Pre-registration Nurses: Providing an online solution for Practice Based Assessment

The Problem

The University has been very successful in recruiting pre-registration nurses and now has in excess of 250 students who commenced study in September 2018. As part of their study and assessment process each student has to complete a Practice Assessment Document (PAD) which is currently paper based. This lengthy document has to be monitored and assessed by both University Tutors as well as Practice Facilitators, mentors, zoned academics and administrators who are based both at the University and in various Hospitals and Trusts. Students record their progress by adding evidence to the PADs as they develop their skills through their coursework and placement opportunities.

While the paper based PAD had been successful in supporting students through their learning journey, many Universities are starting to employ Electronic Practice Based Assessment Documents (ePADS) so that staff and students can enjoy the benefits provided by online access. Currently, the storing and retrieving of evidence is cumbersome and time consuming both for the students and those supporting them in their learning. There are also concerns around students losing their PADs and the resulting stress and potential security concerns this entails. It is only possible at present for a Practice Facilitator or mentor to view the PAD in the presence of their mentee and this creates considerable travel costs and time constraints during the mentoring process.

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The Solution

A number of mainly midlands based universities who are Pebblepad clients are working together to convert the PAD document to an electronic format (ePAD). This collaborative project is seeking to standardise the ePAD across universities and establish a working group to digitise the existing paper based PAD and also ensure best practice throughout the deployment process.  Pebble Learning © 2018 are actively supporting this project by providing an island server where work can be shared and accessed by project members from the different universities.

The group is working to address ePAD design, processes, workflows, administration of external users, internet and device access, ongoing support and sustainability and version control.

The benefit

An electronic version of the PAD (ePAD) will  allow those supporting the students to view and sign off the ePAD without the student being present and will improve security and ensure the evidence is backed up and stored in a central location.​​​​​​​

Students will no longer have to carry paper documents with the potential risk of losing what can be sometimes irretrievable documents. The ePADs will be accessible in a central location by staff, students and all of those involved in the support process and mentors and Practice Facilitators will no longer have to meet with those they are mentoring in order to view their progress.

pp screenshotStudents will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the Pebble Pocket App so that they can complete their ePADS through mobile working. This will assist them in recording reflections on their personal devices immediately after an event has occurred, ensuring a more accurate and richer record of the experience.

In summary, the benefits of electronic portfolios over paper based equivalents have been well known for many years and it is planned that by September 2019, staff, students, administrators and Practice Facilitators will be able to work collaboratively on their ePADs and enjoy the benefits this affords.