+44 (0) 208 594 8462  E-Learning

The Three (3) Domains of Learning – Cognitive; Affective; And Psychomotor (Caps) – It’s Application in Teaching and Learning

Developing and delivering lessons by teachers are integral in the teaching process. It is hence important for teachers to ensure that the three (3) domains of learning which include cognitive (thinking), affective (emotions or feeling) and Psychomotor (Physical or kinesthetic) to be achieved. It is imperative to understand that there are different categories of learners who have varying needs and as such different methods must be adopted in the planning and delivery of lessons to ensure that such needs are addressed. The world of education has gradually adopted the strategy of ‘Every child matters’ structure that requires that all learners with different needs are counted.

This article aims to evaluate the three domains of learning (cognitive, affective and psychomotor) and their benefits to addressing the different learning styles of students.


Initially developed between 1956 and 1972, the domains of learning have received considerable contributions from researchers and experts in the field of education. Studies by Benjamin Bloom (on cognitive domain), David Krathwohl (affective domain) and Anita Harrow (Psychomotor domain) have been encompassed into the three domains of learning (Sousa, 2016).

A holistic lesson developed by a teacher requires the inclusion of all the three domains in constructing learning tasks for students. The diversity in such learning tasks help creates a comparatively well – rounded learning experience that meets a number of learning styles and learning modalities. An increased level of diversity in the delivery of lessons help engage students as well as create more neural networks and pathways that helps with recollection of information and events.

Learning helps develop an individual’s attitude as well as encourage the acquisition of new skills. The cognitive domain aims to develop the mental skills and the acquisition of knowledge of the individual. The cognitive domain encompasses of six categories which include knowledge; comprehension; application; analysis; synthesis; and evaluation. Knowledge includes the ability of the learner to recall data or information. This is followed with comprehension which assesses the ability of the learner to understand the meaning of what is known. This is the case where a student is able to explain an existing theory in his or her own words (Anderson et al, 2011). This is followed by application which shows the ability of the student to use the abstract knowledge in a new situation. A typical case is when an Economics student is able to apply the theory of demand and supply to the changing market trend of clothing during a particular season. The analysis category aims to differentiate facts and opinions. The synthesis category shows the ability to integrate different elements or concepts in order to form a sound pattern or structure to help establish a new meaning. The category of evaluation shows the ability to come up with judgments about the importance of concepts. A typical scenario is when a manager is able to identify and implement the most cost effective methods of production in the bid to increase profits whilst sustaining a high level of competitive advantage.

The affective domain includes the feelings, emotions and attitudes of the individual. The categories of affective domain include receiving phenomena; responding to phenomena; valuing; organization; and characterization (Anderson et al, 2011). The sub domain of receiving phenomena creates the awareness of feelings and emotions as well as the ability to utilize selected attention. This can include listening attentively to lessons in class. The next sub domain of responding to phenomena involves active participation of the learner in class or during group discussion (Cannon and Feinstein, 2005). Valuing involves the ability to see the worth of something and express it. This includes the ability of a learner to share their views and ideas about various issues raised in class. The ability of the student to prioritize a value over another and create a unique value system is known as organization. This can be assessed with the need to value one’s academic work as against their social relationships. The sub domain of characterization explains the ability to internalize values and let them control the behavior of the individual. In view of this, a student considers the academic work highly important as it plays an important role in deciding the career path chosen rather than what may be available.

The psychomotor domain includes utilizing motor skills and the ability to coordinate them. The sub domains of psychomotor include perception; set; guided response; mechanism; complex overt response; adaptation; and origination. Perception involves the ability to apply sensory information to motor activity. For instance, a student practices a series of exercises in a text book with the aim of scoring higher marks during exams. Set, as a sub domain, involves the readiness to act upon a series of challenges to overcome them. In relation to guided responses, it includes the ability to imitate a displayed behavior or utilize a trial and error method to resolve a situation (Sousa, 2016). The sub domain of mechanism includes the ability to convert learned responses into habitual actions with proficiency and confidence. Students are able to solve exams questions after they have confidently been able to answer some past questions. Complex Overt responses explain the ability to skillfully perform complex patterns of actions. A typical instance has to do with the ability of a student to have an increased typing speed when using a computer. Adaptability is an integral part of the domain which exhibits the ability to modify learned skills to meet special events. An instance is when a student who has learnt various underlying theories is able to invent or make a working model using everyday materials. Origination also involves creating new movement patterns for a specific situation (Sincero, 2011).


Learning is an integral part of every individual’s life. It is very key to growth and development and hence requires the need for both students and teachers to be committed to the process. It is further necessary to ensure that the delivery of learning combines generally different facets which have been identified to be the domains of learning.

With the continually increasing need to ensure that students are taught with varying strategies and techniques, it is important for teachers to adopt a teaching strategy that combines various domains of learning to enable teaching and learning to be considered as effective.

At London School of Management of Education (LSME) we are proud to inform our cherished students and stakeholders that we actively ensure that all our facilitators apply the best and suitable delivery techniques that would impact positively on the Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor Domains of the students.

All our lecturers are well trained and experienced in pedagogy and they excel based on the feedback from the results churned by ur students in all external exams and standardization. All our graduated students are in gainful employment in the UK, USA, Canada, UAE, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Germany, Spain and most countries in the EU. We are proud of our enviable record in delivering the best training to our students, our partners!

The learning process must go beyond reading and memorizing facts and information to the ability to critically evaluate the information, explain to others as well as design things out for everyday use… and that is what we do best at LSME.


Skip to content