Bloom’s Taxonomy for a digital age

We’re currently working on a project to create a resource to assist teachers in using Bloom’s Taxonomy while integrating digital tools in the classroom and teaching specific digital subjects. It would be great to get input from teachers who have done this successfully, in particular examples or case studies from the classroom. Use the comment function below or drop me a mail if you’d like to contribute.

Bloom’s: A Recap

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a multi-layered model of classifying thinking according to six levels of complexity. These six layers form a subset of the three main domains: cognitive, affective and sensory areas.

Bloom’s taxonomy as a learning process is interdependent:

  • Before we can understand a concept, we need to remember it
  • Before we can apply a concept, we must understand it 
  • Before we analyse it, we must be able to apply it
  • Before we can evaluate its impact, we must have analysed it. 
  • Before we can create, we must have remembered, understood, applied, analysed and evaluated.

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Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy (2008) was developed by Andrew Churches as an extension of the original Bloom’s Taxonomy and creates a hierarchy of learning activities in a digital environment. In this post I will provide a background to Bloom’s Taxonomy and its subsequent revisions, list each of the categories in the hierarchy and suggest a technology that can be used at each level to support learning.

Educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy of learning objectives in 1956, as a structure to understand the learning process. Divided into three psychological domains – cognitive (processing information), affective (attitudes and feelings) and psychomotor (physical skills) – his taxonomy progressed from Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) to Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The levels he identified were: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Bloom’s Taxonomy followed the thinking process with the logic that you “can not understand a concept if you do not first remember it, similarly you can not apply knowledge and concepts if you do not understand them” (Churches, 2008). Forty years later Lorin Anderson and David Karathwohl, former students of Bloom’s, revisited Bloom’s Taxonomy, publishing a revised version in 2001 which reordered the sequence of categories and used verbs rather than nouns to describe each category. It is this revised version that Andrew Churches used to develop his digital taxonomy, keeping Anderson and Karathwohl’s categories of remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and creating, but extending them into the digital environment.

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