Bloom's Taxonomy and Online Education: Overview of Education Theory

Bloom's Taxonomy is an instructional design theory rooted in how students learn. This theory has been applied to numerous online courses and programs.

Bloom's Taxonomy: Overview

Bloom's Taxonomy is framework for understanding the way students learn. This taxonomy is one of the most widely used taxonomies in the field of education and is also one of the easiest taxonomies to understand. According to Georgia Southern University, Bloom's Taxonomy serves as the starting point for all instructional design, including online instruction.

Although Bloom's Taxonomy was developed in the 1950's before students began using computers on a regular basis, it is relevant for online learning today. Bloom's Taxonomy can be used in virtually all parts of the online learning process, from writing course content to coming up with topics for online discussions.

Bloom's Education Theory

Bloom's Taxonomy was developed on the premise that there are six levels of cognitive learning. All of these levels together represent a hierarchy. In order to reach the next level, you must master the previous level. Bloom's levels are: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Relevance for Online Education

With Bloom's Taxonomy, online instructors can define learning objectives and formulate questions and assignments based on each level of cognitive learning. Instructors can use interactive activities, like blog writing, scenario simulation games and case study analysis, to move students to higher levels within Bloom's hierarchy of learning. For example, when students use the Internet to conduct research for their classes, they can move beyond the basic 'knowledge', or fact-gathering, stage and apply analysis to the information they find. Students can even develop their own websites to carry out a class project.

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