Nursing is a visual, interactive job. Sure, plenty of the assignments and exams you give in nursing school use reading and writing, but words aren’t enough for nursing students to learn everything they need to know. Nursing school is designed to provide students with plenty of hands-on experience and interactive opportunities to learn beyond the textbook, and your exams should be designed to match.
Working multimedia into your nursing exams can be a fairly simple process, and once you start thinking in terms of using multimedia in your exams, not having it starts to seem crazy. Nurses need to use all their senses to help their patients and doctors—listening to the way a cough sounds, seeing the color of a patient’s’ skin, feeling the pulse in a wrist—and paying attention to all these details is a crucial part of the job.
How to Add Multimedia to Your Exams
When you’re writing a test in ExamSoft, you can easily upload any piece of multimedia you have available. On a recent webinar, Drs. Tony Adams and William Lushbaugh walked attendees step-by-step through the process of constructing questions that include multimedia and the logistics of adding multimedia files to exam questions.
The video of the webinar can help if you want a visual tutorial, but adding multimedia to questions is intuitive once you’re in ExamSoft. It’s simply a matter of locating the “Attachment” section of the screen, clicking the upload button, and selecting the file to add from your computer. If you can attach a file to an email, you can add multimedia to the questions on your nursing exams in ExamSoft.
Examples of How Multimedia Strengthens Questions on Nursing Exams
There are countless ways that multimedia can be used in nursing exams. If you’re not accustomed to bringing multimedia into the exams you write, it can be helpful to see how other professors do so.
Example #1: Add an Image
Anatomy is a crucial part of every nursing curriculum. Your students must master it to go into their jobs adequately prepared. Anatomy’s also a very visual subject. Try to imagine how to ask this question without the help of an image. By dropping a picture into the question, you’re able to gain a much better idea of how well students know the subject.
Example #2: Include a Sound File
Visual media has an important role to play in writing successful exams, but you can easily branch into the other senses as well. A competent nurse will be as familiar with recognizing telltale sounds as he or she is with visuals. Including questions like this on your test can help students get there.
Example #3: Include a Chart or Graph
There are many situations in which being able to interpret the information is as important as the information students have memorized. A question like this one helps test critical-thinking skills nurses must master on the job, such as being able to quickly analyze the side effects and interactions of different drugs to provide the patient with important information (and avoid letting harmful prescription interactions slip through).
If you’re persuaded but feel like you could still use some guidance for getting relevant multimedia files onto your nursing exams, we’re happy to help. We have some handy tips on best practices for exam multimedia you might appreciate, and experienced staff to talk you through the process. If your school doesn’t have ExamSoft yet, we can help with that too! Just get in touch, and we’ll set up a tour to help get you started.