The assessment of graduating students' critical thinking skills and habits of mind challenges and rewards those who approach the task from a critical thinking perspective. The article identifies and discusses issues in the design of authentic assessments of critical thinking as an educational outcome predictive of competent professional judgment in nursing practice. Authentic assessment implies a multiple methods design that addresses the diverse contexts within which judgments must be made by professional nurses. Most important, it implies a concern for validity and reliability of measurement, selection of appropriate data points, and attention to a number of logistic and practical concerns.
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