Bloom’s Taxonomy offers a hierarchal model used for categorizing learning objectives according to complexity and knowledge and application of content(Clark, 2014). The hierarchy describes different kinds of learning and different levels of mastery (Simpson, 1972). . Blooms looks at it from 3 domains: affective, cognitive and psychomotor(Bloom, Engelhart, Furst, Hill, & Krathwohl, 1956).). Each of these domain levels detail skills and other performance indicators starting with the most basic to complex application of knowledge.
Simpson offers a revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy that has 3 domains grouped into seven categories according to the simplest to the most complex action. The psychomotor domain focuses on use of motor skills, coordination and movement(Clark, 2014). Achievement is measured by assessing: speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution” (Clark, 2014).
Role of Bloom’s Taxonomy in identifying gaps in performance
According to the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, Bloom’s taxonomy can be used to measure a student’s ability according to different levels of complexity (Iacbe.org, 2016). Organizing learning according to Bloom’s taxonomy helps students to know what is expected of them so that they can work on improving their performance and also assessing what they have achieved. Since Psychomotor domain is shown by physical skills, the taxonomy offers a good way to gauge performance in skills that apply psychomotor learning. Bloom’s taxonomy also offers trainers a way of organizing their lessons according to complexity levels to suit different learners; this in turn guides level appropriate performance assessment while also helping trainers to manage their expectations.
Taxonomy levels Explained in Terms of Performance Assessment in Playing the Piano by 12 year old learner.
According to Simpson, the taxonomy levels are categorized as follows:
This is also referred to as awareness. It guides the use of sensory clues to perform a motor activity(Clark, 2014). Here, a learner’s senses can be stimulated, a cue can be selected and the learner can interpret the cue to perform an action. To assess the performance of a learner in this category, a leaner can listen to the stroke of a key on the keyboard, listen out for the tune and determine whether the piano is properly set up or if it needs adjustment to the volume etc. The learner can then go ahead and adjust the necessary to properly tune the piano. Gaps can be noted when the learner cannot detect and describe what is a miss in the piano set-up or cannot distinguish good sound from bad sound.
These mindsets are the condition of the learner where they are well prepared to perform an action (Simpson, 1972). It includes physical, emotional and mental readiness. Emotionally, the learner should be eager to start the day’s piano lesson. They should watch the trainer’s moves and be alert, they should be ready and able to assemble and start the piano. Performance gaps will be noted when the learner shows no enthusiasm towards learning, cannot assemble and start the piano or is distracted during the lesson. He should react to prompts and displays a good attitude towards the piano lesson.
The learner should copy the pianist’s movement the fingers over the keyboard and should attempt to reproduce the simple notes played by the pianist. This is an initial learning stage and does not require a display of expertise. Performance gap will be noted in cases where the learner cannot imitate basic notes and cannot tap the keyboard to produce sound not perfect but an imitation of the sound produced by the pianist.
This is the basic proficiency level where a learner displays basic knowledge ability to perform the actions learnt. In this case, the piano student will be able to identify and strike the high and low notes of the piano. Performance gaps will be noted when the learner strikes low notes instead of high and vice versa. The learner should be able to strike a high or a low note upon instruction.
Complex Overt Response
Here, the learner exhibits more confidence and can perform an action repeatedly and generates good results even if the results are not perfect. At this point, a piano student should have learnt to differentiate the different musical notes and can play the musical notes from high to low. Ability is shown when the student can play the musical notes by reading what’s is on a musical arrangement and translating that by playing it on the keyboard, Here, the fluency of the music is not assessed, only the ability to identify the right note and play it.
Bloom, B.S. (Ed.). Engelhart, M.D., Furst, E.J., Hill, W.H., Krathwohl, D.R. (1956).Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.
Clark, D. (2014). Bloom's Taxonomy: The Psychomotor Domain. Nwlink.com. Retrieved 2 February 2016, from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/Bloom/psychomotor_domain.html
Iacbe.org,. (2016). IACBE - International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Retrieved 2 February 2016, from http://iacbe.org/pdf/blooms-taxonomy.pdf.
Simpson E.J. (1972). The Classification of Educational Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain. Washington, DC: Gryphon House.