Putting Bloom’s digital taxonomy into your training

Anderson and Krathol’s  study, A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives revises Bloom’s taxonomy to allow ‘…the noun and verb, to form separate dimensions, the noun providing the basis for the knowledge dimension and the verb forming the basis for the Cognitive Process dimension’(Krathwohl 213). In his digital mapping of Bloom’s taxonomy, Andrew Church takes the verb and maps it to digital activities.

Benjamin Bloom’s original taxonomy had both nouns and verb forms embedded in the Knowledge category. ‘The verb was included in the definition given to Knowledge in that the student was expected to be able to recall or recognize knowledge’ (Krathwohl 213). The revised taxonomy illustrates the different levels of active critical thinking by using verbs rather than nouns.

higher order thinking

Verbs kick-start the learning process; each category is part of a framework of learning, and assessment with a number of dynamic verbs associated with it:

Original Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation
Revised Remembering Understanding Applying Analysing Evaluating Creating
Verbs NB. This list is not exhaustive Arrange, Define, Describe, Label, Order, Recognise, Select Classify, Describe, Discuss, Explain, Identify, Paraphrase, Rewrite Apply, Demonstrate, Discover, Interpret, Practise, Prepare, Produce Breakdown, Categorise, Compare, Criticise, Examine, Outline, Question Assess, Choose, Compare, Explain, Interpret Arrange, Combine, Connect, Produce, Publish, Rewrite, Summarise

While these verbs cover many learning activities, they don’t address digital activities the learner may already be performing. Andrew Church added to the revised taxonomy  to include digital verbs such as ‘blogging, ‘posting’, ‘reviewing’, ‘linking’, ‘sharing’, ‘editing’, ‘podcasting’, ‘tagging’, ‘twittering’, ‘commenting’, ‘social networking’, ‘social bookmarking’, ‘googling’, and ‘favouriting’ and aligned them to Bloom’s taxonomy: creating, evaluating, analysing, applying, understanding and remembering. These verbs are knowledge-driven and are integrated in instructional design.

Your e-learning strategy may already be aligned to Bloom’s Taxonomy, but it’s worthwhile considering how you can integrate Andrew Church’s digital taxonomy into your instructional design.

Sometimes learners feel imposed upon to do corporate training, usually it’s because the training is a little on the bland side and the content is simply ticking the boxes of what managers or SME’s think the learner should know, but not necessarily teaching you why you should know and how you use the knowledge on the job.

Integrating Web 2.0 technologies into your course design will help you to create interactive and engaging learning with greater information retention for your learners and improved on the job performance. Choose activities which support digital learning:

  • ask learners to create a learning blog (creating)
  • consider discussion tools such as wiki forums (evaluating)
  • incorporate mindmaps for brainstorming (analysing)
  • ask learners to create an info map of specific job tasks (applying)
  • ask learners to define job terms (understand)
  • learners could use Google Drive to share information (remembering)

A good authoring tool such as Moodle and Totara will give you the ability to create such activities for your learners and give them the opportunity to take ownership for their knowledge.