Critical Thinking and Health Care Quizzes Blog Feature
Joe Schultz

By: Joe Schultz on January 9th, 2012

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Critical Thinking and Health Care Quizzes

Health Science

Every so often, we are asked if our Health Care quizzes test “critical thinking” or just memorization.

Before answering this question, let’s do a quick review of Bloom’s taxonomy.

Critical Thinking

Bloom classified cognitive behavior into six levels.

The six levels of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy are listed below.

They rank from the lowest level – Remembering – to the highest level – Creating:

critical thinkingCritical thinking can generally be associated with the five higher levels. The Remembering level is the ability to recall information from memory, and is normally not associated with critical thinking. However, even though Remembering is the lowest level, it’s important to realize that it is key to building the higher levels.

Designing Quizzes

When designing our health care quizzes, we understand the need to assess the different levels of cognitive thought. Additionally, we need to use the best type of assessment for each level.

HealthCenter21 is a blended learning solution for health care, with online content as well as hands-on activities. The online content contains auto-assessed health care quizzes that cover the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. The hands-on activities are teacher assessed and cover the higher levels.

Bloom's Taxonomy: Remembering

A majority of the on-line health care quizzes determine whether students can recall information (Remembering level). For example, in the “History of Health Care” unit, the content talks about the “Father of Medicine.”

A Remembering level question was created based on this content:

Who is known as the "Father of Medicine?"

  • Aristotle
  • Hippocrates (Correct)
  • Rhazes
  • Claudius Galen

This question is simple, direct, and tests whether or not the student can recall a fact. Don't forget, all higher levels of cognitive thought require a good foundation in remembering.

Inspire Critical Thinking

However, a portion of the health care quizzes cover higher levels of thinking. They ask questions that require critical thinking. For example, in the “Introduction to Infection Control” unit, the content presents the “chain of infection.”

An Application question was created based on this content:

Sandra has the flu, but she goes into work anyway. Within a few days, her co-worker Olivia gets sick with the flu. In the chain of infection, what is Olivia?

  • The causative agent
  • The reservoir
  • The portal of exit
  • The susceptible host (Correct)

The student has to apply the “chain of infection” definition to scenario. These types of questions cover the Understanding, Applying and Analyzing levels.

So, the answer to the original question – do your questions test “critical thinking” or just memorization – is yes. And yes. A portion of the online quiz questions do test critical thinking in the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. And, the majority of the quiz questions test recall.

It's Just One Tool

But, as mentioned earlier, HealthCenter21 is designed to be a blended learning solution for health care courses.  So, students are given other assessment opportunities outside of the online content to demonstrate higher levels of thinking. The materials for the hands-on activities such as skill demonstrations, role plays, research, etc. are available on the Course Setup page, under Teacher Resources.

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