What is a taxonomy?
Does this fancy word scare you? Should it? We say no. Taxonomy, in layman’s term, simply means classification and we have all used taxonomy at least once in our lives. Let me relate with a simple example. Have you shopped for shoes/clothes online? The initial sort by gender, age, and shoes is an example of online taxonomies.
Benefit to educators
A daunting task for teachers and writers while creating education content is the wise inclusion of objectives that will cover the intent of the course as planned. Bloom’s taxonomy is a vital support to write objectives as well understand how well the learners understand a topic.
Bloom’s taxonomy is the brainchild of Dr. Benjamin Bloom and other education psychologists. Developed in 1956, the taxonomy segregated the different stages of learning into three main domains being – cognitive, affective and psychomotor.
The cognitive domain further identified six stages of learning:
Since the development and methodologies of imparting knowledge have changed over the years, education researchers, especially for k12 course development, have revised the Taxonomy. The updated taxonomy requires objectives to start with verbs that denote action and knowledge utilization.
The Taxonomy now consists of the following verbs:
The first level talks about retrieving knowledge from long term memory and is the most basic level of understanding, also known as the rote memory. Action verbs like describe, define, state, identify, name and list are used to list objectives.
This verb requires the learners to demonstrate understanding of the subject learnt. Action verbs lime explain, describe, summarize, defend, predict, give examples are used to list the objectives.
This level checks the application of knowledge to ascertain understanding because simply learning concepts is not enough. Action verbs like change, choose, illustrate, interpret, show, solve and modify dominate this level.
To analyze is the process of breaking ideas and concepts into smaller parts and establish relation between the overall structure and purpose. Action verbs like calculate, examine, model, gather, compare and distinguish present this level.
To evaluate refers to arriving at judgments and conclusions based on set criteria and standards. Action verbs like contrast, criticize, select, supports, defend and justify helps to check, critique or judge a product or service.
The last level of the updated Taxonomy refers to creation where the learners put together elements to form an alternate solutions. Action verbs like modify, compose, generate, revise, and organize are used to set objectives at this final level.
At Stylus Solutions, we believe that taxonomy is a guide that helps to define learning objectives based on the instructors’ expectations from the learners. Connect with us for courseware development in Mumbai.