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Undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions of computer based testing
Background & Purpose:The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is a computer adaptive licensure examination that nursing students are eligible to write upon completion of their undergraduate nursing degree. Success on this exam is a requirement for Registered Nurse practice. Historically, the Canadian licensure examination was a paper-based exam. However, in 2015 the NCLEX-RN was adopted. Initially Canadian pass rates declined and nursing schools have been seeking strategies to better prepare students for this exam. Practice with computer based testing (CBT) may be one approach. However, CBT has not been widely used and many nursing programs continue with paper-based exams. Recently CBT was integrated into a third year undergraduate nursing course in Alberta, Canada. The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of undergraduate nursing student experiences with and perceptions of CBT. Specifically, the goals were to inform personal teaching and evaluative practices, positively contribute to changes to future course testing approaches, and share knowledge with other educators who may be considering the integration of CBT into their courses. Sharing this knowledge may contribute to the body of literature and serve as a foundation on which further research on this topic area could be conducted. Method: Through purposive sampling, data was collected from 38 students who completed a set of reflective questions. Data was analyzed by thematic analysis. Results: Four themes were generated: immediacy matters, distrust of self, navigating the new, and high stakes on the horizon. Findings including the benefits, challenges, and recommendations are discussed. Conclusion: There are advantages and disadvantages to CBT. Providing CBT opportunities may encourage students to reflect on their learning, test-preparation, and test-taking strategies promoting reflection upon how they prepare for and engage in future computerized exams.
Computer based testingTest taking strategiesNCLEX-RN
Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics
Health, Community and Education