Student nurses’ perceptions of written feedback after assessment at a University in the Western Cape
Background: Written feedback from lecturers to their students, in higher education institutions, plays an important role in improving students’ performance. However, students’ perceptions of written feedback on assessments could influence its utilization to improve their performance. Despite the high priority placed on written feedback, to date, insufficient research studies have been conducted on the student nurses’ perceptions of written feedback. Purpose and Objective: The purpose of this descriptive study is to describe student nurses’ perceptions of written feedback on assessments at a university in the Western Cape. The objective of this study is to determine student nurses’ perceptions of written feedback on assessment. Methodology: A quantitative descriptive survey research design was employed to conduct this study at a university in the Western Cape. The target population for this study was 106 student nurses registered in the nursing foundation programme for the year 2015. This study employed all-inclusive sampling of foundation student nurses registered in the year 2015. A questionnaire was used to collect data from the participants. A total of 74 participants were available for the study, of whom, 69 submitted their questionnaires, resulting to a response rate of 93.2%. The data was analyzed by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23 and was presented in frequency tables, percentages and bar graphs. Ethics approval was obtained from the Senate Higher Degree and the Senate Research Committees of the institution under study, before commencing. Permission was also obtained from the Dean of Research and Head of the School of Nursing, before the commencement of the study. The purpose of the study was explained, and a consent form was signed, before the questionnaires were administered to participants. Findings: The findings of this study indicated that students receive feedback on assessment, were in line with the assessment criteria. The study also found that students perceived receiving plenty of quality written feedback in good time to be useful. The results of this study indicated that the inability to understand written feedback, the limited opportunity to clarify feedback and negatively written comments, hinders the use of written feedback. Recommendations: There is the need for lecturers to provide written feedback that could be useful for students to improve on their performance. There is also the need for written feedback to be delivered to students electronically. Lecturers need to discuss written feedback with their students after delivery. The need for a qualitative study to be conducted on student’s and lecturers experiences on written feedback on assessment is recommended.