Improve the Employee Learning Experience with Bloom's Taxonomy

Designing Digitally

09/01/2020

Using Bloom's Taxonomy in eLearning development has bridged the gap between the knowledge learners acquire and the application of said knowledge. Benjamin Bloom did not singlehandedly develop this learning evaluation system. It was named after him following a series of conferences conducted with the purpose of unifying and informing educators on the design of learning curriculums and assessments. As such, Bloom's Taxonomy system is still widely used in education today and has infiltrated the eLearning realm and workplace training field as well.

What is Bloom's Taxonomy?

Bloom's Taxonomy is an educational model used to classify employee training objectives. It consists of three hierarchical models that form the basis of the employee reasoning skills pyramid used in traditional and online courses. Determining employee learning objectives with Bloom's Taxonomy means covering the six levels described in the cognitive domain of this system.

The Three Domains

As mentioned, there are three domains that form the base of Bloom's Taxonomy classification system.

The Cognitive Domain

  • Knowledge-based and contains six levels of learning objectives

  • Contains six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation

  • Most often used in education and corporate training

The Affective Domain

  • Emotion-based and observes learner recognition and growth on emotion, attitude, and feeling levels

  • Contains five levels: receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, characterizing

  • Evaluates people's emotional reactions and empathy towards other living beings

The Psychomotor Domain

  • Action-based and focuses on changing and improving behavior and skills

  • Contains seven levels: perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaptation, origination

  • Focused on physical ability and tool/object manipulation

The 6 Levels of the Cognitive Domain

Improving employee learning with Bloom’s Taxonomy involves going through the six aforementioned levels. The levels get more difficult as you go and combine concepts like recall and recognition.

Knowledge

At this level, the learner doesn't necessarily need to understand the concepts, facts, and terms they are covering. The idea is to recognize and remember items and other small bits of information before moving on to the next level. This level sits at the bottom of Bloom's pyramid and usually takes the longest to cover.

Comprehension

Next, the employee needs to prove they understand the concepts and facts previously studied at level one. They do this through classification, comparison, translation, interpretation, and by describing or stating key points.

Application

At this stage, learners need to apply the acquired knowledge towards problem-solving new situations. 

Analysis

Things get more complex at the analysis level since the learner is required to break down and examine the information they are learning. Employees analyze the elements, find connections between them, and organize them by how they relate to each other.

Synthesis

Here, learners need to pull elements together to build new structures or patterns. This stage involves producing a new communication, plan, or group of actions.

Evaluation

At the evaluation level, employees present and defend their opinions. The student uses internal evidence and external criteria to evaluate and discuss the validity of information and ideas.

Improving Employee Learning Objectives

Bloom's Taxonomy can help improve employee learning objectives because it can help employee training developers identify the stages employees need to go through to learn new things. Understanding these stages will allow course developers and instructional designers to create more efficient training programs.

Still, going through this process for each course or department can be time-consuming and expensive. The easiest method would be to first identify four employee skill levels and then define the objectives, keeping in mind the need for personalized learning paths. In essence, you're looking at specific job roles, the level of skill for each employee, and determining the learning objectives based on employee skill and knowledge gaps. The method needed for efficient content delivery will become apparent during this process. The depth of the content provided will also get chiseled out by using this taxonomy method.

Conclusion

Bloom's Taxonomy brings knowledge and application together. It moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional teaching and allows valuable personalized learning paths to flourish. If you're interested in bridging the gap between employee knowledge and how they apply it on the job, get in touch and we'll happily offer a free consultation. Our eLearning professionals can create custom games and applications to help you reach your business and employee growth goals.

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