1995 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
COGNITIVE LEVELS AND FREQUENCY OF DISTRIBUTION OF THE LEARNING OBJECTIVES IN THREE RC TEXTBOOKS,
David W. Chang, EdD, RRT, Columbus College, Columbus, Georgia
INTRODUCTION: Use of learning objectives (LO) is one of the criteria for the accreditation of RC educational programs (JRCRTE Accreditation Essential V, Self-Study Appendix H). Since many RC textbooks include LO and no studies have been done on the LO of these textbooks, I evaluated the cognitive levels and frequency of distribution of these LO in three RC textbooks. METHOD: Three current editions of multi-author RC textbooks with written LO were chosen and the abbreviated titles (year published) were Mechanical Ventilation (1992), Comprehensive RC (1995), and RC Equipment (1995). From each textbook, the first, middle, and last chapters were used. The behavioral terms of the LO at the beginning of each chapter were classified and grouped into one of six cognitive levels using the criteria described by Bloom et. al. (1956). These six levels, from low to high cognitive measure, are listed below with examples of the respective behavioral terms: (1) Knowledge (define, describe, list); (2) Comprehension (discuss, explain, interpret); (3) Application (assemble, calculate, perform); (4) Analysis (compare, diagnose, distinguish); (5) Synthesis (create, develop, predict); (6) Evaluation (certify, judge, prove). The behavioral terms were interpreted in the context of the entire sentence in the LO since some behavioral terms could be placed in two or more cognitive levels. The cognitive levels and frequency of distribution of these LO were recorded for all nine chapters. For this descriptive study, frequency count and percentage calculation were the only statistical tests done.
Results: The cognitive levels and frequency of distribution of the LO in this study are listed below by frequency counts:
Cognitive LevelsMech Vent Comp RC RC Equip
Knowledge 32 (73%)24 (86%)35 (60%)
Comprehension9 (20%) 1 (4%) 12 (21%)
Application1 (2%) 1 (4%) 5 (9%)
Analysis0 (0%) 2 (7%) 6 (10%)
Synthesis 2 (5%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Evaluation 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Total # (%) of LO 44 (100%) 28 (100%) 58 (100%)
Conclusions: Majority of the LO in these RC textbooks were written at the Knowledge and Comprehension levels (93%, 90%, and 81%, respectively). This distribution differs from the NBRC Examination Matrices in which only 29% (CRTT) and 21% (written RRT) of the exam items were written below the Application level (NBRC, 1994). Extensive use of LO written at lower cognitive levels may discourage students from using their critical thinking skills. To enhance the learning outcome, the LO in the textbooks should be reviewed and revised by the instructor so they may meet the educational goals of a RC course.