CLIMBING A HIGHER MOUNTAIN: EXPLORING THE AFFECTIVE DOMAIN FOR STUDENT LEARNING

Pamela Rollins

Abstract


      Focus on the affective domain provides a framework to support transformative learning beyond disciplinary knowledge and skills.  By focusing on this domain, students explore their feelings, emotions, values, beliefs, and attitudes, thus expanding their perspective within the context of the environment and the broader community.  Open exploration of andragogy and evaluation methods to support student learning in this domain are topics for consideration.  The goal of the discussion was to energize participants to explore the domain and investigate strategies.

 The affective domain used within university courses as a critical component for defining and evaluating course outcomes has the potential to move students to higher ground as new professionals (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964).  Evidence demonstrates that those who teach from the perspective of the affective domain influence values, beliefs, and attitudes, thus supporting professional and ethical behavior as students’ transition to professional practice.  Additionally, the inclusion of affective-based strategies and outcomes is an important consideration for faculty when addressing the “soft skills” needed by students to improve productivity, employee satisfaction, workplace health, and ultimately societal economic success as they move into the workplace (Pierre & Oughton, 2007).

 Conceptually, a focus on the Affective Domain provides a framework to enhance moving students beyond disciplinary knowledge and skills that supports the tenets of transformative learning.  By focusing on the affective domain, students expand their perspective and relationships within the environment and the broader community by exploring their feelings, emotions, values, beliefs, and attitudes.  A research study on “Evaluating the Use of Intentional Learning Experiences to Target the Affective Domain of Learning, currently being conducted by the presenter, provided one example for discussion.

 This round table focused on the exploration of the concepts within the affective domain and approaches currently used by or being considered by participants to address these aspects to enhance student learning.    It was clear that there is a need to assist students to explore their own values, beliefs, and attitudes related to professional practice, but the strategies and infrastructure to support this area of learning is less clear (Miller, 2010). Current and/or potential research related to the use of the affective domain to enhance student learning was a foundation for this conversation.  Open exploration of pedagogy/andragogy and evaluation methods to support student learning in the affective domain are topics for further research. 

 

 The following questions were explored during this session:

 

  • What is the Affective Domain?
  • How can the affective domain be used to improve student learning?
  • How does the affective domain impact professional practice?

 

The interactions during this session energized participants to explore the affective domain as a part of future courses and encouraged them to add outcomes to courses that address aspects of the domain and test strategies that support this area of learning. 

 

SELECT REFERENCES

 

Krathwohl, D., Bloom, B., and Masia, B. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives handbook II:  Affective domain.  New York: David McKay Co.

 Pierre, E. and Oughton, J. The affective domain: Undiscovered country.  College Quarterly.  Retrieved from Http://collegequarterly.ca/2007-vol10-num04-fall/pierre-oughton.html

 Miller, C. (2010). Improving and enhancing performance in the affective domain of nursing students: Insights from the literature for clinical educators.  Contemporary Nurse, 35(1): 2-17.

 


References


Krathwohl, D., Bloom, B., and Masia, B. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives handbook II: Affective domain. New York: David McKay Co.

Pierre, E. and Oughton, J. The affective domain: Undiscovered country. College Quarterly. Retrieved from Http://collegequarterly.ca/2007-vol10-num04-fall/pierre-oughton.html

Miller, C. (2010). Improving and enhancing performance in the affective domain of nursing students: Insights from the literature for clinical educators. Contemporary Nurse, 35(1): 2-17.


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