Reliability and validity of new online selection tests for midwifery students


Background and objective

Newly created midwifery bachelor programmes attract an increasing number of applicants. Hence, educators have moved away from traditional non-standardised selection methods and started developing new tools for the admission of students. Researchers have expressed concerns around the validity of such selection measures and their ability to identify the appropriate candidates. The objective of this study was to develop and implement selection procedures for a new midwifery Bachelor of Science degree in Hamburg, Germany, and assess their psychometric properties.

This is a mixed-methods longitudinal study on the reliability, validity and acceptability of newly developed selection criteria.

The newly established midwifery bachelor of science in Hamburg, Germany.

Upon completion of their online application, all midwifery applicants were invited by email to participate in our research project and thereby informed of its purpose and voluntary nature of their participation. The total number of candidates who took the test was 366, of which 309 agreed to take part in this study. Sixty-five applicants were eventually admitted to the midwifery Bachelor programme, of which 59 were included in the study.
Measurements and findings

We developed two tests for cognitive ability (HAM-Mid I and II) and adapted one test for personal and professional characteristics (Casper - Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics). Due to the Covid pandemic, we implemented the tests online instead of on site as initially planned. HAM-Mid I had the lowest (Cronbach's Alpha = 0.38) whereas Casper had the highest internal consistency (Cronbach's Alpha = 0.77) of all three tests. Age, previous academic achievement and native tongue were significantly associated with applicants’ performance on HAM-Mid II and Casper admission tests. HAM-Mid II was associated with students’ performance in the first year midwifery exam (r = 0.31, p < 0.05). Overall evaluation of HAM-Mid II and Casper was good while HAM-Mid I received a more negative feedback.
Key conclusions

Evidence on the reliability and predictive validity of the newly developed tests suggests that the applied admission criteria are appropriate for an objective selection of bachelor midwifery students.
Implications for practice

The interests of university and clinical stakeholders of a midwifery bachelor degree can be represented through the development of tests for the assessment of cognitive ability and personal and professional characteristics.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 06.01.2022