Bloom’s Taxonomy Helps in Preparation of Exams

Published under category: Writing Help Convenience | 2015-02-18 16:57:51 UTC

Context: Education

Introduction Examinations are an important part of learning. They comprise set of questions that are used to evaluate knowledge or skills that students have acquired in the process of learning. Examinations also help the teachers and other stakeholders to gauge the quality of learning. Students majorly depend on excelling in exams to advance their education, and even to get better employment. The examination questions set satisfy the Bloom’s taxonomy that distributes the level of complexity for different levels of education. The complexity of the questions and the distribution of marks adhere to the requirements of the Bloom’s taxonomy that spells the level of complexity depending on the cognitive levels. While it is vital that teachers understand Bloom’s taxonomy in order to set papers that match the cognitive levels of students, it is important that students also understand the questions that are set in order to do well in their examinations. Students, therefore, need to understand Bloom’s Taxonomy in order to prepare for their examinations appropriately. Bloom’s Taxonomy Benjamin Bloom, in cooperation with other educationists, introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy in the year 1956. The taxonomy identified different levels of intellectual behavior, which are key to performing educational tasks. The levels were ranked from the lowest (remembering) to the highest (evaluation). According to Bloom, these levels of intellectual behavior are very important in learning as a student will not be able to understand a level without first mastering the previous level based on their hierarchy. The levels of intellectual behavior comprise (from the lowest to the highest): knowledge or remembering, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation Therefore, in the process of learning, students will start with remembering or knowledge and then move to other subsequent levels until they reach the highest level, which is evaluation. The levels of intellectual behavior have been arranged from the lowest to the highest level. The higher levels are more abstract and require complex reasoning as opposed to the lower levels that demand for recalling. Bloom’s basic philosophy is that learners cannot comprehend a concept if they cannot, first, remember it. The concepts and knowledge cannot also be applied if one has not understood them. Teachers need to prepare their lessons in a way that satisfies specific levels of learning so that students acquire concepts fully, and they can apply them. The best way to gauge the students’ understanding is through giving them examinations that satisfy the cognitive domain that the students have been taught. The students also need to understand the different levels of intellectual behavior, as is provided in Bloom’ taxonomy. Importance of Bloom’s Taxonomy in exam preparation Bloom’s taxonomy is applied in education to improve the meta cognitive awareness of the students. Therefore, students need to understand the taxonomy if they are to contribute to the knowledge-based system. An understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy allows the students to develop ability to think appropriately. The students develop ability to utilize their cognitive skills properly when presented with varying problem-solving tasks. Students are better prepared for their exams if they have the knowledge of what will be tested in a particular area of a subject. Bloom’s Taxonomy will guide the students in developing different skills that are needed to understand different methodologies, or will empower them to be critical analysts. Developing such skills that match the Bloom’s Taxonomy will help the students handle their exams appropriately. A clear understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy will help the students to develop higher order cognitive skills in a simplified way. Bloom’s Taxonomy clearly outlines the different levels of understanding that a teacher should teach and test. Teachers do not explicitly state that they are teaching a particular level of cognitive behavior in their lessons. Instead, the levels are reflected in the activities that the students perform. Students who have an understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy will better understand the activities and they will be able to recall them during examinations. The Bloom’s Taxonomy acts as a course outline for specifying levels of understanding that students are learning. Bloom’s Taxonomy outlines the varying types of questions that a student should expect at different levels of cognition. Knowledge of the action words guides the students on the path to follow when tackling different questions. A student will, therefore, not strive to synthesize the question while it only requires recalling. This helps the students to save time as synthesis questions require more time to answer, unlike recall questions. Students are, in most cases, limited by time when doing examinations. Students require knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy in order to plan for their time well in exams. The limited time in exams arises because students spend more time on questions that only require recalling. Bloom’s Taxonomy makes the action words explicit hence students are able to distribute their time effectively for each question. Time is a very important factor in examinations hence students who are able to utilize their time well have high chances of doing well. Students who take time to gain knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy gain knowledge required to answer questions that are presented at all levels of thinking. Developing an understanding of answering higher order thinking questions implies that students will have a better understanding in answering questions that simply require recalling. A reasonable degree of competence is developed at answering lower level questions once a student has gained competence of answering high level questions. A student will, therefore, answer lower level questions appropriately within minimum time. This leaves them to concentrate on the higher level questions that require critical analysis. Most action words that are used in examination questions are confusing to students. Students are unable to determine the direction to take while answering such confusing questions. The students, therefore, take time to internalize the question and end coming up with various answers. The student cannot determine which of their answers is appropriate for that situation. A student with the knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy is best placed to determine the questions that are lower, intermediate or higher levels. The lower level is comprised of knowledge and comprehension. Students get confused with questions asked at this level because of the informal description of the taxonomy at this level. With a clear understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a student knows that this level requires the regurgitation of facts. The student does not need to bother trying to figure out the significance of the fact. When a student is tackling a question at the understanding level, they will understand that they need to be competent at comprehension. They will, therefore, give a significance of the fact they are stating. A student who has read and understood Bloom’s Taxonomy before doing the examinations will manifest their understanding by giving an answer that is different from the way they were taught. They will not use the same words as was used during the lesson. Students well prepared for the examinations will give a concept as it was taught in class at the knowledge stage, and will try to use the concept in a situation at the understanding stage. Students will achieve these skills with an understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy. At the application and analysis stage, a well prepared student who has been exposed to Bloom’s Taxonomy will have the ability of creating and analyzing artifacts, adhering to a well-defined context. An understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy makes the student to practice applying learnt knowledge to specific situations. The students are also able to break down ideas or objects in small parts that can be understood and then look for suitable evidence to support their generalizations. The students will take a look at the bigger picture instead of merely recalling the concepts that they were taught in class by the teacher. A student who understands that the domain of examination questions fall in this category will get many examples in which the concepts that they learned can be applied. The synthesis and evaluation level, which is the highest level, requires students to display considerable skills and knowledge of setting and achieving their goals. This level requires that students get very minimal assistance from their academic resources. It is a process that puts a student’s critical thinking skills in evaluating artefacts into practice. There are subjects that require students display their skills by practically performing some tasks. The students can also be required to make and defend judgments based on the concepts that they learned in class. At this level, students’ knowledge of the nature and form of examination questions will enable them to prepare accordingly by looking at their life experiences and coming up with judgments that they can support. The students are also able to look at things that take place in their lives critically and propose alternative solutions that can be used. A student will do these before the examination day hence on the exam day they will have a variety of situations to choose from when answering the questions. Despite the benefits that students can derive from learning the Bloom’s Taxonomy, there are those opposed to this idea since they feel that a learners business is to get the content that is given by the teacher and not the way in which the exam questions are set. Those opposed to students learning Bloom’s Taxonomy feel that students are likely to ignore other levels of thinking if a subject only requires them to answer their questions with only a particular level of thinking. The students will, therefore, be aiming at passing the exams by mastering the question pattern instead of deeply reading the content. This perception is not valid since the students are only learning the rules of exams. One cannot answer the questions conclusively without deeply engaging with the content. Students who will pass the exams as a result of proper preparation will have both read the content of the subject and understood the Bloom’s Taxonomy, which only aids them in organizing their content. Knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy is very important for the students. There are students who fail their exams not because they do not have the ideas, but because they cannot organize them well as the questions demand. Students should be encouraged to understand the taxonomy for proper preparation for their examinations. ORDER PLAGIARISM FREE PAPER


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