Bloom’s Taxonomy – Level 3 Apply

Apply

Bloom's TaxonomyLearners effectively apply concepts, principles, methods, rules, laws, theories, and other newly learned information to novel and concrete situations in the form of measurable activity with minimal direction.  In this stage, a change in behavior occurs.  For example, a learner will conduct an effective negotiation session or perform conflict management via role-play.  Learning outcomes require a higher level of understanding than those in the Knowledge and Understand domains. 

Performance Verbs

  • Adopt
  • Apply
  • Avail
  • Carry out
  • Capitalize
  • Change
  • Choose
  • Classify
  • Collect information
  • Compare and contrast
  • Compute
  • Conduct
  • Construct (e.g. charts and graphs)
  • Consume
  • Deduce
  • Demonstrate correct usage of a method or procedure
  • Devote
  • Discover
  • Dramatize
  • Draw conclusions
  • Edit
  • Employ
  • Execute
  • Exercise
  • Exert
  • Exhibit
  • Experiment
  • Exploit
  • Handle
  • Illustrate
  • Implement
  • Interpret
  • Make
  • Make use of the known
  • Manage
  • Manipulate
  • Mobilize
  • Model
  • Modify
  • Operate
  • Organize
  • Paint
  • Perform
  • Practice
  • Predict
  • Prepare
  • Profit by
  • Produce
  • Put into action
  • Put together
  • Put to use
  • Question
  • React
  • Relate
  • Report
  • Respond
  • Role-play
  • Schedule
  • Share
  • Shop
  • Show
  • Sketch
  • Solve problems (real life and mathematical)
  • Take up
  • Translate
  • Try
  • Use
  • Utilize
  • Wield

Examples of Activities or Uses

  • Apply accounting strategies to understand financial documents
  • Apply ideas to new situations
  • Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test
  • Apply learned information to a new situation
  • Apply rules of correct customer service protocol while interacting with a customer in xyz situation
  • Apply rule to on-the-job situation
  • Apply technique learned to an authentic situation
  • Apply the conflict model as learned in a role play situation
  • Assemble a collection of photographs relating to the topic
  • Capitalize on the idea of a social media marketing – create a social media marketing plan with various tools, promotional materials, and advertising that will promote your social media resources
  • Classify product types
  • Command others step-by-step to perform a new procedure
  • Compare and contrast attitudes toward e-learning today and in the 1990s
  • Conduct a meeting
  • Conduct an experiment
  • Conduct an interview
  • Create a forecast based on newly learned information
  • Describe a situation you have encountered that is similar to the one we just discussed
  • Determine your curriculum outline for a new training program
  • Dub video or TV show
  • Graph information
  • How does the principle of supply and demand affect your business plan
  • Interview colleagues on daily activities
  • Make a diagram, sculpture, illustration, mobile, collage, model, map, cartoon,
  • Operate computer program to obtain a goal or objective
  • Organize the types of fractures from most severe to less severe
  • Participate in virtual simulation
  • Play a computer game with tasks that include application of skills
  • Plan a corporate event with specific company guidelines and budget
  • Presentation
  • Produce a newspaper, article, story, etc.
  • Produce questions
  • Put information in graph form
  • Questioning
    • Provide an instance which ___.
    • How is x related to y?
    • How is x an example of y?
    • How would you use this information?
    • How is x an example of y?
    • How is x related to y?
    • Why is xyz significant?
  • Role-plays
  • Select examples of how “private” social networking can impact one’s “public” internet footprint
  • Select the most appropriate procedure for xyz situation
  • Simulation activities
  • Sketch a picture that relates to your ideas on effective leadership
  • Solve a puzzle
  • Solve problems
    • based on known information
    • Use knowledge from various areas to find solutions to problems
  • Suggest actual uses
  • Upload and share material
  • Use a manual to calculate an employee’s vacation time
  • Using the flow chart you created on handling customer complaints, determine which steps one should take to create customer satisfaction
  • What could you say in xyz situation to overcome objections?
  • Write a business proposal to your finance director
  • Write a telephone conversation between a seller and a client
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What is Bloom’s Taxonomy and Why Should it Be Used in Workplace Training?

I first learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy in my education classes during college which were geared toward K-12 teaching pedagogy.  We were taught that we should incorporate all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, students should master one before moving on to the next, and that the next level up is always more difficult than the last.  HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) were all the rage and Bloom’s Taxonomy was one way to achieve this.  While I’m sure Bloom’s Taxonomy was created primarily for academic learning, I believe it is relevant for all types of learning, including workplace training.  Why?

Bloom’s Taxonomy Helps Achieve Training Goals and Objectives

The goal of workplace training is for learners to not only remember and recall facts and procedures (which is the absolute lowest level of training) but to also be able to apply their learning to authentic workplace situations to improve on-the-job performance.  In order for training programs to be effective, it is vital that learners bridge the gap between their knowledge and its application.  One way to achieve this is to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy into the curriculum.  It may not be necessary to include all levels into all training programs but rather the aspects that are appropriate to the learning goals and objectives.  In addition, Bloom’s Taxonomy can serve as a helpful checklist for planning, designing, assessing, and evaluating your training program and its effectiveness.  The Bloom’s Taxonomy model is divided into three parts or domains:

  1. Cognitive – Intellect – Knowledge
  2. Psychomotor – Motor skills and coordination – Skills
  3. Affective –  Feelings and emotions – Attitude

Trainers often refer to these three categories simply as Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude. 

Six Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

In this blog post, I am going to focus on the Cognitive Domain which includes the following six categories starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. Each category can be thought of as a degree of difficulty and builds a foundation for the next level.  As a result, the first one should be mastered before the next one can take place.  Take a look at the chart of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  It includes each category in the cognitive domain.  I like to think of it as a mountain of intellect with the bottom level (Remember) creating the foundation for all learning that will take place.  Create is the last and ultimate level and once a learner has reached the Create level that have reached the pinnacle of learning that set of material. 

Level 1 – Remember

The learner memorizes and recalls ideas, facts, theories, and other specific bits of information.  No change of behavior is expected at this point.  Notice how this is the bottom, and the longest layer.  This is the foundation of learning since the learner must remember the information before progressing to the next level.

Examples:

List three procedures learned at workplace safety training.

Define the concepts of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains as they relate to performance-based training.

What is bubble gum?

Level 2 – Understand

The learner demonstrates understanding of the material or information by describing, discussing, explaining, identifying, summarizing, and translating.  This second layer often goes with the first (Remember) and again typically no real change in behavior occurs at this level.  However, the learning outcomes go one step beyond memorization. 

Examples:

Explain the specific safety model learned in safety training in your own words.

Summarize the major findings from the case-study that pertain to the role of the cognitive domain.

How do you use bubble gum?

Level 3 – Apply

The learner correctly applies newly learned rules, concepts, principles, and theories to new and concrete situations.  This may include the application of rules, concepts, principles, laws, theories, and methods.  Learning outcomes require a higher level of understanding than in Understanding and this is the level where a change in behavior often begins.

Examples:

Correctly apply the safety training in various role-play situations.

Outline the major elements of a successful training program that takes into account the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of the participants.

With this sample of bubble gum, demonstrate how to blow a bubble.

Level 4 – Analyze

The learner is able to break down information into smaller parts, including the identification of parts, analysis of relationships between parts, and recognition of the organizational principles involved so that its organizational structure may be understood.  Learning outcomes represent a higher intellectual level than comprehension and application because they require an understanding of both the content and the structural form of the material.  At this level, the learner will analyze, compare/contrast, experiment, examine, differentiate, and distinguish one element from another.

Examples:

Analyze what there are safety risks at work and examine different ways in which they can be avoided.

Compare and contrast the “do’s” and “don’ts” of effective training programs.

Distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of chewing bubble gum.

Level 5 – Evaluate

The learner makes conscious value judgments of material for a given purpose and are based on definite criteria that is either given to the student or is determined by the student.  Learning outcomes at this level are very high because the learner must be able to assess, defend, judge, support, evaluate, argue, and value information and concepts. 

Examples:

Evaluate a variety of options for handling various safety scenarios.  Justify why a particular model/procedure would be best used in the situation.

Name and rank in order five evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the training program from the most beneficial to the least and provide reasons for each choice.

Prioritize the top three qualities of your idea bubble gum and justify why they are important.

Level 6 – Create

The learner puts ideas together into a new or unique product or plan which involves advanced, creative, out-of-the-box thinking with an emphasis on the formulation of new patterns and structure.  At this final level, the learner will arrange, compose, construct, create, design, develop, propose, organize, and manage a new product. 

Examples:

Create an evaluation checklist that a trainer could use during a training session to identify and document strengths and weaknesses of student performance.

Create an original lesson plan containing elements from the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains based on the learners’ abilities and needs in your workplace setting.

Create and describe the ideal/perfect bubble gum.

These are just a few examples and an overview of how to apply Bloom’s Taxonomy in workplace training.  I hope you found it useful!  Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that will include more detail for each level.

Will Technology Take the Place of Face-to-Face Instruction? Let’s Hope Not!

As we all know, technology is opening a lot of doors by allowing learners to get additional training and an education that in the past was not even remotely possible.  While this is definitely a positive step in the right direction, there have also been some controversial viewpoints regarding technology in training and education.  One of the biggest is that human instructors will become obsolete.  While technology can provide learning experiences in ways that a single instructor within a confined classroom of four walls cannot, there are many things a human instructor can provide that learners will never get from a machine. 

I have always and will always believe that learning institutions, schools, and corporate training centers will still need live, face-to-face instruction. Computers and technology may be a means of instruction but it isn’t the end all, be all. We aren’t robots, we are humans, and we still need humans to help facilitate class. Maybe our roles as instructors will change, how we train may change, but as long as we have human beings who need to learn we will need human instructors.

Computers are lifeless machines. They can’t be there to truly motivate learners when they need to be motivated just like my human teachers did when I was in school. Computers may be able to detect student work if it is correct or incorrect and provide clues as to the correct answer or give the correct answer but it can’t provide a teachable moment like a human instructor can. In my own classroom I have guided students who didn’t quite have the answer and led them to the correct answer or solution by asking them questions and probing for more information, why they were thinking in that manner, etc. and they ended up having an “a-ha moment”. It was my gentle, yet persevering guidance that led them to their own discovery, a discovery that they will never forget. A computer can’t watch the eyes or faces of learners and see them in despair if they don’t understand and make adjustments to the lesson or find better ways to teach so they understand. A computer can’t immediately answer questions and personalize the answers based on the learner’s level of understanding.  A computer can’t praise and motivate learners to success and help them cope when they fail or don’t get their way.  A computer or technology can’t teach certain on-the-job skills. There needs to be an intermediary, an instructor, to help guide and ensure learners’ success and to help guide them to become productive in the workplace.  Technology is an invaluable tool and I support elearning 100% but it is not meant to completely replace the human factor. 
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