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Blooms Taxonomy

How to Create Learning Objectives Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

Can think back to our Train the Brain series where we increased memory using methods such as handwriting and loci? Memory is the foundation of Bloom’s Taxonomy and is embedded in Learning Tribes approach to your corporate training challenges.

Learning Tribes uses Bloom’s taxonomy to effectively create organizational objectives and identify key performance indicators. But what is Bloom’s taxonomy and how can your organization use this theoretical structure to achieve develop attainable learning objectives?

Continue reading to learn about Bloom’s taxonomy, a brief history, its levels and domains, how to apply Bloom’s taxonomy, and ways to measure learning progress.

What is Blooms Taxonomy?

Bloom’s taxonomy is a hierarchical framework of cognitive skills in which achievement of each level is built upon the level before it. The goal of Bloom’s taxonomy is to provide a guide that can be used to create objectives and assessments.  As learners move through each level, deeper comprehension of subjects is attained until learners reach the highest level: creation.

History

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom, with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl, wrote the Taxonomy of Educational Objective. Better known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, the original body of work outlined how to categorize educational goals. Since its inception, generations of teachers and instructors have adapted the model to create clearer learning objectives, classroom activities, and key performance indicators. Often illustrated as a pyramid, Bloom’s original taxonomy consisted of knowledge, comprehension, application analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

In 2001, Lorin Anderson, a student of Bloom and David Krathwohl, Bloom’s partner, developed Bloom’s revised taxonomy which reflected how objectives require action to be achieved. Anderson and Krathwohl’s edited version also affirmed the chronological order in which learners need to achieve each level. Bloom’s revised taxonomy was changed to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. Given the changes, the essence of Bloom’s taxonomy remains the same: connect what learners know now with what needs to be learned over time to reach higher levels of knowledge.

Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

The pyramid below, provided by Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching, illustrates Bloom’s revised taxonomy. Each level must be achieved before moving on to the next. The pyramid can be used to develop learning and development strategies, such as course planning, when to reinforce information, as well as the appropriate time to introduce new concepts.

Level 1: Remember

The foundation and first level of the pyramid is remember. This level is dependent upon learners’ ability to memorize and recall key facts and concepts. For example, a learner may exhibit memory and retention by repeating information or memorizing key facts. One way to test learners’ ability to remember is to administer multiple-choice tests.

Level 2: Understanding 

Next is to understand. In the next level of Bloom’s revised taxonomy, learners should exhibit a deeper understanding of how facts relate. At this level, learners explain ideas and concepts in detail, such as what facts mean and how they can relate. To test understanding, ask learners to paraphrase information or compare and contrast ideas.

Level 3: Apply

The third level of the pyramid is to apply. Learners should use their new understanding of information and apply their comprehension to varied situations, using problem solving or interpretation.

Level 4: Analyze

Next is to analyze. At this stage, critical thinking should be developed. Learners should compare ideas to distinguish logic from opinions using facts and analysis. To measure, ask learners to explain how various subjects or ideas relate or how key facts differentiate the subject matter.

Level 5: Evaluate

During the evaluate level, learners begin to form their own onions and justify their decisions using interpretation. Learners can exhibit completion of this level by critiquing an idea and illustrating their understanding using facts, analysis, understanding, application, and analysis.

Level 6: Create

Reaching the top of the pyramid, learners should begin to create. During this level, learners may put various elements together to form a new pattern or structure, such as proposing a new thought process or formulating a new idea. Learners may demonstrate the ability to create by constructing a new hypothesis or idea and synthesizing prior levels to support their logic.

Domains

In addition to each part of the pyramid, Bloom’s taxonomy is categorized into three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. These 3 domains can be used to categorize corporate learning objectives. For example, the learning plans at Learning Tribes include different activities along the cognitive domain to effectively assist in the learning process. Our goal is that when learners finish going through modules in training, they result in having attained new knowledge towards a given subject

Overall Application

Training professionals can apply Bloom’s taxonomy throughout their corporate training programs. Using Bloom’s taxonomy’s framework, each level can be used to create objectives that are developed in various parts of the year. For example, at Learning Tribes, our instructional designers use Bloom’s taxonomy to set learning objectives and key performance indicators to help organizations track success over time.

By using Bloom’s taxonomy framework, corporate learners have a clear sense of direction and understanding of the goals they aim to achieve. Using KPI’s and assessments at every stage of the process establishes a benchmark and tracks progression over time. In the analysis phase, learning professionals can use the results at each level to redefine and retest learning objectives.

Bloom’s taxonomy provides a great foundation for developing objectives and establishing benchmarks. Applying Bloom’s taxonomy to your corporate training strategy can enhance the learning experience, mobilize goals, and provide the analytics that your organization needs.

We know how difficult it can be to set clear training objectives, followed by actionable steps and measurable benchmarks.  Let us help move your learning and development forward by taking care of the tough stuff and bringing the learning solutions your organization’s needs. Contact us!

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