Fuller, U., Johnson, C. G., Ahoniemi, T., Cukierman, D., Hernán-Losada, I., Jackova, J., ... & Thompson, E. (2007, December). Developing a computer science-specific learning taxonomy. In ACM SIGCSE Bulletin (Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 152-170). ACM.


Type: Review Article,Taxonomy Development

Purpose: The purpose of this review is to examine "the literature on educational taxonomies and their use in computer science education, identifies some of the problems that arise, proposes a new taxonomy and discusses how this can be used in application-oriented courses such as programming" (p. 152).

Findings: The authors define a taxonomy as "a classification system that is ordered in some way" (p. 153), where educational taxonomies are divided into three domain: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. The taxonomies are used to define curriculum. They are used "describe and categorize the stages in cognitive, affective and other dimensions that an individual may be part of the learning process" (p.153). Learning taxonomies help in describing "the learning stages at which a learner is operating for a certain topic" (p. 153). Examples of taxonomies for cognitive stage include Bloom's taxonomy, Bloom's revised taxonomy, Niemierko's "ABC" taxonomy for learning, Tollingerova's taxonomy and Bespalko learning objectives. The De Block approach attempts to unifying the three domains into a taxonomy. SOLO taxonomy "focuses on the content of the learner's response to what is being assessed" (p.155).The authors discuss how the taxonomies are used in computer science education. Taxonomies are used in designing or evaluating courses, and in designing teaching materials and assessments. They are also used in analyzing student responses and measuring student progress. This review provides examples of the uses of of taxonomies in computer science courses, and finally presents a new taxonomy suitable for CS and engineering and those learning programming that includes examples.

Recommendations: 1. Authors recommend "the use of the matrix taxonomy for the design and assessment of programming and software engineering courses" (p. 167). 2. "Instructors and course designers use Bloom's taxonomy of the affective domain to achieve constructive alignment between their desire to produce computer scientists with professional attitudes and values and the messages they send through assessment tasks" (p. 167).