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Reality Learning: Teaching Higher On Bloom's Taxonomy

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade for Teaching II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1060.1 - 10.1060.7



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Paper Authors

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Paul Lane

author page

John Farris

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Reality Learning: Teaching Higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy

John Farris, Paul Lane Padnos College of Engineering and Computing / Seidman College of Business Grand Valley State University


Educational needs of the students attending today’s universities are changing. New and experienced faculty need to be prepared to address students that exist in world of free information, have access to multiple technical information sources and desire high levels of stimulation. The challenge is to help students learn critical thinking skills by utilizing resources that are at their finger tips. Reality learning challenges student to use knowledge and comprehension to explore engineering challenges in the classroom.

Much of teaching is focused on the knowledge and comprehension levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. When the focus changes from teaching to learning then the outcome expected is raised to the application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Reality learning enables and challenges students to work on higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. The goal of reality learning is to engage students’ minds using tools and processes including generating information that they may combine in new ways to produce new output.

Blackboard software is used to free up class time. Much of the knowledge and comprehension areas are done using technology. This frees class time for reality learning. Students enter the classroom and find themselves confronted by real current situations. They are expected to take their knowledge and comprehension and synthesize it with all the information they can compile to formulate a solution or practical next steps.

Reality learning is current. It is exciting as students are encouraged to use the resources at their fingertips (search the web) or in vibrating in their pockets (cell phones, Blackberries etc.) They are encouraged to think about how the engineering problem they are confronting might be addressed around the world. If they know an expert, they can call. If they want information they should get it. The competitive genes take over and the classroom experience becomes rich with student led and appreciated learning.

The paper includes examples of reality learning exercises used in the author’s classes that show how students are moved up Bloom’s taxonomy. Also included in the paper are methods of using class management software to free up class time.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Lane, P., & Farris, J. (2005, June), Reality Learning: Teaching Higher On Bloom's Taxonomy Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15010

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