What is taxonomy and how can we use it
to increase deeper thinking? Taxonomy
is a system of classification; taxonomy in education is a classification system of
actions associated with intended cognitive processes for learning. Theoretical perspectives of Bloom's Taxonomy, Marzano's Levels of Understanding, and Webb's Depth of Knowledge, converge
to identify how learners encounter and work with knowledge.
The adjacent alignment chart utilized these frameworks to develop objectives and outcomes that support student-centered learning. Reigeluth's elaboration theory impresses the importance of the macro-micro structure to embed objectives for deeper-learning opportunities. The elaboration theory is a macro first-micro next approach whereby the conceptual big idea is presented in full context first and then embodies sequential micro strategies with increasing complexity to create connections. (Akella, 2013). The whole identifies what the students are going to be learning. As noted by Akella (2013), "research show students learn faster and better if he/she is presented with a holistic vision of the entire material right in the beginning". This macro-component values the students need to know the path and goal of learning as well as is the catalyst for redefining learning objectives to ensure context and proper schemata is offered. The micro-approach offers the sequential organization of content in chunks to encourage assimilation and synthesis within context. Malcom Knowles Whole-Part-Whole (WPW) learning model parallels the macro-micro framework. Both suggests students’ need to know the path of goal and instruction prior to learning via use of graphic organizers and epitomes which sets the context for the learning as well as assists the learner in creating connections to the “why” of learning.
The increasing complexity of the micro-strategies will be supported through the embodiment of the cognitive taxonomy system and the learning objectives identified. Infusing William Horton's absorb-do-connect activities further promotes opportunities for students to engage in content material in a student-centered experience.
Purpose: The assessment taxonomy chart presented here exemplifies my planning and considerations for Macro-Micro, Whole-part-whole (WPW) instructional design and delivery for the Common Assessment for Student Learning course. I have remained cognizant to maintain the alignment of the overall course objectives in relation with the individual objectives, ensuring the activities and assessments build from simple to complex and the individual objectives are broken down for further alignment through taxonomy to then reflect on each learning objective to evaluate its effectiveness and alignment within the continuum of learning.
Reflection: Working through this process, I realized some of the thinking skill words (verbs) I initially used in the learning objective (LO) did not necessarily align with the assessment or truly represent the intended outcome. I found myself further analyzing the cognitive process dimension within Bloom's Taxonomy and revising my taxonomy verbiage. I was developing/writing the learning objective as an overarching goal, however I needed to take it further to break it apart into micro components to ensure it aligned with the whole. I took an additional step to color code each learning objective and assessment to align with Bloom’s taxonomy. Further revisions included changing one of the assessment choices from a reflective post to a concept map to align with the appropriate taxonomy. Inferences align with linking prior knowledge with new content; using
The process of completing the assessment taxonomy chart provided a visual representation as to where my objectives and outcomes fall within the continuum of the knowledge dimension from concrete to abstract as well as the cognitive dimension from lower-order to higher-order thinking skills. Being aware that micro components move from simple to complex, the charting process assists in understanding the progression of the course activities as well as how they are building to deeper learning. The completed chart portrayed a range, yet hovered within the higher-order, complex range.