Benjamin Bloom: Inspiring Higher Learning?

Tue, 5 Jun, 2012     active learningbloom's taxonomycourse designengagementstudent learning outcomes

Bloom's Taxonomy Maybe you have heard of Bloom's Taxonomy and maybe not.

What can it do for you? Bloom's Taxonomy identifies and classifies levels of learning cognition. In a nut shell, this diagram shows a theoretical order in which we process information and learn.

Alternatively, some faculty choose to be rebels and dive head first into the higher levels of cognition. The concept of turning this diagram upside down is called "flipping" (a concept for another day).

Instead of using Bloom's Taxonomy as a 'rule of thumb' for a hierarchy of learning, why not explore other ways to use it?

For instance, in creating learning outcomes and weekly outcomes, use an action verb that can be measured. Bloom's Taxonomy can be a good place to begin looking for those action words such as list, name, explain, organize, categorize, construct, and critique. What about active learning? Again, Bloom's Taxonomy (in the diagram above) shows different activities that can result in a more engaging lesson such as watch a video, draw a model, forecast, graph, create a game, and make a recommendation.

Katherine Spradley
Director of Distance Education
Campbell University