Garreth Thomson

Chemistry With Science

Bellshill Academy

  • Digital Learning: Methodologies

What happens when Bloom’s Taxonomy is introduced to online learning?

Rationale

Bloom’s Taxonomy has been used for decades as it allows teachers to check against
attainment standards and aim for classroom goals using questioning techniques derived from
the model.
Bloom’s provides a powerful measurement tool for thinking and allows a scaffolding system
to check pupils thinking and better equip then them to answer questions from Lower Order
Thinking right up to Higher Order Thinking (Forehand, cited in Orey, 2010). Bloom’s
Taxonomy is a hierarchy of thinking levels which differentiates questioning based on how
much level of thought is needed to answer it. It is split into six separate levels ranging from
the bottom simpler Lower Order Thinking to the Medium and Higher Order Thinking of level
six. Educators are encouraged to use action words and outcomes to enable better questioning
and deduce where a pupil’s knowledge level is at. (Blyth et al., 1966).
Bloom’s Taxonomy can contribute to better assessment and attainment goals in the
classroom. Bloom originally planned the Taxonomy not only as a measurement tool, but as a
basis for common language to orienteer learners around new concepts and a clear concise
way to measure assessment (Krathwohl, 2002). It was found that assessments based around
Bloom’s Taxonomy influenced students’ attainment in answering comprehension type
questions. The ability to correctly answer questions was linked to the level of thinking
process based on Blooms Taxonomy (Veeravagu et al., 2010).
Science is a broad subject with a large curriculum, deep knowledge base and as such requires
critical thinking skills to understand and apply this knowledge. Questioning in science is
fundamental to learning, developing critical thinking, and addressing preconceived
misconceptions. How questions are framed in science can be the difference between a learner
understanding a difficult concept or not (Department for Education, 2004). Therefore, proper
development of bloom taxonomy in questioning can promote better logic, reasoning, and
evaluation of information. In relation to that Lord and Baviskar (2006) stated that science is
taught as detailed, factual content and most pupils are only able to recall lower order thinking
such as terms and definitions and there is little focus on higher order thinking such as
applying information and analysing. (Lord and Baviskar, 2006). As such the hope of this
enquiry is to look in detail at the mid and upper level thinking skills and questioning
technique involved.

Aims

The aim of this enquiry was to discover how many pupils could better develop
comprehension of a topic using Bloom’s Taxonomy to structure questions. Further to this, it
was also aimed that pupils would as result develop better Higher Order Thinking skills and
therefore complete higher ability extension tasks based on Bloom’s Higher Levels of
thinking.

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