New Tool for Writing Questions

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May 14  |  Instructional Strategies, News, Nursing Education  |   Ruth

IntelliStem Writer

Use of innovative tools can help the instructor to ensure test security, meet testing standards, and cut development time. Creating sound multiple choice and multiple select test questions can take up to an hour for each question if creating them without the use of a test bank, which often can be found online, or publisher resources. Intellistem Writer Box Edition is an innovative method of developing test items using a standardized set of stems.

  • Each stem is associated with testing and curriculum standards such as the AACN Essentials, NLN End of Program standards, NCLEX-Client Needs, QSEN Competencies, and the nursing process.
  • Each stem also has a predetermined level of Blooms to aid in meeting the course’s test blueprints and objectives.
  • Since each stem is unique and easily revised it allows many versions of multiple questions and multiple select questions to be developed.

After each test is developed, the exam can shows exactly which levels of testing and curriculum standards have been met to add in quick revision of the exam to meet the course’s and program’s requirement. Test versions can be adjusted rapidly resulting in reduce need to use exams repeatedly thus ensuring students are assessed at the level needed to pass the licensure exam.

 Question Development Process:

  1. Select a topic from your test blueprint.
  2. Determine the key point to be tested.
  3. Keeping in mind the nursing process being tested and select a stem from the set of cards under that nursing process.
  4. Add a client situation or description to the stem by changing the colored text.
  5. Decide on the answer(s) and write the rationale.
  6. Write the distractors and rationales for each.

Since each stem is already aligned with established standards, each final question will have a stem that is aligned to established standards, the correct answer(s) and believable distractors.

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About Ruth

Ms. Eckenstein has worked for over 34 years as a nurse, nurse educator, and allied health educator. She owns Health Careers Education Consulting, a consulting company where she has assisted clients’ to align curriculum and meet accreditation standards. Ms. Eckenstein works seamlessly with many customer teams on multiple curriculum development projects. She works closely with publishing companies as a consultant to assist in the development of customized curriculum for nursing and allied health programs. These customized materials include course support documents such as lesson plans, tests, homework assignments, assessments, and other standardized materials for student and faculty use. Additionally, she assists programs in putting courses into online learning management systems for student and faculty use. After teaching nursing for 14 years, she worked for the Oklahoma State Department of Career Tech for over 14 years where she was responsible for accreditation of nursing and allied health programs. She worked as a consultant offering her expertise on problem-solving issues such as low pass rate, new teacher retention, meeting accreditation standards, and curriculum development for over 54 Technology Center campuses across Oklahoma. As a leader in non-traditional learning strategies, she has set the trend for facilitator-led training as well use of other up-to-date instructional strategies in Oklahoma and at the national level. She started the first self-paced, student-centered nursing program in Oklahoma and developed student-scaffolding tools that are still used today. Other programs in the state have followed her lead resulting in over 70% of all LPN programs in the state offering self-paced, facilitated led, student-center nursing programs which do not have formal lectures. She assisted the state of Texas through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on a project to align nursing curriculum following a mandate from the 80th Texas Legislature (SB139). She worked closely with another project consultant to identify board conceptual components of nursing education that would be used by all nursing programs within the state. The suggested curriculum framework emphasized the need to respond to nursing education issues such as Benner's works regarding Novice to Expert, Institute of Medicine (IOM) Recommendations on the Future of Nursing, and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) standards for safe patient care. She also referred often to the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) work on the realignment of curriculum to assist with seamless education. She uses her expertise to assist nursing and allied health programs to improve program initiatives that will result in student success on licensure exams. She also provides coaching and management development to nursing and allied health program administrators by teaching and using communication techniques to build teams and strong relationships.

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