- From a learning psychological perspective, Levels of learning refer to competencies a learner can achieve.
- Taking into account learning levels is a key issue in instructional design
- Instructional design also has to clearly identify the level of instruction a design is aiming at.
2 Taxonomies of learning levels
- Bruner (1966) distinguishes between passive and active learning, between what we know and what we do with what we know.
- He also presented a three stage learning model “which he calls enactive, iconic and symbolic and are solidly based on the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget. The first, the enactive level, is where the child manipulate materials directly. Then he proceed to the iconic level, where he deals with mental images of objects but does not manipulate them directly. At last he moves to the symbolic level, where he is strictly manipulating symbols and no longer mental images or objects. The optimum learning process should according to Bruner go through these stages.” (J.Bruner, retrieved 11:12, 26 June 2007 (MEST)).
2.2 Blooms taxonomy
In education, Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives is still the reference regarding detailed competencies that can be achieved through learning, i.e. that can be related to demonstrated skills (outcome-illustrating verbs). Firstly he distinguished among 3 broad categories:
- the Cognitive Domain
- the Affective Domain
- the Psychomotor Domain
Within the Cognitive Domain, Bloom defines 6 levels of intellectual behavior that are important for learning.
This taxonomy allows to defined the desired learning level of a target audience and then to develop an appropriate design that will help the learner achieve this desired learning goal.
In addition, this taxonomy (not just this short summary) is useful to build behavioral assessment instruments. The "verbs" in the above tell give a hint on what an evaluator should observe.
- Example in use: Bloom's Taxonomy for Corrosion Training. This page shows how to apply Bloom's taxonomy to training levels in an engineering program.
2.3 Krathwohl's revised Taxonomy
The knowledge dimension (Krathwohl, 2002: 214)
The cognitive process dimension (Krathwohl, 2002: 215)
Filling in the following table allows to “classify objectives, activities, and assessments provides a clear, concise, visual representation of a particular course or unit.” (Krathwohl, 2002: 218)
|Cognitive process dimension|
2.4 Gagne's hierarchy
Gagne (1965 ?) also postulated a hierarchy of eight different learning types:
On the basis of Bloom's taxonomy of learning, these levels were later, in the Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction (Gagné, 1985) reformulated as taxonomy of learning outcomes:
Within the intellectual skills group there is a learning hierarchy, e.g. rules can not be learned without mastering a defined concept. To prepare an instructional design for a given learning objective, one has to construct a learning hierarchy (sometimes called a task analysis) and ask "what are the intellectual skills one needs to have mastered in order to achieve an outcome ?" Since Gagne is also an instructional designer he formulated the "nine events of instruction" lesson design model that draws both from behaviorism (lower levels) and cognitivism (higher levels). An idea that has been taking up by many modern instructional design models is that teaching should transition from simple to complex skills. It should also be noted that outcomes can build on various components, e.g. a defined concept can build on facts (verbal information) and appropriate attitudes.
3 Levels of instruction
3.1 Mayes and Fowler model
In the context of usability of educational software, Mayes and Fowler (1999), present a simple three stage model that is popular in e-learning.
This leads to the distinction of primary, secondary and tertiary courseware.
3.2 Merrill's Levels of Instructional Strategy
See Merrill's first principles of instruction for background information or Merrill (in press, 2006).
Critical variables are learning efficiency, effectiveness and engagement
- Level 0 Instructional Strategy -- Information Only
- Presentation of information.
- with or without accompanying recall questions
- Level 1 Instructional Strategy -- Information-only plus demonstration
- adds consistent demonstrations (portrayals) of scaled complex tasks.
- This will add some effectiveness and engagement under the condition that demonstrations use relevant contents and media (e.g. appropriate multimedia presentations).
- Level 2 Instructional Strategy -- Information-only plus demonstration plus application
- adds consistent application of scaled complex tasks with corrective feedback.
- In addition, application coaching should diminish gradually over time.
- Level 3 Instructional Strategy -- Task-centered with demonstration and application
- includes consistent demonstrations, application of all component skills.
- In addition, task progression will increase effectiveness, efficiency and engagement.
- Kearsley's TIP Explorations in Learning & Instruction: The Theory Into Practice Database
- This is one of the best sources on Learning Theory.
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- Learning Domains or Bloom's Taxonomy
- Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Bloom 1956)
- Robert Gagne
- Applying Learning Theories to Online Instructional Design
- The Taxonomy Of Educational Objectives
- Bloom's Taxonomy (Wikibooks)
- Bloom's Taxonomy Visualizations Cheat Sheet (edVibes / G. Alex Ambrose, 2009)
- Gagne's Outcomes of Learning, part of Edward Vockell's Educational Psychology: A Practical Approach on-line book, retrieved 21:12, 3 October 2006 (MEST).
- Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, part of Edward Vockell's Educational Psychology: A Practical Approach on-line book, retrieved 21:12, 3 October 2006 (MEST).
- Bloom's Taxonomy and Critical Thinking, Barbara Fowler, Critical Thinking Accross the Curriculum Project.
- A., Dirks, C., & Wenderoth, M. (2008). Biology in bloom: implementing Bloom's taxonomy to enhance student learning in biology. Life Sciences Education, 7(4), 368. Traduction française de la [[Taxonomie_de_Bloom_adapt%C3%A9e_%C3%A0_la_Biologie Table 3 Traduction de la Table 1]
- Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.
- Bloom Benjamin S. and David R. Krathwohl. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York, Longmans, Green, 1956. ISBN 0582280109
- Bruner, J. S. (1966). Toward a theory of instruction. Cambridge MA: The Belnap Press of Harvard University Press.
- Driscoll, M. (1991, 1994) Psychology of Learning for Instruction: Allyn and Bacon.
- Gagne, Robert M. (1975). Essentials of Learning for Instruction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- Gagne, Robert M. (1985). The Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction, Harcourt, ISBN 0030636884
- Gagne, Robert M., Briggs, Leslie, J., Wager, Walter, F. (1985). Principles of Instructional Design, Wadsworth, ISBN 0030347572
- Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). “A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy: An overview.” Theory into Practice 41(Autumn): 212–218.
- Leonard, W. Patrick (1975), Essay Review - Instructional Design: An Essay Review of Three Books, American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4. (Autumn, 1975), pp. 507-511. Abstract /PDF
- Laurillard, D (1993) Rethinking University Teaching. A framework for the effective use of educational technology, Routledge, London.
- Mayes, J.T. & Fowler, C.J.H. ( 1999) Learning Technology and Usability: a framework for understanding courseware. Interacting with Computers 11, 485-497doi:10.1016/S0953-5438(98)00065-4
- Merrill, M. D. (In Press). Levels of Instructional Strategy. Educational Technology (2006) [PDF Preprint]
- Merriënboer, Jeroen (1997). Training Complex Cognitive Skills: A Four-Component Instructional Design Model for Technical Training. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
- Wilson, Brent, G. (1997) Reflections on Constructivism and Instructional Design, Preprint for (C. R. Dills and A. A. Romiszowski (Eds.), Instructional Development Paradigms Englewood Cliffs NJ: Educational Technology Publications. HTML
- Vockell, Edward, Educational Psychology: A Practical Approach, on-line book, HTML, retrieved 21:12, 3 October 2006 (MEST).
- Vockell, Edward, Educational Psychology: A Practical Approach Workbook, on-line bookHTML,retrieved 21:12, 3 October 2006 (MEST).