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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Emergency and Disaster Training and Exercising: An Introduction. Join the course to learn more.

Introducing learning domains

As we move through this course, we will use three terms related to learning repeatedly and it is important we understand what they mean and how they were derived.

It was Bloom (1956) who defined the three domains of learning. These domains or categories can be thought of as the goal of learning, or what the learning aims to develop by the end of the learning process.

Cognitive or knowledge based: intellectual or mental skills; what is or needs to be known or understood – facts, relationships, processes

Affective or attributes: growth in feelings or emotional areas (attitude or attribute); a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something. So the ‘way’ something is done.

Psychomotor or skills-based: manual or physical skills (skills); the physical (doing) or cognitive (thinking) actions

A person might know that email and text messages can be used to communicate but not have the skills to be able to do them or, at a higher level, have difficulty deciding which is most appropriate to use in a particular context.

In later courses on this program we will see that a lot of the higher-level expertise required for emergency and disaster management relies on the complex interplay of cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills.

Your task

Can you identify three key areas of knowledge to have for someone who works operationally in emergency management?

What key skills or attributes would you expect someone with that knowledge to need?


Bloom, B. S. (1956). * A Taxonomy of Educational Objectives : The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook 1 : Cognitive Domain.* New York: McKay.

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This article is from the free online course:

Emergency and Disaster Training and Exercising: An Introduction

Coventry University