“Expanding the reference vocabularly: A methodology for applying Bloom’s taxonomy to increase instruction in the reference interview” by David Ward, reference services librarian, was chosen for the Reference Research Review: 2011. This annual bibliography highlights selected works in the reference literature. Items published in 2011 were selected and annotated by members of the American Library Association, RUSA/RSS Research & Statistics Committee (2011-2012).Ward, D. (2011). Expanding the reference vocabulary: A methodology for applying Bloom’s taxonomy to increase instruction in the reference interview. Reference Services Review, 39(1), 167-180.
In an analysis of virtual reference chat transcripts from a university library, the investigator assigned 811 questions asked by librarians during the sessions into one of the six levels of Bloom’s original taxonomy of learning. He also coded questions as convergent (closed) or divergent (open). Results showed that the highest percentage of questions matched to Bloom’s “knowledge” category (the lowest level) and the lowest percentage of questions reached Bloom’s highest level of “evaluation.” In both cases, questions tended to be convergent. The discussion places teaching at the reference desk in a new light.