--10 days or 10 years, same license. i'm gonna take your house!" scared the hell out of all of us. which was precisely the point.
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    I grade the lab sheets where they practice whatever assessment we've learned that day, they have a scenario with various symptoms (one student plays patient, the other examines and then swap roles). They have to elicit a history, perform the assessment and write it up.

    (Not original with me, the class was set up this way when I took it over. But I have fun writing the scenarios!)
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    We had the students present on a case in clinicals that correlated with what we were teaching. There was a rubric, so it was easier to be objective. For example, if we were talking about CHF that week and Student X had a pt with CHF in clinicals, they talked about the expected meds, how the pt presented (and how that correlated with expected findings in that dx), collaborative care, top 5 pt needs, and outcome (our students follow their pt over 2 days or more). It was well received, and the students said it helped them to hear about a real pt instead of just reading about it in a book.

    We also have scenarios in the lab where students are graded based on a rubric. The scenarios may all have to do with different variations on the same situation. For example- "go start an IV on this patient" with the variations being a patient with a mastectomy, one with a stroke, a child who is flailing, one who has had major trauma, one who needs a one-time infusion, etc. The students discuss afterwards how their care differed for the varying situations.

    We also have lower stakes and lower points for a group quiz once or twice a semester. The students can't use any materials, they are told at the start of the semester that this will occur 1-2x, and to come to class ready at any time. It is worth 20 pts and there are 10 questions. They can discuss quietly as a group. It's the "talking it out" that seems to help. Also, for the first semester students, I do an out-of-class session for a small amount of bonus points that teaches test-taking strategies and how to apply them.
  10. 0
    Quote from LiveToLearn
    We also have lower stakes and lower points for a group quiz once or twice a semester. The students can't use any materials, they are told at the start of the semester that this will occur 1-2x, and to come to class ready at any time. It is worth 20 pts and there are 10 questions. They can discuss quietly as a group. It's the "talking it out" that seems to help. Also, for the first semester students, I do an out-of-class session for a small amount of bonus points that teaches test-taking strategies and how to apply them.

    To build on the quiz topic. When I was an undergraduate, during one of my med-surg lectures we had unannounced quizzes where we were allowed to use 1 side of a 3x5 note card for our notes for the quiz. These quizzes were more objective because they were strictly knowledge based, no higher level thinking. So every week I would cram every bit of information on to that note card I could, not realizing what I was doing. I was studying and making a study tool for myself for the final exam! On the final exam I could picture my note cards in my head and pick the right answer (I'm obviously a visual learner) even though I didn't have the card. Some weeks we would have a quiz and I would use the card, other weeks we wouldn't have quizzes but I would still make the card just in case.

    I hope you find this helpful. Let us know what you decide to do.
  11. 0
    I require case studies and an evidence-based practice paper.


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