Strengthening partnerships: The involvement of health care providers in the evaluation of authentic assessment within midwifery undergraduate education
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Collaborative partnerships between health care providers and academics are essential in the provision of quality undergraduate midwifery programs. While health care providers often contribute to clinical assessment and teaching in midwifery programs, they are rarely involved in assessment design and evaluation. This paper describes the evaluation of an assessment task designed to develop critical thinking skills in final year undergraduate midwifery students. Health care providers' involvement sought to confirm the authenticity and validity of the assessment task and facilitate further engagement. A mixed method descriptive study design was used. After reviewing a sample of student work, health care providers completed a 20 item survey and participated in a focus group. Survey items were based on the domains of Educational Acceptability, Educational Impact and Preparation for Practice. Participants gave high scores for each domain and commented positively on the innovative nature of the assessment, students' ability to undertake in-depth analysis of complex cases, and development of student's critical thinking skills. Participants also reported greater confidence in students' competence and the program. Involving health care providers in evaluation of an assessment task validated the assessment, contributed to clinicians' perceptions of student credibility, and fostered strong links between the program and industry.
Nurse Education in Practice
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