There are three types of frameworks that can offer schemata for designing courses. They are: hybrid taxonomy cognitive operations by Bloom, Anderson and Krathwohl; theory of undergraduate cognitive development by Perry and Baxter-Magolda; and categories of learning by Fink. This paper summarizes the frameworks and describes their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, it describes the appropriate environment where they are the most appropriate.
Anderson, Krathwohl, and Bloom’s Framework
This framework is organized in a hierarchy, from lower to higher order. Bloom, Anderson, and Krathwohl argue that learners must be conversant with all the thinking operations of the lower order to be in a position to perform a single level of thinking (Nilson, 2010).
The main advantage of this framework is that it strings the learning results in a sequence to guide students to improve gradually. It is patently obvious that a student should be able to describe certain notions, state certain ideology, and remember certain details prior to thinking about them in a more composite mode.
However, the disadvantage of this framework is that it is not applicable in professions such as medicine and law that require analysis of elements, evaluation of knowledge, and synthesis of strategies prior to applying the knowledge to different situations. Therefore, it is best applicable in an environment where a learner would only be required to recall certain concepts and apply them appropriately (Chin, & Williams, 2006).
Perry and Baxter-Magolda’s Framework
The main aim of the framework is to enable the course design experts to string their education outcomes as learners progress through every level based on their abilities. The major advantage of the framework is that it enables students to come up with multiple interpretations of issues. It makes them realize that teachers cannot have all the right answers. Furthermore, it enables them to understand that there can be different right answers to a question (Nilson, 2010).
On the other hand, the disadvantage of this framework is that it is demanding and time consuming. Students have to spend most of their time criticizing and analyzing different theories and interpretations to find the ultimate answer. They also have to choose one of the theories and defend their decision beyond reasonable doubt.
Although this framework may not be valid for an undergraduate engineering or science course, it can be very efficient in high improbability and interpretive fields such as arts, literature, and philosophy.
Unlike the previous two, Fink’s framework is not hierarchical. It is rather cumulative and interactive. It is planned and developed to create a genuine learning experience. The advantage of this framework is that rather than dictating the manner in which students learn, it enables them to interact and interrelate with what they are taught. Therefore, a course design founded on this framework would first introduce the students to the basics and then gradually add other outcomes as the course progresses. In the end, the students will go through the six kinds of learning. Frink asserts that courses from all disciplines and levels can be designed by this framework.
Therefore, the framework encourages students to be more concerned with the subject matter rather than the answers. Once their attention has been captured, they can have a better understanding of what they are taught. Thereafter, they can be able to draw inferences from their lives and the lives of people around them (Chin, & Williams, 2006). It makes them eager to learn more and appreciate the need to improve their skills and abilities.
Therefore, the framework is applicable in such subjects as social sciences where students are required to draw inspiration and understanding from what goes on around them.
As it has been demonstrated, there are three frame works for course design but they work in different ways. The hybrid taxonomy cognitive operation is organized in a hierarchy and is suitable in a situation where students only need to recall concepts and apply them appropriately. On the other hand, the theory of undergraduate cognitive development enables teachers to encourage students to participate in the learning process based on their abilities. Lastly, the category of learning is cumulative and interactive. It grabs the students’ attention and makes them relate with their daily activities.