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Student self eval misrepresentation

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by lsbeth lsbeth (New) New

What a great forum!:yeah:

I'm a nursing instructor, and need some assistance in dealing with student self evaluations. It seems that a few of my students have grossly misrepresented themselves in terms of the mark they have assigned themselves. These students are anywhere from average to very good students, however have assigned themselves near perfect marks in a variety of nursing compentencies.

I'm not quite sure how to deal with this issue without insult or injury.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

If they gave themselves near perfect scores on competencies, then they should not mind if you observed them doing these near perfect competencies just to see how good they are.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

When I was honest about my self eval as a student 25+ years ago, my instructor pulled me aside and said I wasn't as low on the scale as I had marked myself. She then told me other people would mark me lower, and point out problems; that I should always rate myself well to show confidence. If I didn't think well of myself, it would be telling others not to as well.

So, ever since then, I give myself top ratings in just about everything, and only go down one point on things that I really think I do need to work on. And frankly, those scores are what are in my permanent work file. I know I'm not perfect, and I am perfectly willing to admit when I need help with something or there is a new med or procedure.

But, that may be the answer to why your students mark themselves so highly.

I personally hate self-evaluations. I think bringing the evaluator and evaluatee together to create the document is the best of both worlds.

Since you have already had them do a self-eval, how about having conferences with them to discuss their marks vs. what you see? What about peer review - other students evaluating their classmates? More and more facilities are going to peer review evaluations for their nurses. It would be a good learning opportunity.

The other thing is, maybe these students really think they are doing a much better job or at a much higher level than they really are. That's kind of a scary thought. Are they knowledgeable enough to know that they aren't knowledgable enough? Does that make sence?

Good luck to you. God love you for being an instructor.

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

I would just explain to them that they are students still and will not have near perfect companenties for a while, even when they get the RN after their name, no one is perfect. Also explain that you as an instructor do not expect them to be perfect either as they are students and would not need to be in nursign school if they had near perfect skills etc.

Sweetooth

sweetooth

RedCell

Specializes in CRNA.

I personally hate self-evaluations. I think bringing the evaluator and evaluatee together to create the document is the best of both worlds.

Since you have already had them do a self-eval, how about having conferences with them to discuss their marks vs. what you see? What about peer review - other students evaluating their classmates? More and more facilities are going to peer review evaluations for their nurses. It would be a good learning opportunity.

The other thing is, maybe these students really think they are doing a much better job or at a much higher level than they really are. That's kind of a scary thought. Are they knowledgeable enough to know that they aren't knowledgable enough? Does that make sence?

Good luck to you. God love you for being an instructor.

As htrn said, self evals really do not show you the whole picture. Having the preceptor do the evaluation is much more productive. That is what we do in anesthesia school. One eval for every day we are in the OR 5-6 days a week. While most of the evals turn into blind signatures at the end of the day without that much feedback, oddly enough, you will be notified of students who are having problems in the clinical setting.

Reno1978, BSN, RN

Specializes in SRNA. Has 6 years experience.

It wasn't so long ago that I was a nursing student who had to fill out those self-evaluations. Many students fill out those evals with the highest scores. We also had to justify our scores with explanations, though. Nonetheless, it was the thought of many that the clinical instructor, who can't watch all 8 of us at the same time, were told on our self-evals that we're marginal in some area that she or he would believe that and leave the grade alone. Therefore, many gave themselves highest marks, expecting the instructor to justify something lower.

I hope that made sense. It all boils down to whether or not you, as their instructor, can justify your actual score. Some posters mention that as students they won't have near perfect competencies, and that's true. But I think you'll just anger students if you say "You aren't getting a perfect score because you won't be perfect well into your career as an RN." Grade them based on their developmental/educational level. A first semester student isn't expected to handle a typical load of an RN, but how effectively are they managing their assigned patient load? Are their nursing skills being practiced and showing improvement? Turning your attention to a student who is close to graduation, they ought to be doing nearly everything a RN is doing. Evaluate them based on the expectations for the course and be honest.

PsychNurseWannaBe, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Nursing Management, WCC. Has 13 years experience.

What a great forum!:yeah:

I'm a nursing instructor, and need some assistance in dealing with student self evaluations. It seems that a few of my students have grossly misrepresented themselves in terms of the mark they have assigned themselves. These students are anywhere from average to very good students, however have assigned themselves near perfect marks in a variety of nursing compentencies.

I'm not quite sure how to deal with this issue without insult or injury.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

I guess I would ask for them to "defend" their grade. It can be done positively. I had instructors say... you think you deserve an "A"... tell me why? It was up to me to demonstrate things I did to achieve the high mark.

With that being said... I am not a believer in the theory of... don't expect an A because you are not perfect. As the OP stated, they should be graded based on what a Soph II, or Junior I, etc... should be able to demonstrate.

Our grading rubrics were very specific. It would be very hard to BS your way to an A... it had to be earned. But competencies such as wound care, trach care, injections were graded in the lab, not clinicals. Clinicals grades included care plans, paper write ups, attendance, dress, professionalism, patient care, etc... BTW our care plans were not just care plans. They included pharmacology, as well as, pathophysiology write ups each week... we also had to include Gordon's and a patient data sheet.

We had to do a mid term and a final conference with our clinical instructors to go over our grades.

eccentricRN

Specializes in med/surg.

When I was a student we had to complete self evals weekly regarding our performance during our clinical week. We had to write a statement any time we graded ourselves above average, explaining what we did that was above & beyond. However, these evals went to our instructors & they had the power to veto any score we wrote, so although it was a "self-eval" it was the instructor's score which hit the grade book. (The instructor usually wrote why the grade changed, but not always.)

Riseupandnurse

Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

When self-evaluations are inflated, I discuss with the student that they are in fact not fulfilling the objective of self-critique. We all have areas we are deficient in, including me. The purpose of self-evaluation is not only to see what we do right, but what we struggle with, before someone else feels bound to draw the latter to our attention. That is the reason we have self-evaluations at all, and it's an essential skill for a professional.

Nobody is perfect. I remember doing a self eval for my peds rotation. I was very hard on myself but then my clinical instructor was quite complimentary......Go figure....

Given that I think that students should be hard on themselves because they should be honest abut needing improvement....

zamboni

Specializes in ER.

I hate self evals, simply because I have never seen it used with any kind of objective standard. Work and school...always the same guessing game.

All through school, I would struggle doing self evals properly (in my mind). Ours was a complicated system involving adding or subtracting lots of minute points. None of the instructors cared for the system, and I figured out eventually that it was simply a formality. Not to say that we didn't know where we stood clinically...most of the instructors would give (and take) feedback throughout the semester. Everyone I knew was always pretty clear on how they were progressing. So we would fill these silly things out, and they would come back agreeing with everything the student had marked (IOW, nothing changed on the eval).

So, it's almost the last day of my last semester. My self eval is literally the last piece of paperwork I have to turn in for school. I'm tired, burnt, and ready to move the heck on. I had done very well clinically, but wasn't up for any more guessing games. I grabbed the eval and just blew through it with straight B's (it was a more complicated form, but I'm simplifying with A's, B's, C's and F's). I was too tired to dream up some wordy justifications and it didn't matter to anyway in any of my past semesters....just a formality.

Imagine my suprise when I get called in the next day for the routine face to face and my instructor chastises me for marking myself so low, even though she knew I did much better. Even better was when she said she would have given me a much better eval, but there was some rule that stated that she could only raise my eval by a certain number of points (remember the complicated point system that no one else used?). So, because of my own self eval, I graded myself out of an A in clinicals and would be getting a B even though "You earned an A. I hate to do this to you". :rolleyes:

It was ridiculous. What was even better was that I was so burnt on school, that I didn't even care. It wasn't until I had slept for a few days that it @$&&*@! me off! :no: Obviously it doesn't matter in the real world, but I still think self evals suck. :smokin:

swee2000

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Something similar to the OP's scenario also occurred during the last week of my 2nd semester in the LPN program. Our normal clinical instructor had to abruptly take a leave of absence(the last week) due to a family emergency. Taking her place, was the Associate Dean of the Nursing school/program, whom none of the other students in my group knew, talked to, or had ever formally met, where as I already had the advantage of knowing her as an instructor from when I was in the RN program a couple years prior(long story) prior and before she became Associate Dean. Unfortunately for everyone else, the Assoc Dean was NOTHING like the original instructor, who was typically fun, carefree, and easygoing. In the past, when students would turn in their self-evals to her, most everyone would score themselves high, to which this instructor would also do the same(it was a very rare occasion when she didn't).

Well on the last day, after the Assoc Dean handed back all of the self-evals, she basically ripped into the students about how she couldn't understand why any of them would feel they deserved/earned "5/5s" or even "4/5s" in any area. Basically, she felt that, unless you were God, there would always be room for improvement, no matter who the person was, how long they'd been doing a job/skill, and especially when it came to students. Another words, no one was perfect or flawless at what they did, regardless. Also, when it came to students, her opinion was that they only deserved "1s and 2s" because they were just starting out & way toooo new to the Nursing world.

In all honesty, I don't think I ever saw so many pale, white faces with eyes so huge they were about to pop out of their sockets. For the students who were doing well & guaranteed to pass, their anxiety level turned on at that point. For the remaining students, who were already anxious beyond words because they were struggling & desperately needed a good score on the final exam(in 2 days, mind you) in order to graduate, their anxiety levels went through the roof/off the charts. Luckily, everyone made it out alive. However, I'm sure they will never look at a self-eval the same way again &/or dread having to do them.

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