Using Bloom's Taxonomy for Effective Learning

Illustration of Bloom's Taxonomy

Fracus Learning / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The hierarchy of Bloom's Taxonomy is the widely accepted framework through which all teachers should guide their students through the cognitive learning process. In other words, teachers use this framework to focus on higher order thinking skills.

You can think of Bloom's Taxonomy as a pyramid, with simple knowledge-based recall questions at the base. Building up through this foundation, you can ask your students increasingly challenging questions to test their comprehension of a given material.

Utility

By asking these critical thinking questions or higher order questions, you are developing all levels of thinking. Students will have improved attention to detail, as well as an increase in their comprehension and problem-solving skills.

Levels

There are six levels in the framework, here is a brief look at each of them and a few examples of the questions that you would ask for each component.

  • Knowledge: In this level students are asked questions to see if they have gained insight from the lesson. (What is... Where is... How would you describe?)
  • Comprehension: During this level, students will be asked to interpret facts that they learned. (What is the main idea... How would you summarize?)
  • Application: Questions asked during this level are meant to have students apply or use the knowledge learned during the lesson. (How would you use... How would you solve?)
  • Analysis: In the analysis level, students will be required to go beyond knowledge and see if they can analyze a problem. (What is the theme... How would you classify?)
  • Synthesis: During the synthesis level of questioning students are expected to come up with a theory about what they learned or use predictions. (What would happen if... What facts can you compile?)
  • Evaluation: The top level of Bloom's Taxonomy is called evaluation. This is where students are expected to assess the information learned and come to a conclusion about it. (What is your opinion of...how would you evaluate... How would you select... What data was used?)

    Corresponding Verb Examples

    • Remembering: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state
    • Understanding: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate
    • Applying: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write
    • Analyzing: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test
    • Evaluating: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose, compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate
    • Creating: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write