Learning Management System Definition and Bloom’s Taxonomy

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The definition of a Learning Management System has been fairly well-established with the development of online course platforms; however, the added touch of Bloom’s Taxonomy and its concept and principles help to bring most forms of the LMS to a more advanced form of student learning. Instead of rote memorization of definitions and concepts, students can review their own thoughts, ideas and perspectives and harness these items as they move through a given course to effectively learn and implement new concepts that can be applied in their own lives.

What exactly is a Learning Management Systems definition? It seems simple on the surface, but the primary definition of a Learning Management System can actually seem somewhat vague. By and large, most Learning Management Systems are usually some form of software program(s) that are formatted to gauge, assess and review student learning and progress over a given program, course or class. The more sophisticated programs will allow for instructors or facilitators to upload and manage their own course information and content, monitor areas such as attendance and participation, and document grades while providing substantive student feedback to improve on subsequent assignments. While there are numerous forms of Learning Management Systems, or LMS, overall, a solid focus of late is being placed on the role of Bloom’s Taxonomy in the LMS.

Bloom’s Taxonomy focuses largely on levels of knowledge to demonstrate student learning, and these levels are the very essence of the basis for assessment of student learning in the LMS, so it seems that Bloom’s and the LMS would form a solid symbiosis for effective learning. With the levels of knowledge presented by Bloom’s, questions and exercises in the LMS could best be configured to reflect outcome echelons and prove knowledge gains or losses on a fairly conclusive basis. By reviewing the course goals and outcomes of a given class, exercise or examination, a matching Bloom’s principle can be paired with the concept to create a specifically targeted assessment activity to demonstrate student mastery of the given material. For example, using words such as “explain,” “describe” or “demonstrate” in principles, the student is guided into a deeper interpretive analysis of ideas and concepts, as opposed to rote memorization of key terms or simple multiple choice exams which may not accurately display student knowledge.

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy also serves the higher purpose within the LMS of individualizing the student experience as well. By allowing students to dig more deeply into their own thoughts, ideas, and understanding of the course content, learners can take control of their own evolution within the class, and they can also become keenly aware of that which they already know and how they can effectively build their skills. Furthermore, the class is far more personalized in this regard, as it makes curriculum focused and razor sharp for each particular person rather than a “one size fits all” generic approach with a buffet style line of learning. Hence, tying Bloom’s into an LMS seems to be a solid win-win on all fronts.

The clear and beneficial relationship that Bloom’s Taxonomy has with the LMS can create a lively, dynamic and interactive environment for all types of student learners. Whether the student is a novice to the course materials or a relative expert, allowing for student reflection on what they already know, what they hope to learn and how that information will impact them in the classroom and beyond will allow for a productive experience for the classroom and the instructor alike. Leveraging these concepts for the LMS, both now and in the future, will bring classes to life and move from seemingly impersonal computers and distant classmates to a positive, streamlined, and rewarding educational experience!