Enabling action: Digging deeper into strategies for learning


  • Thom Haller

    Associate Editor for Information Architecture, Teacher, Speaker, Writer and User Advocate – Teaches Principles of Performance-Based Information Architecture and Usability
    1. Thom volunteers time supporting advocates of plain language
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Editor's Summary

A central goal for information architects is to understand how people use information, make choices as they navigate a website and accomplish their objectives. If the goal is learning, we often assume it relates to an end point, a question to answer, a problem to which one applies new understanding. Benjamin Bloom's 1956 taxonomy of learning breaks down the cognitive process, starting from understanding needs and progressing to action and final evaluation. Carol Kuhlthau's 1991 outline of the information search process similarly starts with awareness of a need, progresses through exploring options, refining requirements and collecting solutions, and ends with decision making and action. Recognizing the stages of information browsing, learning and action can help information architects build sites that better meet searchers' needs.