Methods of Evaluating Simulation Experiences in Nursing Programs: An Integrative Review
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Evaluation of simulation activities in nursing programs is a continuing process and different methods have been applied in order to capture the effectiveness. Most of these methods are subjective in nature and incorporate rubrics and qualitative feedback data of both students and faculty. As simulation becomes a more utilized teaching method in nursing programs, evaluation tools will be necessary to measure outcomes and success of the simulation implementation. The varying methods currently used are not standardized and inter-rater reliability comes into question when using these tools for evaluation of students in the simulation setting. Tools must be refined and work must be done to standardize these in order for educators to quantify the impact on student learning. The aim of this review was to synthesize the varying techniques and rubrics identified in the literature used to measure simulation experiences and discuss its impact on future development of a more standardized tool. Twelve articles were reviewed that identified rubrics to measure and evaluate outcomes and perceptions of simulation experiences. Analysis of the results revealed that there is no universal standardized tool used to measure simulation in nursing programs. Evaluation rubrics do not have inter-rater reliability across educator users and programs. Although the literature suggests a strong positive correlation between the ability of simulation to produce effective learning, the measurement of the significant impact of that learning cannot be quantified. Although a quantitative tool for measurement of simulation does not exist it seems that the current rubrics being used in the simulation arena are becoming more comprehensive and present similar determinants that measure these experiences more effectively. Comparative and longitudinal studies will be needed with the current and developing rubrics across varying curricula and simulation programs to produce a reliable and valid tool to measure the effect of simulation. Simulation standardization may first have to be achieved prior to a standardized tool to measure it.
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