Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
While the benefits of academic testing and feedback have been well documented in the literature for more than a century; the optimal timing for providing feedback has yet to be determined. The number of studies that focus on when to deliver feedback following an assessment is limited. According to Brosvic and colleagues (2005), it is the length of time that the learner should retain the test material that best determines when feedback should be delivered. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of immediate versus delayed informative feedback on subsequent test performance of registered nursing (RN) students. The participants of this study included 300 RN students from ten different nursing programs in the United States. The study included two test administrations. Following each test administration, informative feedback was provided according to a pre-determined delivery schedule. The immediate feedback was displayed on screen when the examinee clicked to submit the exam for scoring. There were two groups of delayed feedback. One group received an informative feedback report via email 24 hours post the submission of their exams. The second group received the same feedback 72 hours post exam submission. The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS, version 24.0) was used to perform a one-way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA), comparing the mean of the test scores with the three independent groups. No statistically significant differences were found for Mean Scores [F(2, 297) = 1.771, p = .172] at the 95% confidence level. Therefore, the null hypothesis was not rejected. A retrospective power analysis showed 618 participants would be needed to achieve a statistically significant difference. Although the two tests were developed from the same test blueprint, the tests did assess differing learning objectives. Test 1 (Comprehensive Nursing Practice Test) assessed nursing concepts with questions that were more theoretical. Test 2 (EPE) assessed application of skills and abilities and the questions were more clinical in nature. Generally speaking, the participants performed higher on the theoretical Test 1 (Comprehensive Nursing Practice Test). Most RN students do not have clinical experience until the end of their academic program which coincided with the timing for this study. It is plausible that differences in curricula and faculty at each of the independent programs contributed to the differences in the test scores. Especially since the students had limited clinical exposure prior to Test 2.
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