Bloom's Taxonomy as a Guide for Learning Objectives

You may or may not have heard of Bloom's Taxonomy. It is an old concept of learning that has been in existence since 1956 but revised in 2001 in order to meet the modern approach to learning. 

Bloom’s Taxonomy was created by Benjamin Bloom in an effort to create a common language for teachers/educators to discuss and exchange learning and assessment methods. Specific learning outcomes can be derived from the taxonomy.

 How does this model shape your course objectives, you may be wondering? 

Well, it’s a model that classifies different levels of human cognition thinking, learning, and understanding. It’s used as a guide for the development of curriculum assessments and instructional strategies.

How is this model affected in an age of digital technology and how might it influence your instructional design?




While creating a course for your learners, the taxonomy is used to set learning objectives and design learning experiences to guide learners to higher levels of thinking. Using this guide while creating an e-learning course is an important model for structuring learning. Assessments should move from the bottom of the pyramid toward the top as learners successfully answer questions and solve problems.  

Now that there’s a basic level of understanding of how the objectives are used to structure learning, let’s dive into how each can drive the course curriculum and how to apply.

Remember (Knowledge)
This stage is important to deliver factual information to your learner, then test if they recall the information provided. Information can be textual content, videos, images, or any delivery method used to provide learning objectives to your learners. For example, your employees might need to remember a specific process to be able to do their jobs correctly. To test, use multiple response questions asking learners to identify the correct answer.

Understand (Comprehension)
This stage tests the learners' knowledge to find out if they understand concepts presented in the training. It goes a step further than being able to remember a certain process - in this step, learners would be able to explain why a certain process is important to their organization. Simply use a free-response question asking learners to explain their understanding of something.

Apply (Application)
This stage requires the instructor to help learners put the knowledge into practice. This part of the course should simulate real-life problems and ask learners to apply the already acquired knowledge from the previous stages. Because the learner has already been through the understanding stage, they will use their understanding of the new concepts to solve problems at this stage. If they are struggling, you can have them go back to remember and understand stages for a refresher.

Analyze (Analysis)
In this stage, learners get to develop a strong knowledge of the subject they are being taught. This stage will allow learners to organize topics into the bigger picture of the lesson. Once they understand the topics in the other stages, they should be able to see the big picture. In the LMS, use matching questions where learners classify terms or concepts into the appropriate category.

Evaluate (Evaluation)
While most e-learning training ends in the analysis stage, it's advisable to evaluate the training further. At this stage, learners should be able to make judgments about the content presented to them in a lesson. In an e-learning in LMS, this might be reflected as a scenario where learners are asked to compare and contrast the options available, making a decision on which one best fit what they have just learned.

Create is the final stage of Bloom's Taxonomy, and it can be difficult to apply to e-learning. This could be used in advanced levels such as management training where they are asked to create a formal plan of some sort. At the individual level, you can assign employees tasks such as adding a goal to their performance review that encompasses everything they’ve learned. You can also ask employees to design something, in writing, that reflects what they’ve learned. This way, they do not actually need to spend the time creating something, but you can still confirm that they understand the content. This final stage is a collaboration of everything learned through the courses. 

For best results, and to add comprehensive stages for learners, you can follow the application of Bloom’s taxonomy in e-learning. Your LMS should contain courses that have clear learning objectives for your employees, and Bloom’s can help you to create actionable objectives that promote higher-level thinking.

Following the above application will get your learners closer to achieving your learning goal. Learn how Verasana can help you structure your courses this way.

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