Bloom’s Taxonomy: definition, objectives, levels, and uses

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification framework for the skills required to achieve a set of educational objectives. Each level in...
10 October 2023

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Bloom’s Taxonomy: definition, objectives, levels, and uses

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification framework for the skills required to achieve a set of educational objectives.

Each level in this learning model encompasses a series of verbs that outline the necessary skills for performing corresponding actions.

This disruptive education methodology serves as the perfect companion in a student’s evolution towards attaining higher-order cognitive processes, such as creating something new.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the definition of Bloom’s Taxonomy, its objectives, and its levels. We will also explore its practical applications, allowing you to assess whether integrating it into your educational strategies is beneficial.

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a system for classifying skills according to educational objectives that should be achieved through cognitive, affective, and psychomotor dimensions of the student, organized from the simplest to the most complex. 

These three dimensions are essential for reaching established educational goals:

  1. Cognitive Dimension: This refers to how the student processes information and analyzes intellectual abilities.
  2. Affective Dimension: It considers the role of emotions in learning, analyzing attitudes, feelings, values, or biases.
  3. Psychomotor Dimension: This dimension focuses on the student’s motor skills, including muscular and neural coordination.

This educational model was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956 and has since been revised to adapt to the educational needs of the digital era. This concept aligns perfectly with disruptive education, enabling educators to establish innovative educational objectives centered on higher-order cognitive processes.

Bloom's Taxonomy: definition, objectives, levels and what it is used for

Why is Bloom’s Taxonomy important in education?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is important for several reasons in the field of education:

  • Clarity in Educational Objectives: It provides a clear framework for educators to define and communicate their learning objectives. This clarity ensures that both teachers and students have a shared understanding of what needs to be achieved in a learning experience.
  • Progressive Learning: Bloom’s Taxonomy categorizes cognitive processes into levels of complexity, ranging from lower-order thinking skills (remembering and understanding) to higher-order thinking skills (analyzing, evaluating, and creating). This progression encourages educators to design curricula and assessments that promote deeper learning and critical thinking.
  • Alignment of Assessments:  It helps align assessments with learning objectives. Educators can create assessments that target specific levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, ensuring that they measure what students are expected to learn.
  • Diverse Teaching Strategies: It encourages educators to employ a variety of teaching strategies to address different levels of cognitive development. This diversity of instructional methods supports a more inclusive and effective learning environment.
  • Adaptability: Bloom’s Taxonomy is adaptable and can be applied to various educational contexts, subjects, and grade levels. It offers a versatile framework in K-12 education, higher education, and professional training.
  • Promotion of Critical Thinking: By emphasizing higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, and creation, Bloom’s Taxonomy promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity—skills essential for success in today’s complex world.
  • Curriculum Design: It assists in curriculum design and revision. Educators can use Bloom’s Taxonomy to structure learning experiences that progressively challenge students, leading to more effective and meaningful education.
  • Assessment of Learning: It provides a structured approach to assessing students’ learning. Educators can design assessments that reflect the depth of understanding and skills students have developed, leading to more accurate evaluations of their progress.
  • Continuous Improvement: Bloom’s Taxonomy encourages ongoing improvement in teaching and learning. Educators can use it as a tool for reflection and refinement of their instructional practices.
  • Alignment with Real-World Skills: Higher-order thinking skills, such as those emphasized by Bloom’s Taxonomy, are directly relevant to the skills needed in the workforce and in everyday life. Thus, it prepares students to be more effective problem solvers and decision-makers in their future careers.

What are the Bloom Taxonomy learning objectives?

Traditional learning objectives have been based on content and didactic strategies for knowledge transmission with a passive role for students. 

This type of learning activates skills associated with the lower cognitive processes of the Bloom’s Taxonomy, such as repeating, reproducing, or recalling.

However, the advent of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education has revolutionized educational strategies. 


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Current needs place students at the center of educational strategies, prioritizing competency-based learning and relying on higher-order cognitive processes such as analyzing, evaluating, and creating. 

These verbs form the pyramid of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a roadmap that educators should consider when proposing activities. Its purpose, concerning students, is to understand what is learned and be able to apply knowledge effectively in practice.

What are the Bloom Taxonomy levels?

The levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy are represented by six verbs indicating the actions the student must be capable of performing to achieve educational objectives. The initial classification was based on the following levels:

  1. Remembering
  2. Understanding
  3. Applying
  4. Analyzing
  5. Evaluating
  6. Creating

The update carried out to adapt Bloom’s Taxonomy to the current societal needs organizes this hierarchy as follows:

Remember 

This involves cognitive processes such as observing, recalling, recognizing, remembering, quoting, or identifying. The process utilizes knowledge that the student can retrieve in the long term. The student should be able to choose, spell, relate, describe, or repeat what they have learned.

Understand

Understanding focuses on basic demonstrative comprehension of ideas, concepts, and facts. It allows students to summarize, predict, provide examples, interpret, convey, and paraphrase information.

Apply

Applying means using all the learned knowledge to solve problems in situations different from the learning context. Here, students can plan, simulate, construct, manipulate, categorize, and dramatize, among other actions.

Analyze

Analyzing involves breaking down a problem into parts, perceiving the meaning of each part in relation to the whole, and understanding their interrelationships. Students can identify causes and motives by reasoning, comparing, inspecting, seeking similarities, distinguishing, or studying cause and effect.

Evaluate

Evaluation is the ability to make judgments about information, ideas, or the quality of work according to pre-established criteria. At this level, students can reason, defend their arguments, explain, criticize, judge, test, persuade, deduce, and recommend, among other actions.

Create

Creating is the most challenging level in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students can generate, plan, modify, and produce to form a coherent new whole, either by creating a new pattern or modifying an existing one. 

This might involve inventing a device or proposing alternative solutions to a conflict. 

To achieve this, they need to assume tasks such as hypothesizing, theorizing, visualizing, developing, transforming, experimenting, innovating, elaborating, and programming.

The levels of Bloom's Taxonomy are represented by six verbs.

Bloom’s taxonomy examples


Here are examples of learning objectives and activities aligned with each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Remembering:

  • Learning Objective: Recall the key events of the American Civil War.
  • Activity: Create a timeline of important events during the American Civil War.

Understanding:

  • Learning Objective: Explain the concept of photosynthesis.
  • Activity: Write a brief summary of photosynthesis in your own words.

Applying:

  • Learning Objective: Apply the principles of geometry to solve a real-world problem involving angles.
  • Activity: Calculate the angles required to construct a triangular roof for a shed project.

Analyzing:

  • Learning Objective: Analyze the causes and effects of climate change.
  • Activity: Research and write a paper examining the contributing factors to climate change and its environmental consequences.

Evaluating:

  • Learning Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
  • Activity: Analyze a recent marketing campaign (e.g., a television commercial or social media campaign) and write a report assessing its impact on brand awareness and sales.

Creating:

  • Learning Objective: Develop a business plan for a new startup.
  • Activity: Create a comprehensive business plan that includes a business model, marketing strategy, financial projections, and an executive summary for a new business venture.

These examples demonstrate how Bloom’s Taxonomy can be applied to various subjects and levels of education. 

As you move up the taxonomy levels, the learning objectives and activities become more complex, encouraging critical thinking and deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Bloom's Taxonomy simplifies the evaluation process

What is the Purpose of Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Bloom’s Taxonomy simplifies the evaluation process by hierarchizing cognitive processes and the skills necessary to develop them, as we discussed earlier. Similarly, it facilitates the creation of educational content and the organization of collaborative project activities.

At this stage, we want to highlight some of the advantages of this methodology:

  • Shapes individuals who can apply their knowledge practically.
  • Enhances initiative, creativity, and critical judgment in individuals.
  • Improves decision-making.

Bloom’s Taxonomy seamlessly integrates with tools like Learning Management Systems (LMS), enabling you to enhance your evaluative processes. 

Combine them with SMOWL’s proctoring plans to merge innovation with security, offering secure and accessible evaluation or remote supervision environments for your users. 
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