Using Teachers’ Knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy in Determining the Quality of Classroom Assessment in Secondary Schools
Keywords:Teacher, Bloom’s Taxonomy, classroom assessment, test construction.
AbstractThe Taxonomy of Educational Objectives provides the basis for curriculum and test development. A sound knowledge and the internalization of the Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives is paramount for any item writer to be able to construct fair and high-quality test items and other assessment tools in the classroom. Based on the syllabus, a specified number of questions are constructed depending on the weight accorded each topic area within the table of specification, which must span all the six levels of the instructional objectives. A test as an assessment technique is a tool or device that is used to obtain information about achievement, aptitude or intelligence level of learners. Teachers in schools who write test items and the professional item writers employed by both private and government schools must, as a matter of necessity, be versed in this aspect for them to measure accurately what they aim to measure so as to lend credence to the testing exercise. This study focused on the competence of secondary school teachers in assessing their students by finding out whether they are guided by Bloom’s levels of cognitive objectives. The purpose of the study was to find out how adequate the teachers spread their test items to cover the six levels of cognitive objectives that Bloom (1956) identified and were later revised by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001). The study aimed to determine how adequately the test items developed by the teachers cover the lower and higher levels of thinking in regard to the action verbs used in the test items. Three important questions were formulated to guide the study. The first one was; How satisfactory are teachers’ test items reflect the six levels of objectives? Secondly; to what extend do teachers test items measure thinking at lower and higher levels? Thirdly; how satisfactorily do teachers employ the use of action verbs in constructing test items? Two instruments were used to collect data; one was documentary review that is using past papers from two selected secondary schools in Makongo Ward. The second was structured questionnaire for 40 teachers. The data was analyzed qualitatively using content analysis. The findings revealed that secondary school teachers do not adequately employ the Bloom’s cognitive levels objectives in classroom assessment. Furthermore, the results from both documentary review and from the questionnaires indicated that most teachers were not sure whether they had the skills and competences for designing tests in their subjects using Bloom’s Taxonomy. Only few experienced teachers indicated that they had the skills and competences of test construction using both levels of Bloom’s cognitive objectives. From this study, it is concluded that classroom assessment is an area that requires more emphasis because most teachers are not trained in test construction skills.