An evaluation of a DVD trigger based assessment of communication and care delivery skills.


This article describes the implementation and evaluation of a novel form of assessment of communication skills and knowledge for nursing students in a multi-campus UK Midlands university. The assessment took the form of a recorded scenario which was presented on DVD and a series of assessment questions inviting students to consider communicative aspects of the events depicted. This 'DVD trigger' assessment yielded theoretically informed, practically relevant answers from the students, over 80% of whom passed. Student reactions to the assessment were elicited via a specially designed questionnaire which indicated broad approval for the assessment and yielded a high degree of internal reliability, and suggested that attitudes to the assessment could be grouped into three major factors. The first factor comprised items relating to the practical aspects of the examination, the second to teaching, learning resources and exam support and the final factor repres! ented the perceived relationship between the examination and the skills involved in care delivery and communication in professional practice. This highlights the value of evaluating students' responses to assessment in developing new forms of examination and in harmonising assessments with learning resources, teaching and appropriate preparation for exams. Moreover, we argue that the face validity of assessments is important in ensuring students' engagement with the learning tasks and assessment activities and may contribute to the broader validity of the assessment enterprise in predicting and enhancing skills in subsequent professional practice.


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communication, care delivery, assessment, DVD trigger


Brown, B.J., Crawford, P., Aubeeluck, A.. Cotrel-Gibbons, L. Porock, D. and Baker, C. (2009) An evaluation of a DVD trigger based assessment of communication and care delivery skills. Nurse Education Today, 29 (4), pp. 456-463.


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Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
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