Bloom’s taxonomy is one of the most widely known classification systems used to describe different kinds of human cognition. Its reliance on action verbs makes it ideal for the development of student learning objectives. First developed in the 1950s and revised in 2001, the taxonomy identifies the following cognitive process dimensions:
- Remember: Retrieve relevant knowledge.
- Understand: Describe or discuss retrieved knowledge in a meaningful way.
- Apply: Use the knowledge to solve a problem or perform an action.
- Analyze: Break knowledge into components and determine how the components contribute to the overall structure.
- Evaluate: Make judgments based on criteria or standards.
- Create: Remix information in new ways to create an original product or performance.
When writing learning objectives, it is important to consider how students will need to use—and therefore learn and demonstrate—the information presented in the course of a learning experience. It is likely that they will need to do more than remember the information. As you write your learning objectives, consider which higher-level knowledge skills students will need to demonstrate in order to achieve the desired endpoint of the learning experience. That is, will they need to apply, analyze, evaluate, or create?
Variations: Bloom’s digital taxonomy
Andrew Churches published a variation of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy that includes action verbs associated with digital literacy, learning activities, and related 21st-century skills. It has been adopted by a number of educational organizations and institutions interested in promoting digital literacy. A verb list is available in the next section.
Tools and resources
Select the links to access infographics that have been developed and published by the following educational institutions and organizations: