'Spend a day in my head’: an innovative assessment using creative design

Emmanuel, E. (2012) 'Spend a day in my head’: an innovative assessment using creative design. In: Proceedings of 4th International Nurse Education Conference. pp. 1-19. From: NETNEP 2012, 17-20 June, 2012, Baltimore, MD, USA. (Unpublished)

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Introduction: Moving away from traditional modes of assessments can be risk-taking but rewarding. Using creative art as part of an assessment in nursing can engage students in a powerful way. Students are encouraged to think 'outside the box' and to reflect deeply on content material.

Purpose: To report on the learning outcomes from using creative design in assessment of a mental health subject for second year nursing students.

Method: Students (n = 169) were asked to imagine what it would be like to spend a day in the life of a person with a mental illness. They were also expected to design a poster on which they could display this experience. To complement the poster display, students had to provide a written discussion about these experiences from the perspective of the person with the mental illness, as well as a synopsis on their expectations from loved ones, health practitioners, community and society. Data was collected from the assessment items using Bigg's (1995) structure of observed learning outcome (SOLO) taxonomy; students teaching and learning end of term evaluations (quantitative and qualitative), and tutors' feedback.

Results: Students focused on a range of mental illnesses. They identified specific concepts and themes relating to their choice of mental illness and illustrated these in their posters to demonstrate their understanding of the impact on health, functioning and connectedness. The majority of students' essay (n = 41) according to Bigg's (1995) SOLO taxonomy were scored at 3 (the multi-structural level) which indicated that they were making some connections between different concepts related to the essay question. However, even more students were scored at 4 and above (n = 67) indicating being able to make connections at higher levels, showing significant understanding of mental illness, and being able to generalise and transfer the underlying knowledge about mental illness and the impact of this in one's life.

Conclusions/Discussion: For many students, the creative exercise engaged them at a profound and personal level. More effort is needed to include innovative assessment strategies to promote and enhance student engagement. Use of innovative assessments that incorporates art creation shows much promise for teachers.

Item ID: 26856
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Date Deposited: 21 May 2013 00:10
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 60%
13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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