Deborah Hardwick Manager, Online Tutoring Houston Community College 713-718-5340 firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Board Member, ATP There is only one speaker’s note in this presentation. The main slide (#21) tells you about it.
Level 3 - Application Although many students come to tutoring with the idea that working at the first two levels (knowledge and understanding) is enough, the third level (application) is where real learning begins.
What is Application? Use of a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Application of what was learned in the classroom in novel situations. http://www.nwlink.com/~Donclark/hrd/bloom.html
What Does That Mean? It is not enough to simply “know” something. If the learner cannot transfer the knowledge to a new situation, it has not really been learned.
For example, I can “know” all the parts of a carburetor to label them on a diagram, but if I cannot find them in the car, I don’t really know what a carburetor is. If I can’t figure out that other machines besides cars have carburetors, I also don’t understand the concept.
If I can make the association between a carburetor and the lungs in the human body, I’m getting closer to really understanding what a carburetor is. OK, enough of carburetors...
The Coolest Example I Know Several years ago, I met a woman who taught welding at Albuquerque TVI. She got a small grant to take her welding students and their families to the Albuquerque zoo for a day. The families enjoyed the animals and had a picnic. Where do welding and Bloom come in?
Students had to draw, identify, and assess at least ten different types of welds at the zoo. They had to predict which welds were at the point of failure and suggest alternate types of welds for different applications. Back in class, they had to reproduce one of the welds that they had not worked with earlier.
Key Words Assignments that encourage application often include these key words: Apply, change, compute, construct, demonstrate, discover, manipulate, modify, operate, predict, prepare, produce, relate, show, solve, use, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, and practice.
How Do These Apply to Tutoring? In a short tutoring session, as opposed to a semester of teaching, the use of Level 3 strategies can reinforce what has been taught in the classroom as well as start the student on the path to true understanding. Every subject and every level of instruction can benefit from application exercises.
What Happens in the Tutoring Center? Johnny is taking Anatomy and Physiology. He is supposed to “learn” the bones in the human leg. He wants a simple mnemonic device to memorize the names of the bones.
As a tutor, you could teach him “Peter fries funky tacos” (Patella, fibula, femur, tibia). You could ask him to point to the bones on a diagram, draw a diagram, explain the difference between the fibula and the tibia, or find the bones in his own leg.
Or... You could ask him to demonstrate the way the patella works, predict the result of a break in each bone, or explain the function of each bone. Ask him to find ten people who have had broken legs, discover which bone had been broken, and analyze the differences in how long each break took to heal.
What about in Math? Susie is having trouble understanding the concept of negative numbers. As a tutor, you could give her a definition, ask her to memorize and recite that definition, paraphrase the definition, or have her identify the negative numbers in a series.
Or... You could help her brainstorm situations in which negative numbers might be used. – An overdrawn checking account – A winter weather report from up north – Basements and sub-basements Susie could be asked to keep a journal of all the times in a week that she uses negative numbers.
In Reading Classes George cannot follow the path of ideas. The beginning and end of the story often seem disconnected to him. As a result, he gets frustrated and is failing his class.
A tutor who is knowledgeable about Bloom can make great use of the predictive application. From a single introductory paragraph, ask George to imagine several possible outcomes. Have him write them down on flashcards or separate pages.
Add the next paragraph. Ask him to eliminate all possible outcomes that the second paragraph precludes. Continue through the third paragraph, again eliminating unlikely outcomes. Finally, from those he has left, ask George to predict which is the most likely. After he has selected one, ask George to read the conclusion.
If he was right, discuss what clues gave him the information. If he was wrong, help him discover where he went off course.
Using Short Stories in Tutoring Jeffrey Archer is my favorite short story author. All of his short stories have surprise endings. (See note for titles.) Helping students discover exactly where in a story the “twist” is foreshadowed is a great way to help advanced students look at literature more analytically. It also helps them add interest to their own writing by incorporating elements of surprise or misdirection.
It works in English, too. English tutoring is, perhaps, the most fertile area for Level 3 strategies. Manipulating a student’s work is a great way to teach new skills that build on the basics. Years ago, I taught from a book called Twenty-Six Steps. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the author or publisher.
It was a low-level ESL text that gave students a paragraph. Perhaps it was all in the present tense. First, they had to modify it to change all the verbs to the past tense. Then, they had to change feminine pronouns to masculine ones. Next, they changed singulars to plurals, perhaps. That series of manipulations clearly showed how making just one change required many other modifications.
The same process of modification works with vocabulary enhancement Ask Maria to write a simple sentence with a common subject and a basic verb. – The girl walked. Then ask her to add an adjective. – The pretty girl walked. Next, ask her to add an adverb. – The pretty girl walked sexily.
Ask her to add a prepositional phrase. – The pretty girl walked sexily into the prom. Then, she can change the common noun to a proper one. – Maria walked sexily into the prom. Finally, she can change the verb to a more expressive one. – Maria sashayed into the prom.
Moving from the Classroom to the Real World – Up the Bloom’s Ladder It is never enough for students to learn isolated facts. Facts without context may make someone a great trivia player, but there are few opportunities for Trivial Pursuit players to go professional!
Helping students incorporate what they learn in any and every class and apply it to their own lives, jobs, families, hobbies, and goals should be one of the foremost goals of any tutor. Only by seeing the connection between isolated facts and the real world can students go on to become successful in whatever they choose to do.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is not the end-all and be- all of learning or tutoring, but it provides a stable framework upon which to build.