Bloom’s Taxonomy: A Robust Framework for the Practical Design and Successful Delivery of Online and Hybrid Courses

Concurrent Session 2

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

A conversation of our experience applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to guide the practical design and successful delivery of both online or hybrid courses. We share our experiential knowledge of a multiyear effort to systematically improve the pedagogy of hybrid and online courses in graduate and undergraduate international business education.


Daniel P. Sullivan, Professor of Global Studies | Director of Global Studies at the Alfred Lerner College of Business of the University of Delaware, received his PhD from the University of South Carolina. He researches a range of topics, including globalization and business, international management, global strategy, competitive analysis, and corporate governance. His work on these topics has been published in leading scholarly journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, Law and Society Review, and Academy of Management Journal. In addition, he has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Business Studies and Management International Review. Professor Sullivan has been honored for both his research and teaching, receiving grants and winning awards for both activities while at the University of Delaware and, his former affiliation, the Freeman School of Tulane University. He has been awarded numerous teaching honors at the undergraduate, MBA, and EMBA levels—most notably, he has been voted Outstanding Teacher by the students of 18 different executive, MBA, and undergraduate classes at the University of Delaware and Tulane University. Professor Sullivan has taught, designed, and administered a range of in-class , hybrid, and online graduate, undergraduate, and nondegree courses on topics spanning globalization and business, international business operations, international management, strategic perspectives, executive leadership, and corporate strategy. In the United States, he has delivered lectures and courses at several university sites and company facilities. In addition, he has led courses in several foreign countries, including China, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. Finally, he has worked with many managers and consulted with several multinational enterprises on issues of international business.
Sharon is a Professor of Management at the University of Delaware. She teaches face-to-face, hybrid and online courses in strategic management and international business in the undergraduate and MBA programs of the Lerner College of Business and Economics and regularly teaches in the University of Delaware Honors Program and the Online MBA. She has published research and presented on teaching pedagogy, including several times at the University of Delaware Faculty Institute. Sharon's teaching efforts have earned the Lerner College Outstanding Teacher Award and the UD Online Innovative Teaching Award. Sharon has published studies on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the management of foreign subsidiaries, international aspects of top management compensation and the effects of cultural differences on behavior in organizations. Her research has won several awards and has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Management International Review, Journal of International Management, Cross-Cultural Management and others. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Management and Journal of International Management.

Extended Abstract

Over the past four years, the two co-presenters have progressively developed online and hybrid courses to access a variety of technologies and methodologies in order to develop a student’s global perspective.  We regularly teach 3 different courses in the international business and global studies curriculum. Since 2014, we have taught more than 40 online sections of graduate and undergraduate courses. In addition, we also have developed and instructed 20+ on-campus hybrid sections. The evolution of both our online and hybrid course design and delivery pedagogies has changed significantly from the original version to the latest iteration. Moreover, we engage in an ongoing process of fine-tuning, checking, and questioning the efficiency and effectiveness of our pedagogy, based on student feedback and discussions with colleagues.

Fortunately, we have had some validation. Our online as well as hybrid courses consistently receive high ratings within our College and each of us has garnered multiple teaching awards.  In recent years, each of us has won a Teacher of the Year award from a program in which we taught exclusively online courses.   Along our pursuit of excellence in online education, we have published research on aspects of online and hybrid pedagogies, notably the utility of peer review, conducting case discussions online, methods to minimize cheating on online assessments, paths to maximize student engagement and faculty presence, and the usefulness of the testing effect to alleviate learning anxieties.

Although disparate in scale and scope, a common theme integrates our teaching and research, namely Blooms Taxonomy of cognitive processes. Specifically, we apply this outlook and orientation to organize the design, steps, and sequences in our online and hybrid classes to promote higher-order thinking. As represented in Exhibit 1, the design and delivery of both our online and hybrid courses begin with engaging digital tools to set the basic building block of Knowledge. We then add and adjust digital tools to move students systematically upward and onward through Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze and Evaluate, then culminating in Create.

Operationally, our students engage a variety of text and multimedia content delivered through a variety of technologies that are anchored in the Canvas and Pearson-MyLab LMSs. The assignments and assessments linked to these materials center on Foundations, Core Concept Checks, and Critical Thinking Scenarios quizzes. In addition, students engage Online Simulations, develop a Virtual Field Trip, participate in online discussion boards and video conferences, and conduct peer reviews. Collectively, as seen in Exhibit 1, these activities, activities, assignments, and assessments convert the principles of Bloom’s taxonomy into a practical pedagogy. We regularly use survey data, collected by both the institution as well within our courses, to revise our courses, continually testing paths to better engage online and on campus students in a productive, meaningful learning experience that helps develop their global perspective.


Objectives of the Proposed Conversation

Our proposed conversation session will center on the practical themes, dimensions, and dynamics embedded in Exhibit 1. The theoretical context of the conversation follows our research of many aspects of online and hybrid courses. Procedurally, we will provide each participant a hard copy of Exhibit 1, using it as a platform to facilitate a purposeful exchange of ideas.

In terms of content, the conversation will emphasize:

(1)  The organizational value of the Bloom taxonomy for designing and delivering effective hybrid and online course.

(2)  The relationship, interactively as well as synergistically, among the different activities, assignments, and assessments instructors can tap to engage the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

(3)  A proven path to design and deliver an online or hybrid course that applies the digital tools found in popular LMSs.


In terms of process, key conversation themes include:

(1)  Discuss alternative methods to improve/elaborate the current portfolio of activities, assignments, and assessments within the context of the Bloom’s taxonomy.

(2)  Solicit and share experiences or observations from participants about similar experiences or initiatives.

(3)  Distinguish the relative utility of different methods in terms of hybrid vs. online courses.

(4)  Discuss the sustainability of our current course designs given ongoing and potentially transformational changes in digital tools.


In terms of key takeaways of the conversation:

(1) Experienced online/hybrid instructors will clarify ideas and perspectives on fine-tuning, checking, and questioning the efficiency and effectiveness of their current pedagogy.

(2) Novices and/or those moving into online/hybrid coursework gain a perspective to accelerate and improve startup.

(3) Instructional designers gather ideas on integrating pedagogical practices and design elements to support an innovative approach to online/hybrid learning.

(4) Instructional technologist can identify possible creation or extension of digital tools that link directly to dimensions of Bloom Taxonomy.

(5)Program directors improve their framework to evaluate current course methods, practices, and designs used by their faculty.

In conclusion, we believe the proposed conversation of the principles of the Bloom Taxonomy and their translation into practical online and hybrid course pedagogies shares an effective approach to online teaching and digital learning.



Exhibit 1

 Developing a Global Perspective using Bloom's Taxonomy | Hybrid and Online Formats