Skills assessment using video analysis in a simulated environment: an evaluation

Paediatr Nurs. 2008 Sep;20(7):26-31. doi: 10.7748/paed2008.


Limited opportunities for the acquisition and assessment of clinical skills by children's nursing students has resulted in a growing use of clinical laboratories. Video recording and analysis have been used in these simulated clinical environments as a means of assessing students' skills.

Aim: To explore student perceptions and support needs before, during and after video assessment in the simulated environment.

Method: Students who were studying to be children's nurses and were in the second year of a three-year degree programme at one college were invited to participate. Data were gathered using self-completion questionnaires before (n = 29) and after (n = 24) the assessment experience.

Findings: Positive views of video analysis and assessment after the experience were similar to those identified before, although there was an increase in the number of comments relating to 'receiving visual feedback as well verbal'. The percentage of students who expressed concern before the experience decreased from 79 per cent to 58 per cent. While some concerns such as 'nerves' and 'performance being affected by filming' remained, many of the other pre-experience factors such as 'being judged by others', 'making mistakes', 'feeling foolish or embarrassed' and 'worries about personal appearance' had disappeared. All students rated video analysis as a useful and informative method of assessment and most preferred to receive assessment feedback in small groups. A few students mentioned concerns related to consistency among assessors and supervisors.

Conclusion: This evaluation showed that students regard the use of video cameras in the clinical skills laboratory as a useful tool for assessing competency. Fewer students expressed concerns about this approach after they had experienced it and even those who had concerns recognised the benefits. These findings provided valuable insights into the students' experiences which have led to improved approaches to the use of this method.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Manikins*
  • Pediatric Nursing / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Videotape Recording*
  • Wales