Collaborative Assessment with the Paper Bag Quiz

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Patricia Frohock Hanes, PhD, MSN, MAEd, RN, CNE
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

Learning Objective 1: Describe the use of collaborative assessment is assessing nursing students.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss writing assessments that address both higher-order and lower-order thinking.

Background/Purpose: Students in my undergraduate theory class were struggling with complex theories, which represented different ways of thinking. I developed and implemented a successful, collaborative assessment strategy as a way to engage and assess students. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce an innovative, non-traditional approach to assessing undergraduate nursing students.

 Conceptual Frameworks: Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and different learning styles, Bloom’s Taxonomy and a new construct, composite cognition. Questions were developed at the comprehension and analysis levels assessing both lower-and higher-level thinking.

 Methods/Implications: Students formed teams of 3-5 students each, depending on class size. They were instructed prior to the quiz that each student on their team would earn the same grade. A test blueprint was developed to ensure that each team would have different questions at comparable cognitive levels. Using a matching format, a combination visual/kinesthetic/tactile approach was used to assess students. Questions were taped on the bottom of paper bags which were filled with treats as rewards. Answers were written on the board. Each team had five numbered paper bags with five different questions. Teams were timed and directed to place the number of the question next to the correct answer on the board. Those with correct answers were allowed to keep the bag for that question; if incorrect, the question/bag was given to another group. Scores were tabulated at the end of the quiz and all team members were given the same grade. Students reported: studying harder as they felt a responsibility to the team, gaining more information through working in groups, remembering the material, decreasing test anxiety, and having fun with the process. Graduate students were able to observe the class as an example of innovative, non-traditional teaching; this lead them to develop and apply some of their own novel strategies to teaching.