Blended Digital Learning and Bloom’s Taxonomy
by Victoria Brodie
In the ASTD Handbook, Jennifer Hofmann, a specialist in the field of synchronous learning, discusses the implications of using Bloom’s Taxonomy to best serve the needs of the technologically advanced classroom. She explains this process in three steps:
Step 1: Confirm Student Learning Objectives and Assessment Tools
Define what it is you are teaching and then create objectives to meet those instructional goals. If this step is not well done, all of the following will not align and the goals will not be met. In this step, an educator looks at what technologies would best serve to meet their learning objectives and identifies the types of assessments that could be used to ascertain mastery of the materials.
Step 2: Map Student Learning Objectives to Delivery Tools Using Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy
In this step, the educator ascertains what types of technology fit for each objective. This step discusses the repackaged Bloom’s Taxonomy as to Andrew Churches’ Taxonomy, addressing the new tools available to help master the levels of learning.
- Remembering: Concepts that can be remembered (recognized) are able to be used in a self-paced format; “learning objectives that use keywords like recognize, list, identify, define, and locate” all can be used in a virtual classroom webinar. This would be considered information dissemination.
- Understanding: This level takes what is remembered and brings it to the level of being explained in context to another person. Using “short, stand-alone e-learning modules that can be taken on demand” helps to foster the level of understanding, connecting information together beyond recall. Instead of just remembering, the knowledge then has use and application (Biech, 2014, p. 224).
- Applying: Implementing or applying the previous knowledge. Learners begin to apply and practice the new skills, as well as correct mistakes.
- Analyzing: Breaking the concepts or materials into different parts and exploring how they are used in relation to each other. “Mental actions include differentiating, organizing and attributing, as well as being able to distinguish components”(Biech, 2014, p. 226). This step begins the ability to make cognitive decisions. Using discussion boards, virtual classrooms and live classrooms are examples of how to use analysis. Simulations are also a method of analysis.
- Evaluating: Deciding. This step includes interpreting the facts and applying them to decide.
- Creating: Putting together the elements to create a coherent and functional whole. This enables the learner to put the elements together in new ways or patterns through generating, planning or producing. This allows the learner to apply what has been learned to a variety of situations and environments.
Step 3: Flip the Classroom to Fully Utilize Collaboration
This final step moves the lecture to the off-time, self-directed work, and utilizes the classroom as the environment to enhance the learning through asking questions about content, completing project work and applying the knowledge learned. This process allows students to collaborate while providing immediate access to the instructor for additional helping and learning. Using blended learning allows the instructor the ability to choose the best delivery methods for the learning objective in order to give the learner the most effective and accessible learning experience.
Biech, E. (Ed.) (2014) ASTD Handbook: the definitive reference for training and development. (2nd ed.) Chelsea, MI: Sheridan Books, Inc.