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How to use Bloom's Taxonomy in Custom eLearning Content Development?

Updated: Apr 23


An illustration depicting a ladder/funnel representing the hierarchical structure of Bloom's Taxonomy

For years, Bloom's taxonomy has helped to transform traditional learning by providing a framework for educators. It helped to develop learning objectives that promote knowledge retention and critical thinking. 


There is a reason why, since its creation in 1956, it is still widely regarded in the education and training sector. For the first time, a framework was provided, which gave an outline that helped instructors identify, classify, and outline what students were expected to learn in a course and include learners' behaviour in the learning objectives. 


Bloom's Taxonomy is a valuable tool for creating impactful learning experiences in L&D. By understanding more about it and implementing it into employee training and development; we can conjure successful outcomes and results. 


The following sections will show how to use the taxonomy practically for designing interactive and meaningful custom eLearning content development. 


Understanding Bloom's Taxonomy 


Bloom's taxonomy is a classification system that categorizes learning goals into six hierarchical levels, each representing a different cognitive skill. However, in 2001, it was revised to inculcate modern concepts of learning into the system. 


These levels, from lower-order to higher-order thinking, include the newer version in the brackets - knowledge (remember), comprehension (understand), application (apply), analysis (analyze), evaluation (evaluate), and create (only in the revised version).


Let’s say you were to learn how to play Chess and improve your ratings. You would apply the Bloom’s Taxonomy as follows:

  1. Remember: how the pieces on the board move

  2. Understand: how tactics and strategies work

  3. Apply: the opening theories and tactics in OTB or online games

  4. Analyze: other players’ games and learn from their strategies and playing styles

  5. Evaluate: your games and learn from your mistakes

  6. Create: your playing style and build your opening repertoire along with polishing end-game strategies. 


6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and how to practically apply it for e-learning Content Development


By understanding the six distinct cognitive levels of learning, L&D eLearning contents can be structured in the best way to achieve all learner's demands and to create courses in the most impactful way possible. 


An image showing a puzzle being solved step by step, symbolizing the progression of learning through Bloom's Taxonomy levels

1. Remember


Previously known as knowledge, is the first stage of implementing Bloom's taxonomy. This stage is about imparting information and knowledge regarding the course. This initial stage is critical, as it sets the foundation for all subsequent levels. The more solid this stage is, the easier it becomes to apply the rest of the levels. 


Practical application

As this level includes recalling information, to facilitate this, L&D folks can design and create courses with activities and assessments to test the learner’s retrieving knowledge. Techniques such as flashcards can also be incorporated into the course. Learn more about integrating assessments into your Corporate Training Solutions.


Daily quizzes before each session help learners recall and remember concepts, making them part of their long-term memory.


2. Understand


In the older version, this stage was known as the comprehension. Once knowledge is imparted, learners must be tested to ensure their understanding of the concepts. If they cannot comprehend the information provided to them, they need to go back to the previous level and be taught again.


Practical application

Learning activities associated with this stage are - summarizing information, reframing information in a new context, and explaining it in their own words. L&D developers should be able to assess learners' understanding of multiple concepts with one question and include them after each concept learning. 


Example Questions which can be included in this stage -

  • Why would you explain this policy to a new customer? 

  • How would you summarize the key findings of a market research study to inform business decisions?

  • Describe the principles of effective team communication and provide examples of how they can be applied in a corporate setting.


3. Apply


In this stage, previously known as 'application,' learners are expected to apply all the information they have learned to real-life situations and according to the job requirements. During this stage, trainers should provide little to no help, and the learners must find solutions to solve problems on their own.


According to the 70-20-10 L&D model, employees gain 70% of their knowledge through work experiences. This showcases how crucial it is to apply this level to develop a successful eLearning course.


Practical application

To help learners demonstrate their problem-solving skills, various activities can be included in the course. Some examples are:

  • Simulated real-life scenarios or practical tests can be provided where learners can apply the knowledge and skills they've acquired.

  • Branched scenarios can be created where learners must navigate different paths based on their decisions. This allows them to see the direct impact of their choices.

  • Role-playing games can be developed to help learners practice problem-solving skills in a safe and interactive environment.

  • Forums and other places where all learners can interact and share their real-life experiences, so they will be exposed to different methods to solve the same problem. 


4. Analyze


In the fourth stage, learners gain a deep understanding of the subject, allowing them to break down concepts, identify patterns, and comprehend the material as a whole.


Practical application

To ensure learners comprehend the course as a whole and test if they can analyze each lesson, the following activities can be added to the course.

  • Real-life case studies or scenarios can be included, so learners can learn how to analyze data, identify patterns, and draw conclusions.

  • Provide questions that can only be solved with critical thinking and a deep understanding of learning material. 

  • Design problem-solving activities that require learners to break down complex problems into manageable components and develop strategies for resolution.


Example questions that can be included in this stage

  • What underlying motives drive the company's decision to implement this new policy?

  • What are the main drivers behind the recent changes in customer satisfaction ratings, and how can we address any underlying issues?


5. Evaluate 


In the fifth stage, learners can evaluate information and make informed judgments. They become experts in their field and can mentor new learners now. 


Practical application

  • Incorporate peer review activities in the eLearning course, allowing learners to evaluate and provide feedback on each other’s work or presentations.

  • Encourage learners to assess their peers’ work based on predefined criteria.

  • Urge learners to offer constructive feedback for improvement of the eLearning course.


6. Create


The final stage of Bloom's taxonomy involves creating new and independent concepts by utilizing the knowledge gained throughout the course. It's worth noting that this stage is not always necessary for all L&D courses. In most cases, courses focus on helping employees understand and apply the concepts rather than creating new content.


Practical application

To enhance the higher-order thinking skills and creativity in learners, the following activities can be applied:

  • Provide projects and assignments where learners will have to collaborate and explore, find solutions to solve problems, or find opportunities.


Example Questions which can be included in this stage - 

  • Can you devise a strategy to improve employee morale and motivation within the organization?

  • Can you design a marketing campaign for this hypothetical client?

  • How would you create a plan for this type of emergency?



Leveraging Technology to include Bloom’s taxonomy in creating eLearning Content


New educational technologies are transforming the eLearning landscape, and two of the most impactful are Learning Management Systems (LMS) and AI-driven adaptive learning systems. These platforms offer tools and features that align with Bloom's taxonomy levels, catering to diverse learning styles and preferences. 


eLearning developers can use interactive multimedia like videos, simulations, and gamified activities to help learners understand and apply concepts. Adaptive learning systems use AI to personalize the learning journey based on learners' strengths and weaknesses. By adjusting delivery and difficulty levels, they promote higher-order thinking.


Learning analytics of LMS offer insights into learners' progress, allowing instructors to provide targeted interventions. They both are highly beneficial when it comes to increasing learner engagement and creating consistency in their learning. 


Conclusion 


An image depicting a trainer guiding learners through different levels of cognitive skills, representing the implementation of Bloom's Taxonomy in eLearning initiatives

Bloom's Taxonomy is a useful tool for creating effective eLearning content that helps learners understand concepts deeply and apply them with confidence. By designing courses that cover each level, from remembering to creating, developers can create a comprehensive learning experience. The use of technology, such as LMS and adaptive learning systems, can also improve engagement and personalization, accommodating different learning needs.


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