Instructional Design

Learning Methods: Applying Blooms Taxonomy to Instructional Design

When Benjamin Bloom outlined his criteria for education in 1956, it was a way to get educators on the same page. He would have never imagined that the same criteria could be applied to online learning, microlessons and other modern learning methods that didn’t exist at the birth of Bloom’s Taxonomy. While the criteria may be nearly 60 years old, the same theories apply to today’s eLearning applications.


As the base of Bloom’s Taxonomy, memory is essentially the lowest form of learner behavior. While learners may retain information through memory, they often show little understanding of the material. When building curriculum, memory should be utilized as a way to review course material; a chapter quiz, rather than repeat information.


Actually understanding material is the next step up from simply memorizing information. As you show examples or facilitate discussion, you help to build upon the learning methods within the eLearning course. This is where blended learning becomes especially appropriate, as it gives the educator the chance to gauge the learners’ levels of understanding.


Can learners complete a course and apply their new knowledge in the real world? That’s what the next level of learner behavior asks. Someone who truly understands the course material should feel comfortable displaying that understanding in real time, whether it’s a new sales technique or safety protocol. Case studies and even role playing can help learners practice application.

Evaluation, Analysis and Creation

Finally, it’s time to set learners free. When a learner truly grasps the new information and material, future problem-solving becomes the natural next step. Well-taught learners can think critically to apply their knowledge in real situations, molding and modifying the material so it best fits the issue at hand.