Cognitive Progression Sets
Transforming health education instruction to improve health literacy in the 21st century requires students to use higher order thinking skills to apply their health knowledge in relevant ways.
Using the HEAP skill cues developed for the National Health Education Standards, the HEAP Health Literacy project developed sets of assessment items that demonstrate a progression of cognitive complexity. The cognitive progression sets ("Cog Sets") have been developed for middle and high school grade levels and are based on the 6 levels in Bloom's Revised Taxonomy (Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating). Cog Sets address health skills such as accessing information, decision-making, goal-setting, and advocacy.
The Cog Sets are used to support teachers' professional development in improving their instructional practices. They are also used by teachers to help students delve deeper into the process of health skills.
Example of a Cognitive Complexity Progression:
As trained teachers begin to understand and use these progressions, the hope is that they will be able to create personalized assessments that can build towards higher levels of cognitive demand.
Example of Classroom Use:
"I can already see myself using these prompts as journal entries, building on the complexity day-to-day, and then having my students identify the differences in the levels of the prompts."
"The cognitive complexity component is a very rich resource that repeatedly illustrates the depth of teaching and learning. This can be a strong component to our Standards and Assessment II training in South Dakota. The participants are shown illustrations of assessment results using selected response items and constructed response items. The degree of richness in the students' evidence of knowledge and skills gained becomes increasingly clear as the test author becomes more assessment-savvy with regard to cognitive complexity.
– Rhonda Kemmis, Health Teacher, South Dakota