eduMOOC New taxonomy

I have just come across this critique  on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Brenda commented:

The categories or “levels” of Bloom’s taxonomy (Knowledge, Comprehension,
Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation) are not supported by any research
on learning. The only distinction that is supported by research is the distinction
between declarative/conceptual knowledge (which enables recall,
comprehension or understanding), and procedural knowledge (which enables
application or task performance).

Bloom’s Taxonomy, is a classification of learning objectives within education proposed in 1956 by a committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom.

Photo: wikipedia

Based on wikipedia,  Bloom’s Taxonomy divides educational objectives into three “domains”: CognitiveAffective, and Psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as knowing/headfeeling/heart and doing/hands respectively). Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.

Exhibit memory of previously-learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers
  • Knowledge of specifics – terminology, specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics – conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field – principles and generalizations, theories and structures

Questions like: What are the health benefits of eating apples?

Here is an attempt to apply Bloom’s Taxonomy in education.

How about the concept of knowledge? If knowledge is defined here, involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting. (Bloom et al. 1956 p 201), then surely knowledge COULD BE DEFINED by recalls.

This new taxonomy provides a comprehensive classification about learning based on a constructivist approach.  I am however, interested in knowing how it was developed.

In times of information abundance, how should high-order knowledge – such as thinking and reflection be re-defined?

The revised Taxonomy (refer to Rote versus meaningful learning) here is based on a broader vision of learning that includes not only acquiring knowledge but also being able to use knowledge in a variety of new situations.

In our digital era of learning, is this classification good enough to classify the educational objectives in such ways?

I have once shared that learning in a digital world involves individuals networking with others, including cooperation and collaboration in groups or networks, and so there are certain areas which require both individual, collective and collaborative efforts in order to achieve the learning goals. Would we need to extend this learning theories and Taxonomy and Blogging and Blooms to ensure that complexity is considered in education and learning?

My interests focus on creation of artifacts – where create involves putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure.

For example, to create an artifact like blog post would require one to go through a whole cycle of collecting and aggregating information (via iGoogle,  RSS, email, Google +, FB, Twitter, OL Daily, etc.), curating them (via some of the above tools, or with Scoopit, Pearltrees,, Netvibes).  This would then provide the sources of information for the writing of blog posts, or the re-posting or feed-forwarding of posts or artifacts aggregated or curated.

As a blogger, I would then peruse the content, analyse, and evaluate each part of the artifact or resources in terms of its relevance and values to a subject, and how each part of it would be useful for the inclusion of my blog post, by remixing, repurposing and re-creating or re-writing parts of the posts that resonate with my experience or could add to my knowledge.

Finally, I would then post the created blog post as artifacts (videos, pictures, links) onto appropriate social media of my choice – FB, Twitter, Google +, Delicious, or any other new media that I found useful.  Also, I would comment on others’ blog posts, or those posts on FB, Moodle Forum, or Retweet on Twitter, based on an analysis, evaluation and sharing of my ideas/posts in a similar way to the blogging – experience, thinking, reflection and action process.

In reflection, the above blogging and commenting “routine” would quite likely involve the application of knowledge, and an indepth thinking and reflection throughout the process.

I reckon blogging would satisfy the educational objectives set along the three “domains”: CognitiveAffective, and Psychomotor.

I think we need a new taxonomy which could cover the complex learning and digital literacy more comprehensively.

Postscript: This paper on Learning together in community: collaboration online sounds useful.


#CCK11 My experience with Connectivism and Networked Learning

Relating to previous post on Competence and Capacity Model

Here is my learning:

And Critical Thinking

#PLENK2010 On Learning Theories and Learner Taxonomy

In this post, I would like to explore Learning theories and Learner Taxonomy.

Refer to my previous post and an interesting post here on Bloom’s Taxonomy, what further elements might be considered in the latest revised Bloom’s model?

How about

(a) connections/disconnections/re-connections of learner with networks;

(b) interactions/engagement/cooperation/collaboration/integration with nodes/networks; growth, development & sustainability/decay;

(c) unlearning/relearning in response to changing/dynamic networked/learning environments?

The article here provides a useful summary of some application of learning theories.  Peter concluded that:

To make online teaching and training materials more effective, an agency should first establish suitable learning goals and objectives. Since the priority of instruction is to “benefit” or “instruct” the learner, instructional designers should then strive to facilitate the learning process i.e., make learning easier. This can be accomplished by applying proven learning theories and pedagogical practices, as well as, practical web-design strategies and guidelines, to their instructional design.

I have been recently thinking about learning based on a number of perspectives/assumptions (refer to this  Match and Mismatch between Learner Stages and Teacher Styles also discussed in Rita’s post here):
(a) Learning from a teaching perspective,
(b) learning from a learning perspective,
(c) teaching from a teaching perspective, and
(d) teaching from a learning perspective.

This would then form a matrix with the 4 quadrants. Each quadrant would then be connected with others (juxtaposed) to delineate the emphasis based on a number of criteria.

Teaching perspective could include the following themes & dimensions: LMS, Formal course/instructional design & pedagogy, teaching space, power and control (where I would like to refer to Stephen’s post on power of networks), assessment and accreditation, teachers’ role and responsibilities, teaching and learning resources.

Learning perspective could include the following themes & dimensions: PLE/PLN, eportfolio, self and peer assessment and teacher’s assessment, learners’ role and responsibilities, OER (open education resources), learner’s autonomy, social media, networks and Web 2.0 (i.e. media affordance), and network connections, interactions and engagement.

With each perspective, then one could develop the mapping based on a model similar to revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, (though I think it could be further refined or developed based on a more learner-based PLE/N model), to reflect the dynamic and adaptive mode of learning, rather than the “static” and linear model of “taxonomy”.

How about a dynamic model that is based on Folksonomy and Wordle approach (with tags and key words of learning from a learners’ perspective)?

The emerged themes would form the basis of individual’s learning based on personal learning, “individual learning styles”, multiple intelligence one has and the conceptual connections within and across domains. This could then be overlaid with the teacher’s perspectives (like the constructive alignment).

Such approach would be based on emergent principles (i.e. both the chaos and complexity theory) as the learner may be self-directed and the network he/she engages may be self organising, which means that a higher order of learning would involve sensemaking and wayfinding – i.e. identifying ways and strategies, analysing, sensing (sense making), responding, interacting, cooperating and collaborating/open sharing via networks, personal risk “controlling”, integrating, creating (individually, connectively, and or collectively) and deciding.

Such teaching/learning needs to be based upon the complexity of learning situations (situational learning, learning trajectory that one would like to adopt, i.e. LPL (legitimate Peripheral Learning) or Self-directed Learning to Active Participative Learning and personal autonomy.

Finally a connective learning approach would consolidate and integrate the learning that form the basis of networked learning – with different learning theories embedded at different stages of learning as shared here.


#PLENK2010 Mastery Learning and Bloom’s Taxonomy

I read this blog and the videos on Blogging and Blooms with great interests.

Here is my response:

Thanks Angela for this interesting post. I think Bloom’s model could be useful for structured Mastery Learning, based on an identification of cognitive entry behaviour, affective entry characteristics and Quality of Instruction, that are highly relevant in classroom teaching and assessment.  The digital model developed by Andrew Churches sounds well, and have attempted to modify the Taxonomy to cater for the digital literacies.   May I respond with my previous post on mastery-learning-blooms-hypothesis-and-taxonomy-and-connectivism?

I have been thinking if the notion of create is interpreted differently by educators and learners.  At times, create could come first for a learner, especially when creating a blog (and a blog post), or a video on Youtube or vimeo, bliptv, or a piece of creative writing, and if this sounds like the highest “skills set” under the Bloom’s Taxonomy, then Evaluate, Analyse seem to be lower in the Taxonomy as compared to Create.  Would this be rightly interpreted?  Besides, a learner could be learning a task whilst tackling a problem (problem or project based learning) in a digital world, which could include participation in project, communication and collaboration in wiki, interacting with others through blogs and forum postings, and creation of artefacts (blog posts for reflection, collection, videos production, repurposing and remixing of multimedia – for digital story telling etc.), personal thinking and reflection using reflexive techniques.  These require a mix of skills and literacies and so trying to identify them into the strict taxonomy may sometimes lead to constraints on educators in setting the tasks (questions) and the learners in the creation of artefacts.

How would educators overcome these?  I think the structured taxonomy model (revised) one is more suitable for assessment, but needs to be re-conceptualised in the case of learning, especially when we try to identify a digital project in terms of the competencies which are embedded in it.  That’s where a connectivist model could be useful to connect the various skills and competencies, and delineate the relationship so both educators and learners could understand how they could achieve their learning through learning by action, with projects, problems, rather than the mere instruction. What do you think?

Renewed thanks for your stimulating post.


Connectivism Taxonomy – A re-visit

 I have just re-visited George Connectivism Blog:

 Here is the response that I left on 27 September 2008:

Sui Fai John Mak:

George, great to learn about this taxonomy.

Your taxonomy prompted me to reflect upon Bloom’s Hypothesis:
1. A normal person can learn anything that teachers can teach
2. Under favourable learning conditions the effects of individual differences will approach vanishing point, while under unfavourable learning conditions the effects of individual differences will be greatly exaggerated
3. Individual learning needs vary greatly
4. Uncorrected learning errors are responsible for most learning difficulties

Under Bloom’s model, instead of trying to bend the learner to suit the method of teaching, Bloom’s approach sees the task of educators being to tailor the teaching process to suit the learning needs of the individual.

Since I learnt the above model in 1985, I witnessed great changes in the learning approaches, and that most of the hypothesis set out by Bloom needed modification if we are to consider a similar behavioural approach in teaching in this digital age.

For instance, hypothesis 1 doesn’t fit the on-line learner, as any normal person can learn anything even without the teachers. In hypothesis 2, Bloom contends that the most important factors influencing learning in the individual child are the interactions that occur between the child and its parents on the one hand and between the child and the teaching process on the other. Again, such hypothesis is no longer true in an on-line environment where the emphasis is no other just on the teaching process, and that the learner is not merely relying on the teaching process, rather the learner will consider his/her learning style in his learning(David Kobb’s learning style seems to be more useful in an on-line or connectivism approach).

Also an experiential approach is often preferred amongst adults in an on-line environment.

In your connectivism taxonomy – you have proposed a staged view of how learners encounter and explore learning in a networked/ecological manner (the taxonomy begins with the basic and moves to the more complex).

My comments are: As connectivism is operating in an open system model, would such a simple taxonomy approach be good enough? I am doubtful if learning could be viewed in a linear manner in a connective environment, and am unsure if one could describe a staged view of how learners and explore learning in a networked/ecological manner that reflects the reality?

Once we define such staged views of learners, we may have assumed that a learner is learning in distinct stages, and that we can measure competency in a discrete manner – i.e. there are units of competency, elements and performance criteria clearly articulated.

But if I reflect on the chaos and fuzzy dynamic environment any learner is facing nowadays, the reality is that competency of an on-line learner can no learner be based on those defined units of competency. It must include a fuzzy set of continuum variables which are attributes transcending beyond the semantics, or linguistics – this includes emotional elements (i.e. EQ – emotional control, self awareness, self confidence, motivation, social skills and interpersonal skills, social elements (social awareness, ethics, intellectual property awareness etc.) which are very difficult to define in terms of competency. Even if can define all these emotional, social elements, there would be difficulties in drawing a map between all these dynamic factors or competencies, which could all change due to other factors such as culture, equity and learner’s access to technology.

In this respect, it would be imperative to develop hypothesis that are robust enough to take all those factors into consideration.

1. So what are the hypothesis behind this connectivism taxonomy?
2. Will such hypothesis be fluid or static? I would be interested to know if a further change in some of the technologies or learning environment would change the hypothesis.
3. Is a taxonomy good enough reflection of the staged views of learner.
4. Is such a taxonomy able to generalise under different learning circumstances?

In conclusion,

I am uncertain if a rigid taxonomy would be appropriate in building up a model on connectivism.

My suggestion:

I think a dynamic n-dimensional (or mxn matrix) model of taxonomy would be more appropriate and reflective of the reality. An adaptation of a Quality Function Deployment approach may be useful (ie. the voice of the learners on the left columnn and and the enablers and process of learning on the row of a matrix): i.e. With a matrix of What versus How in the the learning hierarchy/taxonomy. The “what” aspects would include What the learner’s needs are in a hierachical form and the How’s aspects would include the teaching/learning process, the enablers such as the technologies (Web 2.0 etc.)the networks,and other important enablers of learning such as support, mentoring, etc.
3. This might also take the form of a network, though such network may be in the form of a mind map superimposed by the what and how aspects of learning.

I would be interested in conducting research in this area to further explore about the theory of connectivism. Please contact me if you think such an approach might be useful to you.

I could be contacted via:

Looking forward to learn your views.