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  1. Azzarello, Jo PhD, RN
  2. Wood, D Elaine MS, RN


Excellence in critical thinking skills requires well-developed situational mental models: integrated knowledge of how concepts and principles relate to a specific client's condition and care. The authors describe the use of unfolding case studies as a strategy for eliciting and evaluating students' changing mental models. Unfolding cases offer a practical method for capturing the dynamic nature of situational mental models and revealing significant errors in students' problem-solving cognitions that would not otherwise be obvious.