How to Teach Software Development Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

By Mark K. Reha

Man looking at two computer screens with code

An Introduction to Bloom’s Taxonomy

If you teach anything at any level you might already know what Bloom’s Taxonomy is. If this term is a new to you here is a nice definition and how this applies to teaching: Bloom’s Taxonomy was created by Benjamin Bloom in 1956, published as a kind of classification of learning outcomes and objectives that have, in the more than half-century since, been used for everything from framing digital tasks and evaluating apps to writing questions and assessments.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical ordering of cognitive skills that can, among countless other uses, help teachers teach and students learn. The Bloom’s Taxonomy framework can be used to create assessments, evaluate the complexity of assignments, increase the rigor of a lesson, simplify an activity to help personalize learning, design a summative assessment, plan project based learning, frame a group discussion and more. Because it simply provides an order for cognitive behaviors, it can be applied to almost anything.

Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy

One approach that can be used in course designs and preparing course lessons follows the Bloom’s Taxonomy framework. This framework is broken down into a number of levels that can be applied in various areas of course designs or at various points of time in the classroom. These levels can be applied as follows:

  • Remembering: Student recall of prior learnings is achieved by using a variety of instructional approaches and tools including the use of discussion questions, open class discussions, traditional quizzes and exams, and also by using tools such as PollAnywhere and Coggle Mind Maps.
  • Understanding: Students are introduced to new concepts using 10-15 minute PowerPoint Lectures that include both theory and code walk through.
  • Applying: Students apply the knowledge learned through lectures by completing individual hands-on coding activities.
  • Creating/Evaluating/Analyzing: Students use project based learning assignments to again apply knowledge learned where the assignments generally solves a more difficult problem than the activities and where students often work in teams of two.

Final Thoughts

Although this is not the only approach and technique you can use in your classroom, Bloom’s Taxonomy is a great means and a guide in helping design courses and prepare lectures or hands on activities for classes. The beauty of Bloom’s Taxonomy is that it can be applied to teaching almost anything, builds in the necessary assessment feedback mechanisms required between the student and the teacher and is a great checklist to make sure you as a teacher have everything accounted for to ensure your students learn and retain new knowledge.

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teachthought. (2018). What is Blooms Taxonomy? A Definition for Teachers.

Retrieved May 30, 2020 from a-definition-for-teachers/

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.