420 - Assessment Design for Nursing Education

This is the second course offered as part of the Assessment Series. The Assesssment Series is intended to provide educators and administrators with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to design, develop, publish, administer, and evaluate assessments for nursing students.

Registration fee: $150.00

Upcoming Dates: Wednesday February 7, 2024 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

Delivered by Tracey Stephen, PhD, MN, RN, CCSNE, Executive Director, Nursing Simulation Centre at the University of Alberta and Wyetta Bontempo, Ph.D., Founder and Principal Consultant with Mountain Measurement, Inc. More info about the faculty members teaching this course is available in the faculty section of the "Find out More" page.

Prerequisites and Target Audience

There are no prerequisites to attend this course.

This web-based course is recommended for nurse educators who plan to design or develop assessments.


The purpose of this course is to prepare nurse educators to design educational assessments.

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of the course are as follows. Upon course completion, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the different types of assessments.
  • Describe the major tenets of measurement and information theory.
  • Describe the purposes of an assessment.
  • Describe the attributes of assessment quality and basic design considerations that impact each.
  • Describe each type of assessment specification, provide a sample of each specification, and justification for its use.
  • Describe the factors to consider when evaluating a build vs. by assessment decision.


The 420 course contains 2.5 hours of instruction, discussion, and learning activities, 30 minutes of Q&A and 30 minutes of assessment.

Continuing Education

3.5 contact hours are awarded through the Alabama Board of Nursing (Provider Number ABNP1516 Expires 2/4/2025) to all individuals completing the course.



The topics covered during the 420 Course are:

  1. Introduction
    1. Definition of terms
    2. Assessment types
  2. Measurement & Information Theory
    1. Psychometric vs. nursing assessment
    2. Assessment paradigms
    3. Sampling & Inferences from scores to KSAs
    4. Information & Measurement Error
    5. Dimensionality
    6. Local Item Dependence
  3. Assessment Purpose
    1. Feedback to students
    2. Course Evaluation
    3. Program Evaluation
  4. Assessment Design
    1. Traditional Design
    2. Evidence-Centered Design
    3. Multi-Level Design
  5. Assessment Quality
    1. Validity
    2. Reliability
    3. Objectivity (linking/equating)
    4. Fairness
    5. Efficiency
  6. Assessment Specifications
    1. Psychometric Specifications
    2. Content Specifications (Test Blueprint)
    3. Item Specifications
      1. Content
      2. Item Type
      3. Bloom’s
      4. Shelf Life
    4. Scoring Specifications
    5. Grading Specifications
  7. Build vs Buy
    1. Predicting development costs & performance of new assessment
    2. Evaluating 3rd party assessments
    3. SWOT Analysis