The Affective Domain… do they care.

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Siobhan Champ-Blackw… on Week 1 recording
Siobhan Champ-Blackw… on Week 1 recording

The Affective Domain… do they care.

When designing instruction, I often refer to Blooms taxonomy for designing cognitive objectives. These provide decent guidance for structuring the level of learning desired for educational objectives.

However, an often overlooked aspect of education and training is how participants respond, or, how they feel about what they are learning. It is not a secret that people will learn better when they care about what they are learning. Obviously, professionals should take it upon themselves to be motivated to learn. As instructional designers, however, it is also incumbent on us to consider designing instruction that gives people a reason to learn the content. For this, we can turn to the Krathwohls, or the affective domain.

Think of it this way. When’s the last time you learned something on your own, in a self-learning project? Maybe you learned some new gardening technique, some woodworking, or something like that. Obviously you learned those topics because…you wanted to.   Now, when we come to work, we have to attend some training session. If the training is structured in such a way that you understand the need, you know why it’s important, or in some way prompts you to value what you’re about to learn, that’s a big leg up on the learning process. We know one of the characteristics of adult learning is that adults want to know why they are learning a particular topic or subject.

The first three levels of the affective domain are receiving, responding, and valuing. It’s fairly uncomplicated in that we want people who are will to receiving what the content or topic is, that they would be willing to respond to questions or engagements, and that they may consider the information in such a way that they recognize its value and incorporate it into their thinking and/or their activities.

As instructional designers, there are various ways to achieve this. One way to start is by using the affective domain to write objectives in the same way we would write cognitive objectives.

While we may not, in our professional settings and depending on the subject matter, give it the same consideration as the educational objectives, it’s worth a look at.


Krathwohl’s Domain, illustrative verbs and examples.



6 Marketing Tips to Promote your eLearning Courses

This article will provide useful tips for successfully promoting your eLearning courses.


This document provides guidance and recommendations for marketing the HIV/AIDS course; however the marketing plan can be customized for any NLM/SIS eLearning training courses.  nlm-hiv_aids-online-course-marketing-plan

Training Toolkit Available!

The much-anticipated SIS Training Development Toolkit is now available! Visit the Training Toolkit tab of this site for all the details.

Getting to Know TopClass

TopClass is the Learning Management System, or LMS, used by the National Library of Medicine’s Specialized Information Services Learning Center. Getting to Know TopClass is a series of short, interactive tutorials that introduce TopClass from a learner’s perspective. These tutorials include audio and require Adobe Flash Player.

Topics covered include:

  • Basic Navigation
  • Browsing & Enrolling in Instructor-Led Training
  • Training History, Calendar, & Preferences
  • Searching the Catalog
  • Enrolling in Online Activities
  • Taking Online Courses
  • TopClass Mail

For the best experience, participants in the June 3 TopClass Training should complete these tutorials prior to that session.

Total time: About 15 minutes


A good self-assessment helps you identify what you are doing and how well you are doing it; it also documents your processes and establishes a baseline. The best way to produce a self-assessment is to determine the questions that are most applicable to your program. Attached to this post is a guideline that can be used to start your own self-assessment document. Please note that some of the items in the guideline may not apply to your program; you may also discover additional items relevant to your program that are not included in this guideline. Feel free to remove or add items as they apply specifically to your program.

Also, the attached rubric examines items that are more curriculum specific. This tool can be used as the basis for developing your own self-assessment document. 

In short, what do you really want to know about your program that will make it better? What could you improve to provide a quality educational experience for your students? 

Please post your ideas here, or respond via e-mail. Thanks!


Instructional Quality Rubric

Program planning

Today we’ll start bringing things together as we talk about program planning and management.

Here’s the handout:


Join us at 10:30