Madridge Journal of Nursing

ISSN: 2638-1605

2nd International Nursing Conference
November 1-3, 2017 Barcelona, Spain

An Analysis of Scores Obtained by Undergraduate Nursing Students using Poster Presentations as the Assessment Method

Johanna McMullan

Queens University Belfast, UK

DOI: 10.18689/2638-1605.a2.002

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Background, including underpinning literature and, wherever possible, the international relevance of the research

Poster presentations are being used increasingly as a method of assessment in nursing (Davis, 2000). Although published accounts of their use are scant in this country, there is evidence that the method stimulates a positive attitude to learning (Halligan, 2007), facilitates applying the theory of research and nursing to the practice setting, (Conyers & Ritchie, 2001) and enables the development of transferable skills which will ultimately serve to enhance care delivery (Handron,1994).

The authors module contains a poster presentation summative assessment worth 20%. The group consists of undergraduate first year students who are studying general adult nursing and several “branch” students who in second year will branch into childrenʼs, mental health, learning disability nursing and midwifery. McMullan (2016) found the students enjoyed the poster presentation and found it developed many skills that were beneficial to their development as a nurse such as communication and literature critique However, this study also raised students concerns, the main being that marking was subjective and “it depended on who marked you” as to whether you got a high score or not, a common opinion held by students, the literature would suggest (Falchikov, 2013). Secondly, students revealed they believed that mature students would do better as they had more of the skills necessary for a good presentation from previous life experience, that females would find this an easier task than men and that branch students would get better scores than their general adult nurse colleagues.

Despite employing clear marking criteria (Tisi et al, 2013) support for new markers and a robust internal and external moderation of marks which is regarded as good practice (Bloxham, 2009) we were still faced with uncertain reliability and certainly a lack of faith in the robustness of the marking by students (Bell, 2013). An extensive search found no literature whatsoever that investigated the scores awarded from poster scores except for scant reporting of claims of reliability based on the spread of marks (Jackson, 2000,
Aim(s) and/or research question(s)/research hypothesis (es)
The aim of this paper therefore is to investigate marks awarded following poster presentations through statistical analysis of variables which could influence the reliability of scores as discussed.
1. There is no statistically significant difference between the scores obtained by students in various “branches” compared to other students.
2. There is no statistically significant relationship between the age of the student and the score obtained.
3. There is no statistically significant difference between the scores awarded by various markers.
4. There is no statistically significant relationship between experience of marker and the score awarded.
5. There is no statistically significant difference between the scores obtained by males and females.
Research methodology/research design, any ethical issues, and methods of data collection and analysis
The scores awarded to the September 2016 (n=362) cohort were used for this paper. Permission was sought and approved from Ethics and from the various markers involved. Anonymity was assured by assigning each student and marker with a number, the author is the only individual who would know identities and this information was kept securely. Scores were analyzed using various tests with SPSS:
Ho 2: Spearman.
Ho 4: Pearson correlation
Ho 5: Independent T-test t


  • Poster assessment
  • Reliability
  • Statistical analysis
  • Engagement

Three key points to indicate how your work contributes to knowledge development within the selected theme

  • Dispersing fears regarding unreliability
  • Student confidence in robustness of mark awarded
  • Enhancement of student engagement

Johanna McMullan is a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery Queens University Belfast. Johanna McMullan is currently a Ph.D. student. They jointly coordinate the life, social science and public health module Health and Well-Being delivered to undergraduate nursing and midwifery students. They both emanate from significant clinical backgrounds with many years in clinical practice as front-line clinicians, ward or unit managers or service managers, before returning to education. They both have an increasing range of joint publications significantly reflecting from their teaching and learning experience.