As students prepare to develop the online courses for our final projects in the Assessment in E-Learning course at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, we are looking closely at Bloom’s Taxonomy. Although the following clips are lighthearted interpretations of Bloom’s Taxonomy, these clips drive home a pertinent point. Until students are able to utilize the higher order thinking of Bloom’s, they are not going to be truly successful in achieving their goals.
Whether an instructor utilizes the original version of Bloom’s Taxonomy or the action oriented revision, it is most important that an instructor of any course, be it traditional, blended, or online, consider the different levels of thinking outlined by Bloom when designing the course.
Grant Wiggins has gone so far as to say that instructors should begin designing their course with the assessment. His Understanding by Design Framework (utilizing a Backward Design process) asks what is it that you want students to be able to know or do when they finish the course of study. According to Wiggins, “Students reveal their understanding most effectively when they are provided with complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess.” In other words, the best courses allow students the opportunities to show what they know utilizing the higher cognitive processes described by Bloom.
My proposed course, an online literary analysis class, will require many higher cognitive processes. The very act of comprehending written text requires active thinking, and many layers of complexity are added to that process when students are asked to analyze and evaluate any given text. The synthesis of a reader’s background knowledge, analysis and connections created between a text and the reader is an essential skill if a reader is to make any book his own. I have outlined some of these processes and the prerequisite skills in this Assessment Table.