Levels of Learning

Levels of Learning

As we consider the types of assessment, we also must think about at what levels our students are learning. In other words, what do we want our students to do with the information they are learning. For example, do we want them to remember the parts of a cash flow statement? Do we want them to be able utilize a balance sheet in their workplace? Do we want them to be able to justify workplace safety standards?

One way to think about the levels of learning is to think about student learning tasks in order to complexity. Let's use the following illustration.

Let's break down the complexity of learning tasks into three categories.

When considering the complexity of learning, the lowest level of learning represents basic understanding and remembering. For example, a student has mastered this level of learning when they can remember facts, steps within a process, definitions, etc.

After students have mastered lower level learning activities, they are ready for learning tasks that fall into the middle level. This level represents a greater understanding of concepts and is a starting point for skill development.

In other words, we can determine if students understand a concept when they can explain the concept rather than simply recalling the definition.

In addition, when students are able to apply the steps in a sequence, they are completing learning tasks in the middle level.

The phrase higher-level learning is heard frequently in our schools. This type of learning is represented in the top level of our diagram. In other words, learning activities at this level are the highest in complexity and require students to solve problems and strategically use their knowledge and skills in a variety of settings.

Last modified: Monday, 2 July 2012, 11:39 AM