Creating tests that measure critical thinking in health science professions

August 13, 2015
Presented by Ainslie Nibert, Consultant, Nursing Leader, Evaluation and Assessment Expert in Healthcare, and Author Writing a good test engages both sides of your brain: indeed, test item writing is both an art and a skill. The good news is that practice can help you enhance your talents in both of these areas. Preparing multiple-choice and alternative-formatted questions, when done well, challenges you to use your knowledge of sound clinical practice gained over years of experience. But instead of just using this knowledge to determine if a student can recognize some basic facts, when you combine your talents and skills in creating a test that measures critical thinking ability, students answers to your well-written test questions can reveal not just whether or not they know the basic facts, but if they can apply them in a real-life situation that requires a high level of decision-making or problem-solving. Because most health science instructors were first clinicians and became academic faculty members much later as they moved along their career paths, the task of constructing critical-thinking test items and reliable and valid tests can seem overwhelming. Join this discussion about honing those item writing skills, and discover your talents using both sides of your brain to create a great test!
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