We all know Bloom’s Taxonomy. It was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 and it identifies three domains of educational activities: cognitive (knowledge), affective (emotional areas) and psychomotor (physical skills). Of these, most attention has been paid to the cognitive domain, less to the affective domain, and none by Bloom himself to the psychomotor domain. It has been used for decades.
The cognitive domain was revised by a student of Bloom’s, Lorin Anderson, in the 1990s. Its significant contribution was changing the names of the sequential steps in the cognitive domain to verbs, giving those of us who write learning outcomes and monitor students a helping hand: Clicking on the pictures will take you to the original source.
It has been interpreted, reinterpreted and reinvented for many uses. Even computer programs and apps have been classified according to Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Here’s the newest one that I’ve seen and it is really very nice. Developed by Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, it coordinates the knowledge dimension with the the cognitive process dimension. Rex Heer built a Flash-based interactive model that, as you mouse over it, pops up the verbs you might want to use to write a learning outcome for a particular process. Click on the screen shot of the model below to link to Iowa State’s CETL page.
If you don’t have Flash, the link will take you to a page with table that you can use instead.
What do you think?
A taxonomy is just a classification scheme. A way to put things in order for whatever reason you may want to so. According to Eric Wignall who writes for a blog called On Teaching Online, Bloom was attempting to make assessments more readily transferable between institutions. So he was trying to classify test items, not learning. Another point he makes is that the taxonomy is 56 years old and the field of pedagogy has advanced in that time. Is there a better way to look at how we talk about what we do at this time? Read Eric Wgnall’s article here . Is Bloom’s still useful? Do we need anything better? Please use the comment function on this blog and tell us what you think!