Blooms Taxonomy: Part Two

The second domain from Bloom's Taxonomy that I am going to discuss is the psychomotor domain.  The psychomotor domain is where the learning achieved through the cognitive domain is demonstrated with physical skills.  This is an important domain when you are training skills that would be considered manual labour.  This domain can be broken down into 5 levels as follows:

  1. Imitation - learners will attempt to duplicate an act that has been demonstrated to them.  Error is expected and encouraged as a learning opportunity for the learners.
  2. Manipulation - Continual practice of the act so that it becomes habitual and confidence is built.
  3. Precision - The skill has been attained.  At this stage refinement or further accuracy become the goal.
  4. Articulation - At this stage learners will adapt their movement patterns to accommodate special needs or to meet a specific problem.
  5. Naturalization - Naturalization occurs when the skill becomes an automatic response.
In this domain's case, learners will likely start out with the first level; imitation and then progress to manipulation, precision and so on.  In the psychomotor domain you would write your learning objectives and learning activity instructions based on the current level of performance that your learners are currently able to demonstrate.  For example you may have beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses that gradually move the learners from Imitation right up to naturalization.  You would most likely want each course to be a prerequisite of one another to ensure that the appropriate skills needed are achieved first.

An example of training in the psychomotor domain would be physical side of training for a pilot.  In the beginning you would demonstrate the skills for them to imitate.  Likely this would be done in a simulator for safety reasons.  The potential pilot would be encouraged to make mistakes and see what the results are.  Continual practice would occur during the manipulation stage so that confidence is built up and actions become habitual.  At this stage the potential pilot would like gain experience in real air craft.  Further practice would be used to gain the level of precision.  Articulation would teach them to be adaptable when needed, perhaps how to handle emergency situations.  In the final stages of their training, naturalization would occur.  The pilot would simply react appropriately during different situations without having to spend time thinking about each situation.

The types of action verbs you would use for stating objectives and writing learning activities would be:

Imitation - begin, assemble, attempt, duplicate, follow, mimic, practice, reproduce, try

Manipulation - acquire, complete, conduct, do, execute, improve, maintain, make, manipulate, operate, pace, perform, produce, progress, use

Precision - accomplish, advance, exceed, master, reach, refine, succeed, surpass, transcend

Articulation - adapt, alter, change, excel, rearrange, reorganize, revise, surpass, transcend

Naturalization - arrange, combine, compose, create, design, refine, originate, transcend

Like before many of these words are interchangeable and certainly could apply in more than one level (especially during imitation, manipulation, and precision).  Remember you are not limited to these words, there are likely thousands of action verbs you could use for every level of Bloom's Taxonomy.