Bloom’s Taxonomy is not enough: ESIL is here for the digital age
By Diane Weaver
January 30, 2020
ESIL learning scale

ESIL: 1. Existence, 2. Supported, 3. Independent, 4. Lifetime

Technology has brought the world of information (and solutions to our problems) to our fingertips. Trips to a library or a bookstore, even logging onto a computer, have all been replaced by a shout out to Alexa or a touch on a smartphone.

These changes in how we access information and solve problems means that it’s time to reexamine how we use learning objectives in curriculum design. To summarize a sentiment shared by Dr. Maria Andersen, a.k.a. @BusynessGirl, and CEO of Coursetune Inc., 

Asking learners to remember or recall non-critical facts or procedures that can be quickly and easily accessed via smartphones is outdated, stale, and demotivating. 

The solution? How we frame learning.

Bloom’s Taxonomy helps to articulate the cognitive load of a learning objective, but it doesn’t really tell you the level of relevance or recall required for an age where we have instant digital access to information. 

What does work for articulating learning objectives in the digital age? 

ESIL: 1. Existence, 2. Supported, 3. Independent, 4. Lifetime

ESIL is a four-level system created by Dr. Andersen that can help you create learning objectives and assessments that will help your course be relevant (and motivating) to learners today and in the future. 

Think of it as a way to prop up or frame (easel homonym) your existing curriculum in the digital age.

Here are the levels, definition and assessment strategy for the framework.

ESIL learning lens

Source: Dr. Maria Andersen,

For more information about ESIL, check out Dr. Andersen’s complete article, “ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age” as well as her recent blog post on the topic for WCET here.

Update: Check out Dr. Andersen’s latest ESIL webinar here.



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