An Educator’s Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy in the Classroom

Education without learning outcomes is meaningless. This is why Benjamin’s Bloom Taxonomy Theory is widely applied in  education to create effective learning outcomes. Today, as educators integrate edtech tools in their classroom, using them with the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy help them focus on sections of the curriculum for definitive knowledge outcomes with a dynamic learning environment that positively contributes to increased cognitive skills in students.

Here’s what we will be covering in this article:

  • What is Bloom's Taxonomy?
  • What is Bloom’s Original Taxonomy?
  • What is the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy?
  • 4 Reasons why Bloom’s Taxonomy is important even today
  • 6 levels of Thinking in Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy?
  • 3 Student learning outcomes from Bloom's Taxonomy
  • Using Bloom’s Taxonomy effectively in the classroom

What is Bloom's Taxonomy?

Bloom's taxonomy is a learning, teaching, and educational framework in which each level is dependent on the previous one. Similar to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, each stage of learning is crucial to developing the necessary skill set required to proceed to the next level. 

 

Bloom's taxonomy may be used by teachers to ask questions and give assignments that are closely related to the learning objectives at each stage of the process. Multiple-choice questions, for example, can help determine a student's basic understanding and how well they remember the topic, whereas asking them to come up with an analogy indicates that they are ready to proceed to the application or analytical stage.

What is Bloom’s Original Taxonomy?

Original Bloom's taxonomy was developed in the 1940s by Benjamin Bloom and his associates Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl to classify educational goals into different categories that can better assess the students’ performance.

 

With multiple revisions to the original taxonomy, Bloom and his colleagues published the final version in 1956 as the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. While it was designed to help with student evaluation at first, it rapidly evolved into a tool for teachers to plan their curriculum, define explicit learning objectives, and create classroom activities. It has been developed for usage in K–12 schools, colleges, and universities.

What is the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy?

David Krathwohl and co-editor Lorin Anderson offered a version of the 1956 hierarchy in 2001, with extras from cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists, educational researchers, and testing and assessment experts. The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy took shape with more dynamic concepts as opposed to the original version that only focused on a unilateral objective. By replacing nouns with verbs, students were given a clearer objective to work with and set expectations.

The revised Taxonomy changes the two last Bloom's taxonomy learning stages, Synthesis/Evaluation, to make them more apparent and emphasize on application of  knowledge, which is the primary objective of effective learning. Bloom's updated taxonomy further divides the cognitive domain, which includes comprehension, into four distinct categories that include factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive. 

4 Reasons why Bloom’s Taxonomy is important even today

Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives has been a beneficiary heuristic for educators to comprehend the varying degrees of cognitive, psychomotor, and emotional demands that are set up as learning outcomes for students. It also aids in matching the right assessment tools and strategies with the correct level’s objective.

1. Enhances Academic performance

Using Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy as a guide, Kritik offers a gamified online peer assessment tool that allows students to earn Kritik points and demonstrate their abilities as an peer evaluator. The score gets calculated by comparing how well you evaluated your peers' work to how the other students evaluated the exact project. It was found that after conducting 5-6 activities on Kritik, students witnessed an increase in their overall evaluation score. The different points of view shared by their peers also enabled them to gather deeper insights, knowledge, and performance.

2. Develop Higher-order thinking skills

Developing higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) during higher education is critical to excel in the workplace. Research suggests that critical thinking  is among the top five skills that employers look for when hiring freshers.  With the application of Bloom's Taxonomy, the categorization of  educational objectives promotes HOTS in students that allows educators to assess learning outcomes on a regular basis, encouraging students to continuously reflect on their progress. 

3. Strengthen meta-cognitive skills

Bloom's taxonomy can help educators to become more student-centered in their approach by clearly defining what they want students to know and be able to accomplish. With every progressive level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the student gets a chance to review their strengths and weaknesses and adjust their practices to achieve improved levels of learning outcomes. The use of metacognition in the classroom enables students to  engage with the course content in meaningful ways.

4. Essential application for students

The Bloom’s Taxonomy assists in determining the meanings of words, phrases, and idioms used in the paragraph through application and comprehension. It also aids in assessing the passage and its ideas and gathering facts, memorizing them via comprehending and remembering.

See how Dr. Lucian Lucia from NC State University was able to leverage peer assessment to develop higher-order thinking. 

6 levels of Thinking in Bloom’s Taxonomy

The taxonomy is commonly shown as a pyramid to emphasize the importance of information to students. Bloom's framework must be followed in order as a taxonomy; learners must begin with knowledge and master that level. Furthermore, the students aim is to reach the top level called Create where they can create new or original work in similar ways.

1. Remember: Recall facts and Basic Concepts

Everything a student has learnt in the classroom, both in theory and in practice, is called knowledge. It is the basic parameter where students are asked to learn and memorize facts. As one of the most crucial aspects of learning, students must remember what they have learnt. Educators can use verbs like define, describe, identify, label, list, outline, recall, and reproduce to effectively measure success in this stage.

2. Understand: Explain Ideas or Concepts

The level of comprehension is indicated by understanding. Upon getting a grasp of the topic, students are required to explain the concepts in their own words. How they interpret the learnings is only worthwhile if the student is able to make sense of it. The verbs that can be used here are defend, explain, generalize, paraphrase, summarize and translate.

3. Apply: Use information in New Situations

By taking the concept and applying it successfully to real world scenarios is how students can master this level.For example, if a student learns to write in English and excels at it, they should be able to apply for a visa for their non-English speaking parents who wish to travel to Canada. In this stage, educators can use verbs like apply, demonstrate, predict, show, solve or use.

4. Analyze: Draw Connections among Ideas

At this stage, students must be able to draw parallels, use logical deductions to analyze arguments, and question the relevance of facts presented to them. The important verbs in this level are analyze, break down, compare, contrast, differentiate, deconstruct, and infer.

5. Evaluate: Justify a Stand or Decision

The evaluation stage is when the student is able to make an educated statement of what they have learnt, applied and analyzed in the first 4 stages. Their stand could include a solution to the problem or justify an argument with facts. As simple as it may appear, the learner must be appropriately prepared and have mastered extensive information to attain this level. Key verbs to utilize at this stage are appraise, conclude, critique, evaluate, support, and summarize.

6. Create: Produce New or Original Work

This is the highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy where the student should be able to fully demonstrate the application of what they have learnt and create something original. This could include building something based on the principles that they learnt, improving processes to make it more efficient or designing a product. Educators can use verbs like categorize, combine, compile, devise, design, generate, modify, and write.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy?

3 Student learning outcomes from Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy provides a framework for the assessment of student learning. The system comprises different domains and each domain has several sub-domains. Each of which has its own specific descriptors. The descriptors provide a way to measure student understanding and can be used to identify areas in which students are progressing or where they need improvement.

1. Cognitive domain in Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain focuses on mental abilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and information acquisition. It was the first domain formed by Bloom's initial research group. The cognitive hierarchy ranges from basic memorizing to inventing something new based on previously learned information. Learners go through the ranking in this domain, starting with "remember" and ending with "make." 

2. Affective domain in Bloom’s Taxonomy

The affective domain is concerned with learners' attitudes, values, interests, and appreciation. Receiving and listening to information is the first step in the hierarchy, leading its way towards characterization or internalizing values and consistently acting on them. It was designed to help students understand their own beliefs and how they have evolved.

3. Psychomotor domain in Bloom’s taxonomy

Learners' capacity to physically complete activities and perform movement and skills get referred to as the psychomotor domain. There are multiple variants with various hierarchies - the examples given are from Harrow's (1972) psychomotor domain theory. Reflexes and fundamental movement are at the bottom of the scale, followed by non-discursive communication and meaningfully expressive action.

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy effectively in the classroom

Educators continue to refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy in their classroom even today as they see the value of progressively setting objectives that cater to each level of the students’ learning journey. Let us look at the different ways educators can use Bloom’s Taxonomy effectively in their classroom:

  • Focusing on developing the curriculum to ensure students demonstrate the appropriate cognitive skills in each task and exam before moving on to the next.
  • Setting clear, simple, and quantifiable learning outcomes. Using Bloom’s taxonomy of measurable verbs, will allow students to respond to queries and perform activities based on the objective of the level. For example, questions that require students to compare, discuss, and forecast, will aid their fundamental comprehension of a project. verbs like explore and relate indicate that they have moved on to the analysis phase.
  • Students must not be viewed as passive learners in the classroom. Instead, they must be urged to challenge themselves to memorize facts or even make a list of essential knowledge they learned that day after the lesson. Using Bloom's taxonomy in Math, educators could engage the class in discussions to break down the problem, making analogies, and looking at how a subject could connect to students' daily lives.
  • Bloom's Taxonomy can also be used to classify assignments and exams. Mid-term reviews often contain details and lectures understood from the bottom of the pyramid in the Remember, Understand and Apply stage.
  • When it comes to final examinations, Bloom's Taxonomy critical thinking may get used in measuring learning at the top of the pyramid, which includes Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. Students apply what they've learned in class to real-life situations, offer educated opinions and defend them, and explore additional issues that need to be answered, including presenting examples.

Provide an engaged classroom experience with Kritik!

Applying the principles of Bloom’s taxonomy in the classroom enables students to immerse themselves in the learning process at every level and reflect on what they have learnt. As a peer evaluation tool, Kritik does the same with the three stages of assessment (Creation, Evaluation and Feedback) giving students an opportunity to learn from their peers, adapt and improve their work and gain a deeper understanding of the topic.

Schedule a demo with our team today to implement peer assessment in your classroom.

Preeti Ravi
Content Marketing Manager

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