2.3.2 Bloom and Anderson's Taxonomy
In 1956, Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behaviour important in learning. This let to Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, created by Bloom as a means of expressing qualitatively different kinds of thinking (Bloom 1956). Bloom's Taxonomy has since been adapted for classroom use as a planning tool and continues to be one of the most universally applied models across all levels of schooling and in all areas of study.
Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, ranging from simple recall or recognition of facts as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest level which was identified as evaluation (Figure 6). Bloom found that over 95 % of the test questions students encounter require them to think only at the lowest possible level - the recall of information.
Figure 6 Bloom's (left) and Anderson's Taxonomy (right)(Schultz 2005)
During the 1990's, Anderson (a former student of Bloom) led a team of cognitive psychologists to revisit the taxonomy with the view to examining the relevance of the taxonomy at the beginning of the twenty-first century. As a result of the investigation a number of significant improvements were made to Bloom's original structure (Anderson and Krathwohl 2001). For example, the title of each level is changed from nouns to verbs; the 'synthesis' in the higher level is replaced by 'evaluating', and 'evaluation' on the top is replaced by 'creating'. Table 1 describes the 'new' taxonomies:
Table 1 Definitions of Anderson's Revised Taxonomy
|Remembering: can the student recall or remember the information?||Define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce, state|
|Understanding: can the student explain ideas or concepts?||Classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase|
|Applying: can the student use the information in a new way?||Choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write|
|Analysing: can the student distinguish between the different parts?||Appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test|
|Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or decision?||Appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate|
|Creating: can the student create new product or point of view?||Assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write|
With a view to evaluate readers' comprehension of the narrative structure of an e-Book rather than its' language, we choose to focus on the middle levels of the taxonomy structure, which are: understanding, applying and analysing, and aim to develop evaluation methods that apply the suggested verbs in the right column in the above table (see below).