Digital Activities for Bloom’s Taxonomy Level Six: Creating – Engaging Students in High-Level Thinking

Bloom’s Taxonomy, established by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom, is a framework for categorising educational goals within the cognitive domain. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into education, digital tools offer innovative ways to foster higher-level thinking skills. At the pinnacle of this taxonomy is the ‘creating’ stage, where learners synthesise information and construct new ideas, deploying their knowledge in inventive ways.

The ‘creating’ level prompts students to put elements together to form a coherent whole or to reorganise elements into a new pattern or structure. In the digital landscape, a multitude of tools are available to guide this process. Educators are empowered to design activities that not only engage students in learning but also challenge them to create using different types of digital media. This not only develops their cognitive abilities but also ensures they are versed in modern technology, an essential skill in today’s digital world.

The integration of digital activities within Bloom’s highest taxonomy level encourages students to apply what they have learned in a creative context, thereby deepening their understanding and enhancing retention. This way, learning transcends rote memorisation and becomes a dynamic process that is reflective of real-world scenarios. As education progresses, the fusion of creating and digital tools within Bloom’s Taxonomy serves as a cornerstone for developing critical thinkers and innovators.

Essential Concepts of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a structured framework that educators utilise to focus on higher-order thinking skills. It delineates the progression from basic knowledge-recall to the more complex process of creating.

The Cognitive Domain

Originally developed by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues in the mid-20th century, Bloom’s Taxonomy identifies six cognitive processes that signify the journey of learning. These range from basic to advanced levels and consist of:

  1. Remembering: Recalling information and facts.
  2. Understanding: Comprehending the meaning of information.
  3. Applying: Using knowledge in different situations.
  4. Analysing: Breaking down information into parts to explore understandings and relationships.
  5. Evaluating: Making judgements based on criteria and standards through checking and critiques.
  6. Creating: Putting together elements to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganising into a new pattern or structure.

This hierarchy is crucial in designing educational curricula and determining educational goals.

Understanding Bloom’s Levels

Each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy builds upon the previous one, signifying a progression in cognitive abilities. For example, before a student can analyse a concept, they must first understand it; likewise, one must possess knowledge to apply it effectively. Educators use these levels to create a more engaging and effective learning experience, tailoring tasks that develop these skills progressively.

Revised Taxonomy

In 2001, Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl, a former student of Bloom, revised the original taxonomy to reflect a more dynamic conception of learning. The revised taxonomy introduces actions and skills that align more precisely with modern teaching practices, including:

  • Knowledge becoming Remember.
  • Comprehension transforming into Understand.
  • Application turning into Apply.
  • The Analytical, Evaluative, and Creative processes becoming Analyse, Evaluate, and Create, respectively.

This revised model also categorises knowledge into four types: factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge, underpinning various cognitive processes at each level. The focus on these types of knowledge aims to offer a more tangible approach to both teaching and learning.

Digital Taxonomy and Learning Technologies

In the educational landscape, the adaptation of Bloom’s Taxonomy to the digital realm has become critical for fostering higher-order thinking skills through technology integration.

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Bloom’s digital taxonomy not only adapts traditional educational goals but redefines them to include digital skills and competencies. At its core, it consists of six cognitive processes laid out in a hierarchy, with ‘creating’ as the pinnacle of cognitive tasks. Creating, in a digital context, involves tasks such as:

  • Designing new digital artefacts (websites, apps)
  • Constructing models and simulations
  • Developing original solutions or media products
  • Curating and synthesising information into new patterns
  • Programming or coding projects and software

These tasks leverage technological tools, advocating for an educational structure that promotes active engagement with digital resources.

Integrating Technology in Education

Educators are encouraged to integrate technology to enhance learning experiences and to target each level of Bloom’s digital taxonomy. In the context of ‘creating’, the integration might include:

  • Digital tools: such as blogging platforms for publishing original content, video editing software for media creation, or coding environments for developing applications.
  • Learning activities: that require students to design projects using digital storytelling, create digital portfolios, or participate in web-based global collaborations to foster creative thinking.

Bloom’s digital taxonomy serves as a framework that teachers can use to scaffold these learning activities, ensuring students not only consume digital information but also produce creative digital outcomes.

Creating: Realising Cognitive Potential

The pinnacle of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the Creating level, encompasses crafting original work and realising cognitive potential through synthesis and evaluation.

The Art of Creation in Learning

Creation is the most sophisticated of the cognitive processes, involving generating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing things. It leverages all other levels of cognitive work to produce something that was not there before. In educational settings, learners are invited to engage in tasks that necessitate not only the retrieval of facts and concepts (knowledge recall) but the amalgamation of their learning into new, coherent wholes.

Creating and Educational Objectives

Educational objectives targeting the creating level aim to culminate the learning process by encouraging students to apply what they have learned in novel situations. These objectives facilitate the engagement with higher order thinking skills such as generating hypotheses, designing experiments, or constructing models. The formulation of objectives should articulate the expectation of students to produce work that is both original and valuable.

Verbs and Processes for Creating

The processes and verbs associated with the Creating level articulate the dynamic and active nature of this stage. They include designing, constructing, planning, producing, and inventing. A bespoke approach may involve:

  • Designing a research project to test a hypothesis.
  • Constructing a model to demonstrate a scientific principle.
  • Developing solutions to complex problems.
  • Assembling a proposal for a new business venture.
  • Composing a musical score or a work of literature.

These verbs encapsulate the essence of creation and guide learners toward objectives that demand the utmost application of their knowledge and thinking.

Instructional Strategies for Creation

Across the education spectrum, the pinnacle of Bloom’s Taxonomy is the creation level, where learners synthesise information and originate novel ideas. Teachers play a pivotal role in sculpting environments conducive to this synthesis and origination. The following strategies and activities unerringly align with the overarching learning objectives, structured to foster a robust creative disposition in the classroom.

Promoting Creation in the Classroom

Teachers must cultivate an atmosphere where students feel safe to experiment and express their original thoughts. Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an efficient instructional strategy, involving students in complex, real-world projects that incorporate subjects across the curriculum. In alignment with PBL, educators might use Inquiry-Based Learning as well, encouraging learners to pose their own questions and pursue independent research, which culminates in the presentation of their findings.

Key strategies include:

  • Providing ample opportunities for brainstorming and collaborative work.
  • Periodically setting aside time for reflective practice, allowing students to contemplate their learning processes.
  • Encouraging risk-taking in thought and application without the fear of incorrect answers.

Activities to Encourage Creating

Activities should be designed to stimulate learners’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The success of this endeavour is visible when students can design a novel product or concept as a result of these activities.

A non-exhaustive list of activities might include:

  • Digital storytelling, where students leverage multimedia tools to create and share stories.
  • Simulation building, where learners construct digital models or virtually simulated environments to test hypotheses or demonstrate knowledge.
  • Programming projects, requiring them to write original code that achieves a specific purpose, which integrates their computational thinking and digital prowess.

Assessment of Creative Tasks

The assessment of creativity should be intrinsic and ongoing. Educators need to employ both formative and summative assessments, providing feedback that is constructive and indicative of areas for growth.

Assessments can be:

  • Rubrics: Tailored to specific tasks, they can measure creativity, effort, and adherence to learning objectives.
  • Peer reviews: Students can engage in critiquing each other’s work, which promotes engagement and diverse perspectives.
  • Reflections: Personal narratives that help students articulate their learning experiences, challenges they’ve faced, and how they have utilised their creativity.

It is imperative that assessments remain transparent, with clearly communicated criteria that guide student projects from inception to completion.

Leveraging Digital Activities for Bloom’s Taxonomy

In the context of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the creation phase entails synthesising information and constructing something novel. Digital activities provide an expansive toolbox for educators and students to engage with this high-level cognitive process.

Digital Tools to Support Creation

Digital technology offers myriad tools that bolster the creative process in education. For instance, blogging platforms like WordPress allow students to reflect on their learning and synthesise new ideas. Students can use social bookmarking services such as Diigo to collect, tag, and share resources, which supports the organisational phase prior to creation. Podcasting can be employed to create auditory content that demonstrates understanding on a subject, with platforms like Anchor simplifying the process of recording and distribution.

Blogging and Networking in Education

Blogging serves as a powerful avenue for creation. Students can articulate their thoughts and construct new knowledge publicly. It involves critical skills such as writing, commenting, and engaging with a broader audience. Networking through blogging encourages connection and dialogue with peers and experts worldwide. It stimulates an exchange of ideas, enabling students to subscribe to new perspectives and tweet their insights to share with their network.

Multimedia and Presentation Tools

Visual and auditory mediums are indispensable when it comes to digital creation. Students can utilise tools like Prezi or Google Slides to construct vibrant presentations, turning data and research into compelling visual stories. Video creation apps like iMovie or WeVideo empower students to produce videos that showcase their mastery of a topic. These multimedia tools not only foster creativity but also enhance communication skills, aligning perfectly with the highest order of Bloom’s Taxonomy—creating.

The Role of Analysis and Evaluation

The upper tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy, analysis and evaluation, are critical for learners to effectively reach the creation stage, where they synthesise and produce original work. These skills enable students to deconstruct materials and construct informed judgements, which are essential before they can start the process of creating.

From Analysis to Creation

Analysis forms a foundation upon which creation is built by dissecting concepts and examining relationships within the learning material. When learners engage in analysis, they break down information into parts, explore patterns, and understand the underlying structure. This critical step necessitates that one must analyse to identify components such as:

  • Themes
  • Motifs
  • Arguments
  • Evidence

These elements are scrutinised and reassembled during the creative process to form a novel product or idea.

Evaluation as a Precedent to Creating

Evaluation involves making judgements about the value of ideas or materials based on a set of criteria. Prior to engaging in creative endeavours, learners must evaluate various facets of the information at hand. They engage in:

  • Assessing the validity of arguments
  • Categorising information based on relevance and reliability
  • Justifying opinions and decisions

Evaluating allows students to establish a stance that enriches the creation process, ensuring that their newly developed ideas or projects are grounded in a thorough assessment of existing knowledge and reasoning.

Assessment Strategies and Taxonomy

When assessing students’ ability to create, educators must align their strategies with Bloom’s Taxonomy, particularly focusing on the highest cognitive domain level, which entails producing new and original work.

Assessing Creation in Students

To effectively assess creation in students, tasks should not only require the production of original work but also incorporate evaluative and analytical skills. It is paramount to set clear guidelines and criteria that reflect both the content’s mastery and the inventive process. Assessments might take the form of research projects, original art pieces, or the design of experiments, where each outcome is unique to the individual student. They must exhibit not just knowledge and understanding but also the ability to synthesise information and generate new insights.

In these assessments, the role of the educational psychologist is to ensure the tasks promote not only the recall and comprehension of information but push students to utilise higher-order thinking skills. One would evaluate the reliance on cognitive processes like synthesising disparate concepts, designing complex models, or devising new approaches to problems.

Mapping Assessments to Taxonomy Levels

The mapping of assessments to the Bloom’s Taxonomy levels can be visualised as follows:

Bloom’s Taxonomy LevelAssessment TypeKey Characteristics
RememberingMultiple-choice testsTesting recall of facts and basic concepts
UnderstandingShort-form essaysDemonstrating understanding of ideas and principles
ApplyingSimulationsUsing information in new situations
AnalysingCase studiesBreaking down information into constituent parts
EvaluatingPeer reviewsJudging materials and methods based on criteria
CreatingOriginal projectsProducing new and inventive work, synthesising disparate ideas

For the top level—Creating—the assessments ought to provide an avenue for students to formulate new patterns or structure from existing knowledge and experiences. A substantial project, aligned with the Taxonomy’s highest tier, would require students to propose an innovative solution, construct a novel theoretical model, or perhaps generate original artistic content, thereby applying their accumulated skills and ideas into a real-world context.

This alignment between assessment type and Taxonomy level ensures that educators can articulate clear objectives for their students and construct valid means to map and measure the cognitive abilities targeted by their instruction.

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