Bloom's Taxonomy
The Learning Framework

Level One
Knowledge - Repeat, recall, memorize, list

Level Two
Comprehension - Explain, interpret, paraphrase

Level Three
Application - Apply, model

Level Four
Analysis - Compare, contrast, classify, categorize, derive, model

Level Five
Synthesis - Create, invent, predict, construct, design, imagine, improve, produce, propose

Level Six - Evaluation
Judge, select, decide, critique, justify, verify, debate, assess, recommend, argue

Levels One and Two are the freshman and sophomore cognitive level.
Levels Three and Four correlate to the post secondary, upperclassman cognitive level in which problem solving and "real world" applications predominate.
Levels Five and Six are generally accepted as the post graduate realm of cognitive development and discovery, areas in which the expansion and creation of knowledge is valued.

Bloom's Taxonomy is also tied to the Learning Pyramid which displays that the deeper one descends on the pyramid the higher the retention rate of knowledge. The emphasis of the pyramid is the departure from straight lecture and required reading which has only 5% and 10% retention rates, respectively and movement towards more varied teaching methods, the combination of which has the potential of increasing the rate of retention of knowledge.

Applications of Bloom's Taxonomy(BT) Around Campus

Jeff Weart, President's Support Office

Uses Bloom's Taxonomy in leadership development in the Honor Committee. Finds BT useful in creating context as a guide for student development. Honor Committee was restructured from a large, lecture oriented setting to a small group situation in which students were trained to present materials to freshman and were, therefore, required to learn the same material more thoroughly themselves. Additionally, the student leaders were then able to offer more and better feedback on the process and self correct without the mandate of a professor. Ownership of improvements, as well as, student satisfaction with peer leadership both increased dramatically.

Elizabeth Connor, Library

Introduced Gagne's Instructional Events that are used to engage students in an activity via computer based instructions. The power of this system is its ability to engage and sustain student interest in ways that both incorporate and extend beyond Bloom's Taxonomy.

The following table was offered as an application example:

Instructional Event
1. Gain Attention
Identify start of module (opening screen, may include sound and animation)
2. Inform learners of objectives
List learning goals and why these are important to the learner (source of goals and how the learner will apply these goals in clinical practice)
3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
Provide an example learner is likely to already be familiar with (relate the new learning materials to something the learner is already familiar with, providing a foundation to build on)
4.Present the Content
Begin actual tutorial or case study (the main body of instructional content)
5. Provide learning guidance
Support instruction with examples and explanations (provide different examples that will appeal to different learners and learning styles)
6. Elicit Performance
Allow learner to apply new knowledge or skills (allow the learner to use new knowledge and skills in solving new problems)
7. Provide feedback
Give appropriate feedback to learner's performance, relate to objectives and real world application)
8. Assess performance
Provide learner opportunity to perform again and evaluate that performance (usually the final, evaluated performance that counts toward the course grade)
9. Enhance retention and transfer
Review what knowledge and skills were presented and provide additional discussion of how this knowledge or skill works in real-world applications.

Adapted from Gagne, R. M. and Driscoll, M. P. Essentials of Learning for Instruction, Second Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1988, 159.

Kathy Zanin, Biology Department

Uses Bloom's Taxonomy for exercised outside of class. Posts six questions to a class specific bulletin board, all based upon lecture materials, on Web CT. Students are encouraged to post answers to the questions and join in discussion (online) regarding the questions and answers. Professor is also able to contribute to discussion streams and streams can be used as a study tool. This system creates a community of practice for the students and allows for a synergy of discussion on a topic that ultimately grows the ownership of knowledge.

Using Web CT allows professor to track which students contributed, how and when. Therefore, encouragement to contribute is elevated to extra credit opportunity. Scale of credit escalates from credit for logging on to credit for posting an answer to credit for posting a correct answer.

In addition, test questions follow similar patterns as Web CT questions, several lower level multiple choice questions are followed by synthesis multiple choice questions.

Keith Plemmons, Civil Engineering

Uses guided notes to incorporate Bloom's Taxonomy into the course. Begins worksheet with "Do you know..." questions that address important concepts the students are expected to master. The sheets are to be completed prior to class meeting and can be used as a quiz grade. The form cuts down on lecture time which results in a more captivated audience of students in class. In addition, students with lower grades are given the same opportunity to excel as higher performing students since the guided notes can also function as study guides for exams.

Questions and Comments:

From Jeff Weart:
If the maturing student is informed about the framework within which course materials will be delivered, i.e. Bloom's Taxonomy, et al. - does there exist research to demonstrate and/or support that said mature student will learn better?

Use of the crawl/walk/run perspective of training as well as the scaffolding approach to teaching both suggest that an understanding of the teaching methodology can and should be woven into the fabric of the course materials.

From Cindy Bolt:
Do textbooks offer a Bloom's Taxonomy skelton upon which tasks can be hung?

Many texts offer an evaluation of materials based on Bloom's Taxonomy.