Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Technology and Bloom’s Taxonomy: Comprehension

Noevember 6, 2006

Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains, originally developed in 1956, is one of the most well-known and widely-used schemas of educational objectives. Though three distinct schemas were originally created, the one dealing with the cognitive domain remains the most important and most applied.

In this ongoing series in the Teaching with Technology Newsletters, we explore the application of technology as a means of attaining the six separate categories Bloom outlines in the cognitive domain.

The second category in Bloom’s Taxonomy, Comprehension, is the focus of this month’s newsletter. Comprehension has to do with an individual’s ability to explain information, predict outcomes, summarize data and information, illustrate concepts, and confirm hypotheses. For instance, a representative example of the Comprehension category would find a student distinguishing between types of cells, comparing effect sizes, and predicting the outcome of an experiment based on past experiences.

Many technologies can assist you with enabling students to develop their abilities in the Comprehension domain, such as:

Images: Images allow you as a faculty member to graphically represent content that aids in comprehension. Similarly, allowing students to exhibit their learning through the use of images provides them a creative means to demonstrate their understanding.

Learning Objects: Multimedia simulations, which often take the form of learning objects, are an excellent way to provide instruction that dynamically displays transformations, relationships of all kinds, and procedures. The Media Production group of the Academic Technology Center provides simulation development services.

PowerPoint: With some simple animations and voice recording, PowerPoint can become a powerful tool for developing comprehension. Animations within a presentation can be used to demonstrate causal relationships, comparisons, and relationships between disparate pieces of content.

Classroom Performance System (CPS): Using the CPS in your classroom allows you to prompt students to predict outcomes and demonstrate their understanding of causal relationships.

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