Taxonomies of Learning and LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Semester 1 2010. Bloom’s Taxonomy. Benjamin Bloom (1956) developed a classification of levels of intellectual behaviour in learning. The taxonomy is a way to classify instructional activities or questions as they progress in difficulty.
Taxonomies of Learning and LEARNING OBJECTIVES Semester 1 2010
Bloom’s Taxonomy • Benjamin Bloom (1956) developed a classification of levels of intellectual behaviour in learning. • The taxonomy is a way to classify instructional activities or questions as they progress in difficulty. • This taxonomy contained three overlapping domains: • Cognitive • Psychomotor • Affective. • These domains and levels are still useful today as you develop the critical thinking skills of your students.
Cognitive Domain • Within the cognitive domain, he identified six levels: • knowledge • comprehension • application (Lower level) • analysis • synthesis • evaluation (Higher level) • The lower levels require less in the way of thinking skills. As one moves down the hierarchy, the activities require higher level thinking skills.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) ↑ Lower Order Thinking Skills
Creative Thinking • Creative thinking involves creating something new or original. • It involves the skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships. • The aim of creative thinking is to stimulate curiosity and promote divergence.
Critical Thinking • Critical thinking can be thought of as more left-brain and creative thinking more right brain, they both involve "thinking." • When we talk about HOTS "higher-order thinking skills" we're concentrating on the top three levels of Bloom's Taxonomy: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. • Using the key verbs provided is beneficial to writing effective learning objectives
Affective Domain • Domain Attributes: interpersonal relations, emotions, attitudes, appreciations, and values • accepts • attempts • challenges • defends • disputes • joins • judges • contributes • praises • questions • shares • supports • volunteers
Psychomotor Domain • This domain is characterized by progressive levels of behaviours from observation to mastery of a physical skill. • Key verbs associated with this domain. • bend • grasp • handle • operate • reach • relax • shorten • stretch • differentiate (by touch) • perform (skillfully)
Why Do We Need Learning Objectives? • Stating clear course objectives is important because: • Objectives guide the content materials and the teaching methods. • You can use objectives to make sure you reach your goals. • Students will understand expectations. • Assessment and grading is based on the objectives. • They specify what behaviour a student must demonstrate or perform in order for an instructor or facilitator to infer that learning took place. • In summary, goals and objectives guide all teaching, learning and assessment.
What are learning objectives? • Instructional objectives are specific, measurable, short-term, observable student behaviours. • They indicate the desirable knowledge, skills, or attitudes to be gained. • Objectives are the foundation upon which you can build lessons and assessments that you can prove meet your overall course or lesson goals. • The purpose of objectives is not to restrict spontaneity or constrain the vision of education in the discipline; but to ensure that learning is focused clearly enough that both students and teacher know what is going on, and so learning can be objectively measured.
What are learning objectives? • Think of objectives as tools you use to make sure you reach your goals. • They are the arrows you shoot towards your target (goal). • Different archers have different styles, so do different teachers. Thus, you can shoot your arrows (objectives) many ways. • The important thing is that they reach your target (goals) and score that bull's-eye!
Common types of learning objectives • Cognitive Objectives • Relate to understandings, awareness, insights. • Example: "The student will be able to evaluate the different theories of learning as demonstrated by his/her ability to compare and discuss verbally or in writing the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.” • This includes knowledge or information recall, comprehension or conceptual understanding, the ability to apply knowledge, the ability to analyze a situation, the ability to synthesize information from a given situation, and the ability to evaluate a given situation.
Common types of learning objectives (Cont.) • Affective Objectives • Relates to: attitudes, appreciations, relationships. • Example: "Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the student will demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members.”
Common types of learning objectives (Cont.) • Psychomotor Objectives • These are Physical skills • Examples: • "The student will be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle without assistance and without pause as demonstrated in gym class.” • Actions which demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools, or actions which evidence gross motor skills such as the use of the body in dance or athletic performance.
Different levels of learning objectives (Cont.) • Different levels of objectives can also be categorized according to different levels of learning that you want the students to achieve. • That is, whether you want the students to remember factual information, distinguish among the concepts, apply rules/principles, or do problem solving, these expectations should be expressed as different types of objectives (Dwyer, 1991).
Different levels of learning objectives (Cont.) • The above graphic (Adapted from Dwyer) shows a hierarchy of learning. • In order for the students to learn concepts, they should have a basic supporting knowledge, e.g.: facts. • In order to problem-solve, students need to understand concepts and rules, etc.
Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning. • Fink tries to move beyond Bloom's taxonomy and to push the ideas there a bit farther. • Some think that Fink has only restated parts of what Bloom proposed in his taxonomy. But Fink insists from the beginning that faculty members who want significant learning in their students must build an integrated course designed with learning goals that go beyond simple content mastery and include the parts of Fink's taxonomy as sub-goals all along the way. • He states (without evidence) that "if teachers use a combination of significant learning goals, it will be possible to create some interaction effects and synergy that greatly enhance the achievement of significant learning by students".
The Taxonomy of Significant Learning • Foundational knowledge: Refers to what is most expected of students; it is the nuts and bolts of the "information of most courses" and is needed for any additional learning about the subject. • Application: Refers to the skills and critical thinking that most professors desire in student learning. This also refers to managing complex projects. • Integration: Integration implies the ability to make connections among different sorts of learned ideas and expands intellectual power. • Human dimension: Deals with the learners' discovering something about themselves and their interactions with others and how this interaction might happen more effectively. • Caring: Caring reflects possibly a change in student attitude either about themselves or what they are learning. • Learning how to learn: Enables a student to continue learning beyond the classroom; i.e. encourages Life Long Learning (Fink, 2003)
THE TAXONOMY OF SIGNIFICANT LEARNING • Learning How to Learn • Becoming a better student • Inquiring about a subject • Self-directing learners • Foundational Knowledge • Understanding and remembering: • Information • Ideas • Caring • Developing new… • Feelings • Interests • Values • Application • Skills • Thinking • (Critical, creative & practical thinking) • Managing projects • Human Dimension • Learning about: • Oneself • Others Integration Connecting: • Ideas • People • Realms of life Dr. L. Dee Fink Director, Instructional Development Program University of Oklahoma Author of Creating Significant Learning Experiences (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
Application of Fink’s Taxonomy • Problem area: Measurement of such things as "personal and social implications of knowing about the subject," "care about the subject (and learning more on the subject)," and "know[ing] how to keep on learning about this subject after the course is over." • The goals are admirable; measuring them appears nearly impossible for an individual educator.
References • Dwyer, F. M.(1991). A paradigm for generating curriculum design oriented research questions in distance education. Second American Symposium Research in Distance Education, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University • Fink, L. D. 2003. What is “Significant Learning”? In Creating Significant Learning Experiences . Jossey-Bass • http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/researchskills/Dalton.htm. Retrieved 27/02/2009. • http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/research/Why_Objectives.shtml. Retrieved 27/02/2009. • http://mtprof.msun.edu/Spr2007/lottrev.html#T1. Retrieved 27/02/2009.