Reaching “Creating” in Bloom's Taxonomy: The Merging of Heutagogy and Technology in Online Learning

Reaching “Creating” in Bloom's Taxonomy: The Merging of Heutagogy and Technology in Online Learning

Colleen Halupa (A. T. Still University, USA & LeTourneau University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0643-0.ch019


Creativity of thought and critical thinking are two concepts that faculty struggle with teaching in higher education, particularly in the distance learning environment. Bloom's taxonomy has been used to define taxonomic levels in learning since the 1950's; “create” is one of its highest taxonomic levels. It can be difficult to create relevant, authentic assessments that require students to display both synthesis of meaning, as well creative synthesis of concepts learned to reach this “create” level in an effective manner. Transformative learning and especially heutagogy or “self-determined learning” can be used as theoretical curriculum models or frameworks to help students learn and solve problems. These two theories are particularly effective when leveraged with technology. Today's instructional technologies allow students to more readily create and explore new concepts on their own to generate a more fulfilling education process with meaningful relevant practice and assessment.
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Pedagogical practices have primarily been somewhat consistent since the mid-twentieth century. In the last two decades, there has been a significant movement towards other educational theories such as andragogy, transformative learning, emerging pedagogies and heutagogy. This movement has primarily been driving by online/distance learning and the globalization of the virtual classroom. Even before this movement, there has been significant complaint from teachers, professors and employers that students cannot think critically and lack creative problem solving skills. Continual movement to emerging pedagogies, thoughtful use of technology in an appropriate manner, problem-based curriculum and a movement towards heutagogy is one way this problem can be overcome. This can be accomplished through appropriate curriculum mapping and alignment with appropriate assessment to ensure students can achieve learning in the evaluation and particularly creation levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.

This chapter will discuss the concepts of critical thinking, volition and creative thought within the context of traditional and emerging pedagogies in an attempt to build a case for creative and authentic educational curriculum and assessments that leverage technology. Technology can assist educators to create assessments that reach this “create” level in Bloom’s taxonomy and move the educational process from teacher-led pedagogies to self-determined learning. The intent is to serve as a basic guide for educators in how these theories and concepts can be used to promote critical thinking and creative thought in this age of technological advances in education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Determined Learning: Self-regulated and self-directed learning; internal motivation to learn.

Constructivism: Learning epistemology where knowledge is created through interaction between their experiences and ideas (or content).

Heutagogy: Self-determined learning.

Self-Directed Learning: Taking action and responsibility for one’s own learning.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: A system devised by Benjamin Bloom in 1957 to define levels of human cognition and learning.

Creativity: Looking at things differently and questioning pre-conceived notions; development of original ideas or thought.

Critical Thinking: Evaluating all aspects of a decision to make an educated decision.

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