Jan 16, 2007

leveraging Bloom’s Taxonomy for crossword construction

I've just read through the comments from teachers who attended my crossword construction workshop last year. One of the teacher's comment was crossword puzzles is only best in assessing lower thinking skills and not higher order thinking skills. Based on the idea of Bloom's Taxonomy, she believes that crossword puzzles is not applicable at all. I really appreciate her comment and decided to do some research on her argument.

In the process of the research, I came across a research paper by Elizabeth Avery Gomez and Julian Matthew Scher of New Jersey Institute of Technology titled "Design Strategies for the Pedagogical Use of Crossword Puzzle Generation Software, In Individual and Collaborative Design Modes" which is very helpful.

Based on the article, here's how Bloom's Taxonomy can be applied for crossword construction:

1. Knowledge
Skills Demonstrated
• Knowledge of the subject matter
• List, define, examine or describe

Activity
• Solve the instructor’s crossword puzzle individually to demonstrate knowledge of class materials or the context of the course (individual crossword)
• Solve the instructor’s crossword puzzle in groups to demonstrate knowledge of class materials or the context of the course (collaborative crossword)


2. Comprehension
Skills Demonstrated
• Understand meaning of subject matter
• Interpret and associate


Activity
• Interpret and associate the clues with the assigned class materials (individual crossword)

• Interpret and associate the clues with the assigned class materials (collaborative crossword)


3. Application
Skills Demonstrated
• Use information in a new situation
• Solve problems using required skill
• Apply, illustrate or relate


Activity
• Generate a crossword puzzle using the course content domain to illustrate knowledge of class materials (individual crossword)
• List and define clues and answers to contribute for the collaborative crossword to illustrate knowledge of the course content domain (collaborative crossword)


4. Analysis
Skills Demonstrated
• Organize into parts
• Recognize hidden meanings
• Analyze, order, classify


Activity
Individual crossword
• List and define words for the crossword generation
• Interpret the clues to use


Collaborative crossword
• Organize and order contributions from team mates
• Analyze, classify and consolidate team mates clues



5. Synthesis
Skills Demonstrated
• Relate knowledge from old ideas to new ideas
• Combine, modify, create


Activity
Individual crossword
• Complete another classmates crossword individually (synthesis of the instructor crossword and classmate’s crossword)

Collaborative crossword
• Consensus on clues to select
• Generate a collaborative crossword puzzle (synthesis to both instructor crossword and team mates clues)



6. Evaluation
Skills Demonstarted
• Compare ideas and purpose
• Assess value of ideas
• Assess, rank, measure

Activity

Individual crossword
Compare the individually generated crossword puzzles (clues and answers) to the submitted
crossword puzzles of others


Collaborative crossword
• Compare the collaboratively generated crossword puzzles (clues and answers) to the submitted crossword puzzles of others



As I'll be conducting a similar (but improved) workshop in February, I'll incorporate this research findings as well as make the whole learning process more interactive. Watch out this space!
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