Secure testing, computerized testing, nursing testing, nclex rn, nursing education, program evaluation


This applied dissertation paper introduced a program evaluation of a secure laptop-based testing (SLBT) program, which was implemented from 2009 to 2014 in an undergraduate nursing program at a private institution in the southeastern region of the United States (US). Computerized testing is an old topic in the educational research field, but the instructor-made, laptop-based secure testing that utilizes learning management systems (LMS) for undergraduate nursing programs is a fairly new topic in the US. Traditionally, testing has been administered with paper and pencil in the undergraduate nursing programs in the US for security reasons. Recently, with different robust LMSs, together with availability of affordable laptops, SLBT has become a reality on many campuses. The undergraduate nursing program at the Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) began to implement the SLBT program in 2009, which allowed students to use their newly purchased laptops to take secure quizzes and tests in their classrooms. After nearly five years' SLBT program implementation, a formative evaluation was conducted to seek constructive feedback from students, faculty, and technology support personnel to improve the program. Evaluation data show that, overall, students believed the SLBT program help them get hands-on experience of taking exams on the computer and get them prepared for their National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) which is also computerized. Students, however, had a lot of concerns on laptop glitches and campus wireless network glitches they experienced during testing. Faculty and technology support personnel, on the other hand, were very satisfied with the SLBT program. Another goal of this evaluation study was to determine if students' first-time passing rate of NCLEX-RN has been improved significantly after the implementation of the SLBT program. NCLEX-RN first-time passing rate data were analyzed using the Chi-Square test and it revealed that there was no significant association between the two types of testing method (paper-and-pencil testing and the secure laptop-based testing) and whether or not students would pass NCLEX-RN the first time X2(1) = 3.53, p > .05. Based on the odds ratio, however, the odds of students passed NCLEX-RN the first time were 1.37 times higher if they were taught with the SLBT testing method than if taught with the traditional paper-and-pencil testing method in nursing school.


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Graduation Date





Gunter, Glenda


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program









Release Date

August 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic

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