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The Three Types of Learning
There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom (1956), identified three domains of educational activities:
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Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge) Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude) Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)
Since the work was produced by higher education, the words tend to be a little bigger than we normally use. Domains can be thought of as categories. Trainers often refer to these three domains as KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude). This taxonomy of learning behaviors can be thought of as "the goals of the training process." That is, after the training session, the learner should have acquired new skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes. The committee also produced an elaborate compilation for the cognitive and affective domains, but none for the psychomotor domain. Their explanation for this oversight was that they have little experience in teaching manual skills within the college level (I guess they never thought to check with their sports or drama department). This compilation divides the three domains into subdivisions, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The divisions outlined are not absolutes and there are other systems or hierarchies that have been devised in the educational and training world. However, Bloom's taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied one in use today.
The cognitive domain (Bloom, 1956) involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can take place.
Quote prices from memory to a customer. paraphrases. demonstrates. Distinguishes between facts and inferences. . differentiates. converts. names. and interpretation of instructions and problems. deconstructs. recalls. statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test. Key Words: defines. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Synthesis: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. describes. generalizes. translation. performing a complex task. separates. outlines. modifies. predicts. changes. solves. states. selects. Examples: Rewrites the principles of test writing. lists. discovers. produces. distinguishes. explains. identifies. State a problem in one's own words. Key Words: analyzes. Put Examples: Write a company operations or process manual. breaks down. constructs. diagrams. shows. interprets. relates. compares. Gathers information from Analysis: Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. matches. Explain in one's own words the steps for Comprehension: Understand the meaning. Knowledge: Recall data or information. defends. Translates an equation into a computer spreadsheet. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place. computes. prepares. illustrates. selects. gives Examples. manipulates. Examples: Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. infers. operates. translates. recognizes. predicts. interpolation. Apply laws of Application: Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Examples: Use a manual to calculate an employee's vacation time. reproduces. relates. outlines. Design a machine to perform a a department and selects the required tasks for training. estimates. uses. labels. infers. Knows the safety rules. Key Words: applies. summarizes. contrasts. identifies.Category Example and Key Words Examples: Recite a policy. discriminates. extends. Key Words: comprehends. knows. distinguishes. rewrites.
criticizes. critiques. writes. generates. plans. discriminates. combines.parts together to form a whole. composes. Affective Domain The affective domain (Krathwohl. and attitudes. Bloom. appreciation. devises. organizes. Hire the most qualified candidate. revises. Key Words: appraises. interprets. values. Examples: Select the most effective solution. explains. contrasts. modifies. specific task. summarizes. The five major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex: . relates. Masia. explains. supports. creates. Evaluation: Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials. Revises and process to improve the outcome. reorganizes. such as feelings. justifies. evaluates. with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure. Key Words: categorizes. defends. tells. Explain and justify a new budget. compiles. rearranges. compares. reconstructs. 1973) includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally. summarizes. describes. motivations. concludes. designs. rewrites. relates. Integrates training from several sources to solve a problem. enthusiasms.
complies. Creates a life plan in harmony with abilities. replies. Key Words: completes. works. Informs management on matters that one feels strongly about. differentiates. identifies. practices. behavior. Key Words: answers. family. phenomenon. Explains the role of systematic planning in solving problems. reports. in order to fully understand them. and beliefs. shares. Gives a presentation. follows. reports. reads. joins. follows. invites. Know the safety rules and practices them. locates. willingness to respond. erects. sits. explains. describes. recites. Key Words: asks. Responding to Phenomena: Active participation on the part of the learners. aids. demonstrates. labels. The emphasis is on comparing. greets. relating. names. Examples: Recognizes the need for balance between freedom and responsible Organization: Organizes values into priorities by contrasting different values. or behavior. presents. selects. and self. Shows the ability to solve problems. justifies. initiates. Listen for and remember the name of newly introduced people. models. writes. Valuing is based on the internalization of a set of specified values. uses. while clues to these values are expressed in the learner's overt behavior and are often identifiable. points to. Is sensitive towards individual and cultural differences (value diversity). selects. gives. and synthesizing values. democratic process. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more complex state of commitment. and creating an unique value system. Questions new ideals. helps. proposes. reads. tells. holds.Category Example and Key Words Examples: Listen to others with respect. assists. discusses. selects. interests. performs. or satisfaction in responding (motivation). Accepts responsibility for one's behavior. Accepts professional ethical standards. Receiving Phenomena: Awareness. Prioritizes time effectively to meet the needs of the organization. Examples: Participates in class discussions. Examples: Demonstrates belief in the Valuing: The worth or value a person attaches to a particular object. Learning outcomes may emphasize compliance in responding. etc. resolving conflicts between them. concepts. Attends and reacts to a particular phenomenon. willingness to hear. selected attention. forms. Proposes a plan to social improvement and follows through with commitment. studies. conforms. chooses. .
Examples: Shows self-reliance when working independently. coordination. synthesizes. modifies. and use of the motor-skill areas. solves. activities (displays teamwork). Values people for what they are. 1972) includes physical movement. serves. prepares. combines. through cue selection. Example and Key Words Examples: Detects non-verbal communication cues. formulates. procedures. The behavior is pervasive. alters. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then . completes. Key Words: acts. questions. revises. performs. Uses an objective approach in problem solving. Instructional objectives are concerned with the student's general patterns of adjustment (personal. proposes. emotional). consistent. identifies. discriminates. arranges. characteristic of the learner. Revises judgments and changes behavior in light of new evidence. defends. organizes. Displays a professional commitment to ethical practice on a daily basis. Cooperates in group Internalizing values (characterization): Has a value system that controls their behavior. The seven major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex: Category Perception: The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity. orders. displays. generalizes. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed. verifies. Psychomotor Domain The psychomotor domain (Simpson. compares. relates. social. not how they look. explains. practices. and most importantly. influences. integrates. or techniques in execution. This ranges from sensory stimulation. predictable. modifies. qualifies. listens. distance. precision.Key Words: adheres.
It includes mental. states. Repair a leaking faucet. Responds hand-signals of instructor while learning to operate a forklift. selects. mends. detects. physical. heats.to translation. relates. reacts. constructs. mixes. proceeds. fixes. measures. and emotional sets. car. calibrates. reproduce. displays. moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Key Words: begins. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person's response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets). responds Examples: Use a personal computer. displays. shows. fastens. grinds. Examples: Knows and acts upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Key Words: assembles. identifies. traces. Shows desire to learn a new Set: Readiness to act. sketches. NOTE: This subdivision of Psychomotor is closely related with the "Responding to phenomena" subdivision of the Affective domain. distinguishes. Follows Guided Response: The early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error. Adjusts heat of stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. volunteers. process (motivation). Recognize one's abilities and limitations. Drive a Mechanism: This is the intermediate stage in learning a complex skill. Complex Overt Response: The skillful Examples: Maneuvers a car into a tight . organizes. moves. differentiates. Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency. react. describes. isolates. Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing. explains. follows. Key Words: chooses. instructions to build a model. Examples: Performs a mathematical equation as demonstrated. dismantles. manipulates. Key Words: copies. Adjusts the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet.
constructs. mends. builds. Key Words: arranges. Example: Copying a work of art. Key Words: assembles. makes. builds. Adaptation: Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements. reorganizes. heats. displays. Other Psychomotor Domains As mentioned earlier. organizes. Proficiency is indicated by a quick. grinds. changes. Displays competence while playing the piano. more accurate. but others have. combines. fastens. measures. Examples: Responds effectively to unexpected experiences. Perform a task with a machine that it was not originally intended to do (machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task). accurate. Performance may be of low quality. initiate. but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker. better. creates. constructs. mixes. Examples: Constructs a new theory. The one discussed above is by Simpson (1972). rearranges. parallel parking spot. the committee did not produce a compilation for the psychomotor domain model. Key Words: adapts. Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills. and automatic performance. because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce. Creates a new gymnastic routine. varies. Origination: Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem. etc. manipulates. sketches. players are often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football. designs. There are two other popular versions: Dave's (1975): o Imitation: Observing and patterning behavior after someone else. Develops a new and comprehensive training programming. NOTE: The Key Words are the same as Mechanism. dismantles. calibrates. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Modifies instruction to meet the needs of the learners.performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns. fixes. originates. composes. alters. requiring a minimum of energy. For example. and highly coordinated performance. revises. This category includes performing without hesitation. .
etc.Basic movements such as walking.Advanced learned movements as one would find in sports or acting. such as gestures and facial expressions. achieving harmony and internal consistency. or grasping. so it will be "just right. Bloom's Revised Taxonomy Lorin Anderson.Reactions that are not learned. Examples: Michael Jordan playing basketball. with perhaps the two most prominent ones being. kinesthetic. This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate: . Example: Producing a video that involves music. Harrow's (1972): o o o o o o Reflex movements . color. Example: Working and reworking something. after taking lessons. becoming more exact.Response to stimuli such as visual. Skilled movements . Precision: Refining. 1) changing the names in the six categories from noun to verb forms. a former student of Bloom. sound." Articulation: Coordinating a series of actions. or reading about it. Naturalization: Having high level performance become natural. etc. No discursive communication . drama. Perception . Physical abilities . auditory. revisited the cognitive domain in the learning taxonomy in the midnineties and made some changes. and 2) slightly rearranging them. Example: Creating work on one's own. Nancy Lopez hitting a golf ball.o o o o Manipulation: Being able to perform certain actions by following instructions and practicing. without needing to think much about it.Effective body language. Fundamental movements . Few errors are apparent. or tactile discrimination.Stamina that must be developed for further development such as strength and agility.
Bloom B. New York: David McKay Co Inc. Harrow. Handbook II: Affective Domain. R. S. New York: David McKay Co. J.. B. Pohl. Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.: Hawker Brownlow. Michael. B. (1973). D.Reference 1.) Educational Innovators Press.. (2000). Bloom. The Classification of Educational Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain. S. (1972). Washington. Dave. Learning to Think. Inc. (1975). B. H. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Vic. Thinking to Learn: Models and Strategies to Develop a Classroom Culture of Thinking. Krathwohl. R. (R J Armstrong. Simpson E. Anita (1972) A taxonomy of psychomotor domain: a guide for developing behavioral objectives. DC: Gryphon House. the Classification of Educational Goals. Cheltenham. ed.. (1956). New York: David McKay. Developing and Writing Behavioural Objectives. & Masia. . Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
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