Archive for the ‘Measuring & Evaluating’ Category

Learning Objectives – A Discussion of Bloom’s Taxonomy

July 23, 2012

How many of you create objectives that look like this?
“The learner will know how to format text.”

How do you test this? How do you know if a learner knows how to format text? What you really want to know is if the learner CAN format the text. They need to be able to apply the proper formatting if someone directs them to “italicize” and “center” a paragraph of text. You really don’t care if they can recite the steps to do this…you want them to do it. I have actually known peopel that “know” how to do lots of stuff, but can’t actually DO any of it. If they can, it isn’t very well. This is the issue with the DIY channels and Food channels. You can “know” how to do the stuff they show, but you probably aren’t “doing” much of it. This is also where “teaching to test” starts to come under fire – you are typically “knowing” or “understanding” rather than really comprehending, being able to apply, or analyze the information you “know”.

This post is going to discuss what Bloom’s Taxonomy is and share some objective key words you can use to steer your course development in the direction that meets this methodology.

Bloom’s Taxonomy has six cognitive objectives.

  1. Knowledge – Can the learner recall material they previously learned?
  2. Comprehension – Does the learner grasp the meaning of an idea? Can they restate it? Can they explain the idea?
  3. Application – Can the learner use the material they have learned in a new situation?
  4. Analysis – Can the learner separate the content into its separate parts and show a relationship between those parts?
  5. Synthesis – Can the learner put the separate ideas together and create a new whole, thus creating a new relationship between the parts?
  6. Evaluation – Can the learner judge the worth of material against some stated criteria?

As you can see, developing ideas around creating learning content is a lot more than just does someone know how to do something. Higher learning comes when you challenge a learner to take the idea they have learned and manipulate it in some way to create something new from that. Ever had to take content you just learned and re-explain it to someone new? You have to perform analysis, synthesis, and evaluate that content, rather than just recall it. This is the exact reason you learn content better when you have to share it with someone else.


Area of Expertise (AOE) – Measuring and Evaluating

June 4, 2012

This area of expertise is about gathering data to answer questions regarding the value and impact of learning solutions. Not only does it focus on individual programs or courses, but it also encompasses the overall measure of system effectiveness. It takes advantage of findings to increase effectiveness and provide further recommendations for change.

You can expect to see about 12% of the CPLP exam cover this AOE.

Some of the skills used in this AOE include:

  • Statistical theory and methods
  • Designing research
  • Analysis methods
  • Interpreting and reporting data
  • Data Evaluation 


When Instructional Design Theory Meets Reality

January 30, 2012

I ran into a very interesting set of personal case studies in Course Development – one I am currently working on and one that I developed several years back. Both courses were of similar content. They covered entry-level content for new users of our software.

The Courses and Their Development Style

I based the one I developed several years ago on sound instructional design – it is an eLearning course containing scenarios, simulations, and a workbook that interacts with the course. There are also assessments throughout the course.

I designed the current course as a game, in which the learner works through different challenges and earns letters throughout the course. The final assessment was that they could unscramble the letters to create a word that represents the module. Once the learner goes through the modules, the final assessment is for them to enter all the words to create a sentence.

The problem…both concepts missed the mark when we tested them in real environments.