The School of Nursing at Notre Dame of Maryland University has been awarded a Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) Competitive Institutional Grant of $34,010. The NSP II Program is funded by the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).
The one-year resource grant, ParSystem®Testing Resources, supports the School of Nursing to purchase the student achievement package, ParSystem®. ParSystem’s® three products, ParTest®, ParTest Online, and ParScore®, permit nursing faculty to: 1) build a bank of reliable and valid test items; 2) deliver online tests as designed in ParTest® and have scores transferred to ParScore®; and 3) provide full test item analyses, such as item discrimination, item difficulty, and reliability coefficient.
Test development/item banking software offers the most efficient means for streamlining the test development process. It provides item analysis to assess the performance of individual test items on the assumption that the overall quality of a test derives from the quality of its items. Item analysis helps nursing faculty to identify specific areas of course content which may need greater emphasis or clarity. Item analysis leads to a wealth of information that is useful in both improving test items and in improving teaching. Improved teaching leads to increased student success in the program.
Kathleen Z. Wisser, Ph.D., RN, Dean of the School of Nursing at NDMU states, “Faculty have been successfully using ParScore®for quite some time, now they will be able to build their own test banks. The neat feature about ParTest® is that multiple variations of the same test can be given to students. Additionally, with ParTest Online, faculty have another option other than paper and pencil to test student learning.” Dr. Wisser goes on to say, “a common concern voiced by faculty, especially faculty new to nursing education, is their limited knowledge regarding how to construct tests. The resource grant provides monies to support faculty development workshops on test construction.”