Nursing Education

Assess Learning for the New AACN Essentials

A short video clip showcasing three different types of assessment and demonstrating how to evaluate your curriculum to discover what Essentials and competencies may already exist

Hear how Alverno College incorporated assessment for, as, and of learning to support competency-based education.


Well, then, then assess. We need to assess learning. And that is beyond just the exams, although, absolutely, students have to get good at taking exams. They’re going to have to take the NCLEX. So it demands that we teach them how to assess their learning on exam questions.

The new generation of NCLEX is going to take that even to the next step. But that’s a whole other webinar. Someday. But they need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge and their abilities in real life kinds of situations. So how do we set that up? Next slide.

Assessment– we talk about this at Alverno. And sometimes it takes a little while for both faculty and students to understand that assessment of learning is– there’s assessment of learning. There’s assessment that is used for learning. And then there is assessment as learning.

So assessment of learning is a standard-based measurement of progression. We take a look at a student’s performance based on the standards or the guidelines for whatever it is they’re demonstrating. And then we give them feedback on whether they’re on target or not. So that’s assessment of.

But assessment for learning means that it’s a diagnostic. You use the assessment as a diagnostic measurement to provide some feedback to the learner and feedback to you as faculty as to how students are doing. So it takes you in that next step for learning.

And then assessment as learning– we want to get away from just taking that grade or that C or the you passed that project and then moving on. We want people to think deeper about it and take a look at the assessment that happened and do some metacognitive processing, some self-assessment, where you take what you learned, what your faculty is telling you, the feedback that you’re getting, and then monitoring your own process and movement towards the goals, those outcomes that were set, the first thing Ann talked about, so that students are doing their own self-reflection and they’re learning from their performance.

What did I do well? What did I do not so well? So assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning.