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Using a Learning Taxonomy to Align Your Course

What is a learning taxonomy? A framework for instruction and assessment.

We know alignment is important, but how do you align a course? One way is to use a learning taxonomy. Its purpose is to help you classify your course learning objectives and select learning activities and assessments that are aligned toward those learning objectives. There are many learning taxonomies, but the one we present here is Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy? A classification system of thinking and learning.

Bloom's cognitive domainBenjamin Bloom was an educational theorist and teacher who studied the nature of thinking. His taxonomy has been widely used in the field of education since the 1950’s. You may recognize the cognitive domains in Bloom’s pyramid, which illustrates that thinking occurs at different levels of complexity.

You may notice that the wording in the pyramid is slightly different from Bloom’s original taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised in the 1990’s by a group led by Lorin Anderson, one of Bloom’s former students. The revised version is a more useful tool for planning curriculum, instruction and assessment. Let’s look at Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and see how it works. >>>

Note: Many concepts in modules 2, 3 and 4 related to the taxonomy table come from the book, “A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives,” edited by Lorin W. Anderson and David R. Krathwohl. Concepts here are simplified and generalized. For more detailed explanations and examples, please refer to this book.

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