Investigation of an Additional Critical Thinking Outcomes Measure: The Efficacy of Critical Thinking Assessments in Predicting Clinical Success

Julia Appel, OD 
Rochelle Mozlin, OD



Background: Critical thinking assessment has been noted to be fraught with difficulty especially in the area of clinical care. Guidelines from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and SUNY College of Optometry’s Strategic Plan both stress the need to insure that students are successful critical thinkers. This study aimed to determine the predictive value of written case-based analyses for clinical success. 

Methods: Seventy-five optometry students were subjects whose grades on case-based written analyses were compared with their grades in clinic (both overall and in areas specific to assessment and management). 

Results: Although positive trends were noted, no predictive value was found between the students’ grades on their written analyses and their clinical grades. 

Conclusion: Case-based written assignments are one of several tools that can be used to assess a student’s critical thinking, but they should not be used at the exclusion of other assessments. 

Key Words: critical thinking, clinic

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