In the course of professional development in our school “HIS” (Alhossam Integrated Language Schools) and for the preparation of the new school year , I decided to give a workshop on “Bloom’s Taxonomy and Learning objectives”. The main purpose was to help teachers write SMART objectives and approprite test items in the light of Bloom’s taxonomy and the six levels of learning and thinking.
Objectives of the workshop:
- Mention what Bloom’s taxonomy is.
- Illustrate the six levels of learning and thinking.
- Explain Bloom’s hierarchy.
- State the importance of Bloom’s taxonomy in writing learning objectives.
- Apply Bloom’s taxonomy levels in writing test items (Formative & Summative).
To start with, I used the following video for orientation.
What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for their students. (learning objectives)
The six levels of learning:
These 6 levels can be used to structure the learning objectives, lessons, and assessments of your course:
- Remembering: Recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long‐term memory.
- Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining.
- Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure for executing, or implementing.
- Analyzing: Breaking material into components or elements, determining how the parts (components) relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose.
- Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and assessment.
- Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing.
- Bloom’s taxonomy is hierarchical, meaning that learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.
- Bloom’s Taxonomy is often displayed as a pyramid graphic to help demonstrate this hierarchy. Each level is built on a foundation of the previous levels.
Bloom’s Taxonomy and Learning Objectives:
Bloom’s taxonomy is a powerful tool to help develop learning objectives because it explains the process of learning:
- Before you can understanda concept, you must remember
- To applya concept, you must first understand
- In order to evaluatea process, you must have analyzed
- To create an accurate conclusion, you must have completed a thorough evaluation.
Bloom’s verb charts:
Steps towards writing effective learning objectives:
- Make sure there is one measurable verb in each objective.
- Each objective needs one verb. Either a student can master the objective, or they fail to master it.
- If an objective has two verbs (say, define and apply), what happens if a student can define, but not apply? Are they demonstrating mastery?
- Strive to keep all your learning objectives measurable, clear and concise.
In your group:
- Analyse the following content and decide what the learning objectives are.
- Write test items that will help you measure to what extent you have achieved lesson objectives. (Make sure that you measure all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, in the light of MOE test specifications).
In response to the previous activity, the following is an example of the trainees’ productions.
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Strategies to Assess Student Performance
Since student assessment is essential for the success of the educational process, I conducted a workshop on the different strategies used to assess student performance as part of the professional development of our school teachers. During the workshop I used various teaching strategies to discuss the importance of students evaluation and the tools used for such a purpose. The trainees actively participated and enjoyed it very much. In my opinion, the workshop was successful as it discussed student evaluation tools and how to activate the different strategies for measuring student performance.
By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
• Determine the purpose of evaluation in the educational process.
• Name some types of assessment that we practice in our schools.
• Differentiate between different types of assessment.
• Mention some evaluation tools and methods.
• Identify steps and characteristics of effective evaluation.
• Identify different assessment strategies and the characteristics of each of them.
The purpose of evaluation in the educational process:
• Using the outcomes of assessment processes to identify strengths and weaknesses in student performance.
• Providing clear, accurate and concise feedback to students on the outcomes of assessment.
• Providing opportunities for students to reflect on assessment outcomes and identify their own learning needs.
• Communicating reports on student progress to students’ families through the school’s reporting arrangements.
• Preparing and reporting Information on student performance to relevant authorities in line with school and Supreme Education Council policies.
• Identifying and discussing strategies for meeting students’ learning needs with students, parents and colleagues.
• Using assessment data to inform the review of assessment methods and tools.
• Using assessment data to inform the review of learning programs and teaching and learning practices.
Types of assessment carried out by teachers:
This type of evaluation is designed to engage the learners in the assessment, and encourage them to take responsibility of assessing their progress, and planning for their future and for their educational needs.
2. Placement Test
This type of evaluation is designed to determine the levels of students in a specific area to be classified or distributed or to provide the appropriate program to their abilities in that area. This type of evaluation allows the teacher to know the previous experiences of students in a specific lesson or unit. This then facilitates working dealing with them.
3. Diagnostic Test
Diagnostic evaluation aims to identify the strengths and weaknesses in student achievement. It helps us to identify the causes of learning difficulties that students may face so that they can be overcome.
4. Formative Evaluation
It is defined as the formative process during the course of teaching and learning in order to provide a continuous feedback to develop the student’s performance. It starts with the beginning of learning and goes on during the teaching and learning processes.
Here are some of the methods and ways used for this purpose:
Student performance observation.
5. Summative Evaluation
It is the evaluation at the end of an educational program (a unit of study, a specific topic, the end of the chapter …) and the learner has completed the requirements in the defined time. It determines the degree of achievement of the learners of the main objectives.
6. Continuous Assessment
It is the kind of evaluation that begins on the first day of the school year, and goes on until the last day of school. Assessment, in this case, is considered as an activity that goes side by side with the processes of learning and education in all its stages.
Tests (short, diagnostic, summative, talking, listening …)
Textbook exercises – evaluation at the end of each unit (learning resource)
Researches / / projects / presentations
Steps for effective evaluation
Determine the purpose of Assessment (why I would assess??)
Determine the objectives of the evaluation that are related to the standards.
Choose the type of evaluation
Choose the appropriate grade (degrees, description, icons)
Identify evaluation criteria (or rubrics) … What am I to assess?
Evaluate your assessment
Good Assessment Characteristics
Related to objectives.
Well organized and accurate.
Based on a scientific basis.
Economic (in time, effort and costs).
Uses the right tools.
Uses varied and integrated means of evaluation.
1- Paper and Pencil Strategy
a- Short Quizzes
These tests can measure the ability of the learner to recall and understand knowledge.
Forms of quizzes:
• Right and false questions
• Multiple choice questions
• Questions that require short answers
In the preparation of these questions, be sure to cover all the objectives associated with concepts, knowledge and simple problems and set clear and necessary instructions to do the test.
b- Essay Questions
• Essay tests measure a high level of mental capacity, especially with regard to critical thinking, creative thinking, and decision-making.
• Essay tests can be used to measure students’ ability to analyze, reflect, compare, assemble, compose, and interpret.
• The learner must be given many choices in order to be able to choose a topic or question that suits him. This helps the learner to form personal opinions and attitudes that express the learner personally.
• Personal bias, or vulnerability to self-factors must be avoided during correction of these tests.
Worksheets are means to assess the ability of the learner in planning, and presenting a systematic set of ideas.
2- Performance Evaluation Strategy
• Performance evaluation is concerned with measuring the learner’s ability to perform specific skills or accomplish a specific learning task, which requires the learner not only to know what he does, but how it is done or performed.
• Performance evaluation usually refers to the psycho-motor or physical skills.
• The teacher should provide the guidance and instructions needed to perform a task or solve a problem or to perform the skill.
• The learner must be provided with a list of rubrics that would reflect the grades that are expected to be obtained.
3- Self-Reflection Strategy
a- Reflective Papers
• They are documents that show the depth of thinking and self-participation The learner is asked to report on what he knows and what he still needs to learn or what is difficult or to write tips to others.
• Self-Reflections are considered as a means to build a generation of educated critics that are capable of leading and guiding themselves. (Life-Long Learners).
• Journals are reports regularly and constantly kept by the learner, and are used in forming the purposeful personal educational experiences to perform.
• The learner can use them to summarize the steps of an important skill or to accomplish a task that needs a series of stages to perform.
• At the end of each stage the learner writes the ideas and experiences about what happened while doing each stage to perform.
• This tool is one of the formative assessment qualitative tools that should be used to evaluate the learner with the rest of the previous evaluation tools.
4- The Observation Strategy
It Is the process in which the teacher or the observer directs the different senses towards the learner with a view to monitor him in an active position, in order to obtain information that is useful in judging him, and assessing his skills, values, behavior , ethics and his way of thinking.
a- Peer Assessment
• Learning occurs in a learning environment through the participation of others and relying on the same learner at the same time, so it is expected that each learner assess the performance of the rest of his colleagues or at least one.
• The teacher has to set objective indicators to be used by learners in evaluating the performance of their colleagues. Preferably give the opportunity for learners to write their comments instead of just giving grades during their assessment of each other.
5- The Communication Strategy
It is the collection of information through communication activities on the progress achieved by the learner, as well as knowledge of the nature of his thinking, and his style of problem solving.
Events that may fall under this strategy:
a- The Interview:
• The interview is a planned meeting between the teacher and the learner that gives the teacher the opportunity to collect information relating to the learner’s ideas and trends about a particular topic, and includes a series of questions set in advance.
b- Questions and answers:
• These are direct questions from the teacher to the learner to monitor the progress, and gather information about the nature of his thinking, and his style of solving problems. It is different from the interview in that these questions are created on the spot according to the situation and do not need to preset.
c- The Conference:
• It is a programmed meeting that is held between the teacher and the learner to evaluate the learner’s progress in a particular project to a certain date through discussion and then determine the necessary steps to improve learning.
If you are interested, you can download the presentation used for this workshop here.
Effective Teaching Strategies
Professional training in our school takes place every Tuesday. As scheduled in the school professional development plan, the Academic Vice Principal was supposed to conduct a workshop on “The Effective Teaching Strategies”. The Professional Development Committee of the school held a meeting of on Sunday 26 – 10 – 2014, and decided to conduct a workshop that aims at cementing a number of effective teaching strategies. The Committee agreed to offer an opportunity for teachers to share their experience in implementing a variety of teaching strategies with their colleagues. Hence, Mr. Alsayed Abou-Alwafa, the Chemistry teacher, and Mr. Nizar El Euch, the English teacher, have been called to participate in accommodating the workshop of Tuesday 28-10-2014 with two effective teaching strategies in coordination with the Academic Vice Principal Mr. Reda Saad Elmahdy.
Mr Alsayed has chosen the Traffic Signals Strategy and Mr. Nizar The Graphic Organizer Strategy. The workshop was delivered in a professional and effective way that appealed to all the participants. The workshop helped the trainees to be involved in a lot of practical activities, fruitful discussions and interactions. Most of the participants have shown great willingness to implement the strategies they have practised in the workshop. This strongly reflects the teachers’ positive attitude towards their job and their readiness for change as well as succeeding in customizing the workshop in a way that suits the needs of all the teachers.
The Professional Development Committee held a post workshop meeting for evaluation and recommendations. The team has come up with a number of recommendations and decisions. First, all the subject coordinators are urged to carry out classroom visits to follow up the implementation of the two strategies as well as other strategies that ensure students’ active participation and promote learner autonomy. Besides, after considering that the workshop was notably successful, the Committe looks forward to conducting similar ones in the coming weeks.
If you are interested, you can download the presentation used in the workshop here.
Professional Development sessions started in our school (Ahmed Bin Hanbal Secondary School for Boys) today. I thought of starting by having a quick revision on the basics of the teaching process; starting from planning and ending up with evaluation.
I also thought of applying various teaching techniques and strategies in the workshop to help teachers see those strategies in practice. Some of the strategies I used are: KWL, Think, pair and share, Brainstorming, Group discussion, Elicitation, Group work and Concept Map.
To have a clear idea about the points discussed in the workshop, I recommend you download the presentation here.
A few seasoned teachers at Math for America provided tips that first-time educators should know. But even seasoned teachers could benefit from these pieces of advice.
1. Be yourself.
2. Keep a teacher journal and write down all the great things that happen in your classroom.
3. Don’t yell.
4. Work it out.
5. Say their names.
7. Assemble a think tank.
8. Stick to routines.
9. Remember how hard it is to learn something new.
10. Forget about yesterday.