I selected this resource because it gives fairly holistic information and the history of Bloom’s taxonomy. It made me understand the taxonomy in a different view because there was deeper knowledge about Bloom’s taxonomy. Besides, the resource provides related links to other resources that I could get more information if I wanted to. From this resource, I got a better sense of Bloom’s taxonomy which would help me with organizing objectives, improving questioning skills and designing valid assessment tasks.
Patricia Armstrong. Center for Teaching. “Bloom’s Taxonomy”. Accessed June 19, 2015. http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/
This resource clearly lists the main characteristics of adult learners and related teaching strategies. Although it focuses on online participants, the characteristics are more or less the same as the ones of adult learners in traditional classes. The teaching strategies may not be an only solution, but they help me think about how to improve my instruction. For example, the characteristic of “adults have a problem centered approach to learning” reminds me to “show immediately how new knowledge or skills can be applied to current problems or situations.”
RIT On-line Learning. “Characteristics of Adult Learners.” Accessed June 18, 2015 http://www.ode.state.or.us/wma/teachlearn/testing/resources/essentialskillreading _hs_level3_characteristicsadultlearners.pdf
I selected this resource because it gave an explicit definition of a positive learning environment. More importantly, it reminds me “A positive learning environment never happens by accident – it is the direct result of actions taken by instructors who understand adult learners.” which lets me reflect on my own mistakes rather than complain students if an ideal environment would not occur. In the future, I would try to avoid making adults feel helpless “by creating an environment of clear expectations, open dialogue, and professional feedback.”
James Ballou. Bright Hub. “Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Adults”. Accessed June 18, 2015. http://www.brighthub.com/education/online-learning/articles/41064.aspx#imgn_3
This resource presents so practical techniques which I could use in my classes. I really like the first one “Become a role model for student interest.” In my experience, it proved very true. I believe that students will be inspired by your passion and enthusiasm. I think a good instructor must love his/her job and care his/her students so that students will be more active and positive. In my future career, I would like to try all these techniques to motive my students.
Center for Teaching. “Strategies for Motivating Students.” Accessed June 18, 2015 http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/motivating-students/#strategies
I selected this resource because it focused on how to give feedback to an essay which I did a lot to my graduate students. One of the most helpful strategies for me is “talk about the essay not the student ” which reminds me that once a student of mine was upset with my feedback because he felt I was against him. Also, sometimes I made comments on every problem at once, not realizing students could be overwhelmed. Now I learned how to give an appropriate feedback.
Christopher Manion. Writing Across the curriculum. “Techniques for Responding”. Accessed June 18, 2015. https://carmenwiki.osu.edu/display/osuwacresources/Techniques+for+Responding
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by Patricia Armstrong, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching
- Background Information
- The Original Taxonomy
- The Revised Taxonomy
- Why Use Bloom’s Taxonomy?
- Further Information
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl published a framework for categorizing educational goals: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Familiarly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, this framework has been applied by generations of K-12 teachers and college instructors in their teaching.
The framework elaborated by Bloom and his collaborators consisted of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The categories after Knowledge were presented as “skills and abilities,” with the understanding that knowledge was the necessary precondition for putting these skills and abilities into practice.
While each category contained subcategories, all lying along a continuum from simple to complex and concrete to abstract, the taxonomy is popularly remembered according to the six main categories.
Here are the authors’ brief explanations of these main categories in from the appendix of Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Handbook One, pp. 201-207):
- Knowledge “involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting.”
- Comprehension “refers to a type of understanding or apprehension such that the individual knows what is being communicated and can make use of the material or idea being communicated without necessarily relating it to other material or seeing its fullest implications.”
- Application refers to the “use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations.”
- Analysis represents the “breakdown of a communication into its constituent elements or parts such that the relative hierarchy of ideas is made clear and/or the relations between ideas expressed are made explicit.”
- Synthesis involves the “putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole.”
- Evaluation engenders “judgments about the value of material and methods for given purposes.”
The 1984 edition of Handbook One is available in the CFT Library in Calhoun 116. See its ACORN record for call number and availability.
While many explanations of Bloom’s Taxonomy and examples of its applications are readily available on the Internet, this guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy is particularly useful because it contains links to dozens of other web sites.
Barbara Gross Davis, in the “Asking Questions” chapter of Tools for Teaching, also provides examples of questions corresponding to the six categories. This chapter is not available in the online version of the book, but Tools for Teaching is available in the CFT Library. See its ACORN record for call number and availability.
A group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists published in 2001 a revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the title A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. This title draws attention away from the somewhat static notion of “educational objectives” (in Bloom’s original title) and points to a more dynamic conception of classification.
The authors of the revised taxonomy underscore this dynamism, using verbs and gerunds to label their categories and subcategories (rather than the nouns of the original taxonomy). These “action words” describe the cognitive processes by which thinkers encounter and work with knowledge:
In the revised taxonomy, knowledge is at the basis of these six cognitive processes, but its authors created a separate taxonomy of the types of knowledge used in cognition:
- Factual Knowledge
- Knowledge of terminology
- Knowledge of specific details and elements
- Conceptual Knowledge
- Knowledge of classifications and categories
- Knowledge of principles and generalizations
- Knowledge of theories, models, and structures
- Procedural Knowledge
- Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms
- Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods
- Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures
- Metacognitive Knowledge
- Strategic Knowledge
- Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge
Mary Forehand from the University of Georgia provides a guide to the revised version giving a brief summary of the revised taxonomy and a helpful table of the six cognitive processes and four types of knowledge.
The authors of the revised taxonomy suggest a multi-layered answer to this question, to which the author of this teaching guide has added some clarifying points:
- Objectives (learning goals) are important to establish in a pedagogical interchange so that teachers and students alike understand the purpose of that interchange.
- Teachers can benefit from using frameworks to organize objectives because
- Organizing objectives helps to clarify objectives for themselves and for students.
- Having an organized set of objectives helps teachers to:
- “plan and deliver appropriate instruction”;
- “design valid assessment tasks and strategies”;and
- “ensure that instruction and assessment are aligned with the objectives.”
Section III of A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, entitled “The Taxonomy in Use,” provides over 150 pages of examples of applications of the taxonomy. Although these examples are from the K-12 setting, they are easily adaptable to the university setting.
Section IV, “The Taxonomy in Perspective,” provides information about 19 alternative frameworks to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and discusses the relationship of these alternative frameworks to the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Techniques for Responding
Like many instructors, many students have been trained by past educational experiences to think of all written comments on their papers as negative and evaluative. Comments on final drafts often serve to justify the grade; even if we do not intend them to, students will frequently read comments with this purpose in mind.
Students also have assumptions about the ways teachers respond to them. Even helpful questions can be read by students as being sarcastic or critical. Therefore, it is a good idea to discuss or demonstrate your responding strategies in class before students receive their first written responses.
Good Responding Strategies
Constructive comments aim at helping writers not only to understand their problems with the specific text in question, but also to develop a critical approach and strategy that can be used in future writing situations.
- Talk about “the essay” not the student: When explaining problems in the text, avoid using “you.” “You do not explain well enough” can be read as a personal attack, but “the text doesn’t explain well enough” locates the problem in a more detached manner.
- Ensure your comments reflect your priorities: Respond with the assignment’s primary goals in mind, using a hierarchy of priorities for responding to various elements. If 80% of your comments are about grammar, the message this may send is that grammar is more important than other elements.
- Advise future action: Comments should also provide guidance for future revision or learning, even if it is a final draft. In your terminal comments, you may wish to give students a few things to revise or pay attention to next time. Instead of just telling them what to avoid in the future, try finding positive verbs for the same action (organize, look up, create transitions, introduce, explain, remember, include).
- Positive comments: It is important to praise the text for what is done well. When revising, a student who has received no positive comments is unlikely to know what is worth keeping in the draft. The student may actually revise portions of the text that needed no correction if they receive only negative comments from their instructor.
- Explain good elements: Positive comments also function to support the students in their learning, and reinforce good writing strategies. The word “good” may give students a nice feeling, but if the comments do not explain why, they may think it is only your personal preference.
Negative or Inappropriate Comments
Negative responding strategies offer little concrete direction for the writer and may exist simply to justify a grade or explain why something does not work well. These comments do not encourage the student, but may actually serve to confuse and frustrate them in the absence of positive statements.
- No comments: Offering no comments other than the letter grade is comparable to giving punishment or reward without telling a person why. In many cases good and bad writers alike may feel that their grade was due to luck or the teacher’s mood or personality. They may wonder whether you actually read the paper.
- Vague and sparse comments: Other instructors try to save time by writing a few single-word comments on the margins or a few checkmarks. This leads to confusion for the student as they are left to puzzle over your purpose, tone, and the implications of these fragmented words or symbols.
- Too many comments: Presenting students with an overwhelming amount of information about their texts can lead to discouragement. Students do not know which comments to address first.
- Changing the student’s text: As experienced writers, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to rewrite certain sentences of a text because we may feel we can think of a better way to make a point, a more fitting word in a particular passage, etc. It is more educational for students, however, to work through problematic sections of text, even if it takes them several attempts.
- Grammar only: Looking only for grammar errors, and assuming “good writing” is synonymous with “correct grammar,” can lead students to learn nothing about more global aspects of writing. If instructors continually correct these errors for the students, they do not learn how to find, understand, and self-correct them. Using codes such as “awk,” “sp,” or “frag,” is problematic when many students, do not know what these mean. It is more helpful and educational to identify patterns of grammatical mistakes in a student’s writing and provide explanations to them as to the ways in which to fix the particular issue.
- Negative only: Confronted solely with explanations or comments on negative aspects of their essays, students may wonder if they have done anything right. If anger, frustration, or sarcasm appears in comments, students may easily become discouraged and wonder if the instructor has a personal bias against them.
Marginal vs. Terminal Comments
Marginal comments are either written in the margins or directly in the text of an essay, whereas terminal comments are usually lengthy and are written at either the end of the essay or on a separate page. Marginal comments are more suited for feedback on specific sections of the text and terminal comments are usually saved for more global concerns affecting the whole essay. It is important to provide a writer with both types of comments because their physical positioning allows you to provide different types of feedback. Although marginal comments are more suited to feedback on specific sections of the text, terminal comments are usually saved for larger concerns affecting the entirety of the essay.
- Responding as a Reader: You experience the reading as a person, not necessarily as a teacher, meaning that your primary concern is reading and not evaluating.
- Asking Questions: The most effective comments to help students revise and develop a critical sense are comments worded as questions. Questions can refer to content, organization, or even grammar and word choice.
- Noting Patterns: Although our first tendency as graders is to mark every error, this is overwhelming for the writer. It is more helpful for students to note patterns in organization, grammar, or punctuation. Normally it is preferable to explain an error at its first occurrence and to note its recurrence throughout the paper. Obviously, you cannot do this for every error, but try to note those that seem to intrude most on your ability to read the paper smoothly.
- Positive Comments: Tell the student what you liked about the paper first.
- Priorities: Do not try to comment on every problem. Limit your criticisms to a few key concerns so that students are not overwhelmed.
- Specific Suggestions: Offer suggestions for how the student can address the concerns expressed in the comments.
- Notation of Patterns: Note patterns here if you have not already done so in the margins.
- Suggestions about Resources: Point out resources students can refer to and/or invite them to come and see you if possible. Resources might include The Writing Center, peers, yourself, a grammar handbook, or a content-specific reference.
Unfortunately, there is no formula for the most successful types of comments, consequently each teacher needs to articulate a conscious rationale and philosophy for commenting in the way he or she does. In other words, many different types of comments can work as long as you understand why you comment in the way you do and how you believe these comments will help students in the future.
Strategies for Motivating Students
Following are some research-based strategies for motivating students to learn.
- Become a role model for student interest. Deliver your presentations with energy and enthusiasm. As a display of your motivation, your passion motivates your students. Make the course personal, showing why you are interested in the material.
- Get to know your students. You will be able to better tailor your instruction to the students’ concerns and backgrounds, and your personal interest in them will inspire their personal loyalty to you. Display a strong interest in students’ learning and a faith in their abilities.
- Use examples freely. Many students want to be shown why a concept or technique is useful before they want to study it further. Inform students about how your course prepares students for future opportunities.
- Use a variety of student-active teaching activities. These activities directly engage students in the material and give them opportunities to achieve a level of mastery.
- Teach by discovery. Students find as satisfying as reasoning through a problem and discovering the underlying principle on their own.
- Cooperative learning activities are particularly effective as they also provide positive social pressure.
- Set realistic performance goals and help students achieve them by encouraging them to set their own reasonable goals. Design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
- Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading. Tests should be a means of showing what students have mastered, not what they have not. Avoid grading on the curve and give everyone the opportunity to achieve the highest standard and grades.
- Be free with praise and constructive in criticism. Negative comments should pertain to particular performances, not the performer. Offer nonjudgmental feedback on students’ work, stress opportunities to improve, look for ways to stimulate advancement, and avoid dividing students into sheep and goats.
- Give students as much control over their own education as possible. Let students choose paper and project topics that interest them. Assess them in a variety of ways (tests, papers, projects, presentations, etc.) to give students more control over how they show their understanding to you. Give students options for how these assignments are weighted.
- Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do, Harvard University Press, 2004, pages 32-42.
- Linda Nilson, Teaching At Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors, 2nd edition, Anker Publishing, 2003, pages 41-44.
- Matt DeLong and Dale Winter, Learning to Teaching and Teaching to Learn Mathematics: Resources for Professional Development, Mathematical Association of America, 2002, pages 159-168.
from: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/motivating-students/#strategies Accessed June 18, 2015