Domains of Learning

Our educational systems, for the most part, are designed to focus on students’ acquisition of information, application of knowledge, thinking skills, and problem solving skills. But higher education is also designed to help students reflect on their personal values and beliefs, appreciate how values influence the choices and decisions they make, and reaffirm or revise their beliefs in response to things they read, discussions in which they engage, and experiences they have with individuals whose backgrounds and life experiences are quite different from their own. In nursing, we also are concerned with students’ abilities to perform specific tasks or skills that are essential to patient care. These areas of learning are referred to as the cognitive domain, the affective domain, and the psychomotor domain.