Bloom’s Taxonomy is an educational framework classifying different cognitive skills and knowledge levels. It is a hierarchical model where higher levels build upon lower ones. Setting clear learning objectives, designing effective learning materials, fostering critical thinking, and assessing learning more effectively are some benefits of using this approach.
My previous post gave an overview of the original and revised Bloom’s taxonomy. In this post, I will focus on the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and have a closer look at the levels – I will give examples of activities, sample questions and cognitive processes associated with each group.
The revised taxonomy was published in 2001 by researchers who used the original taxonomy as a foundation. They incorporated new studies and a contemporary understanding of learning processes to propose a new approach. You can read more about it in the book “A Taxonomy For Learning, Teaching and Assessing“.
Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels
Bloom’s levels are often represented as a pyramid to indicate the progression of cognitive complexity and the hierarchical nature of learning. The pyramid suggests that each level builds upon the previous one, with the lower levels setting up the foundation for higher-level thinking. There are six sequential levels. The revised version uses action verbs as level labels. This approach helps to describe measurable and observable actions – action verbs more clearly and concisely express the intended learning outcomes and the type of skills and competencies learners should show.
Let’s take a look at the different levels and what each one entails. Select an eye icon next to the level’s name to read more about each level.
Using Bloom’s Taxonomy
This taxonomy might seem difficult initially, but it should be more straightforward to implement after seeing some examples.
Writing clear learning objectives
Remember that the main goal here is to communicate learning objectives clearly. It is important to use measurable verbs that will lead to measurable results. Your objectives should also be learner-centred.
Original Objective: Understand the Industrial Revolution.
Do you think that the student will know exactly what to do? Is the learning objective specific enough? Understanding is challenging to be measured and assessed. It needs to be more specific. How about including more precise outcomes – for instance:
Improved Objective: Identify the main social, political, and economic factors that led to the Industrial Revolution or: Name the main social and political factors that led to Industrial Revolution and describe its social impact.
Here we have more specific and measurable objectives. It should be very clear to the student what needs to be done.
Here is another example:
Original Objective: Familiarise yourself with social media campaigns.
Again familiarise is not a measurable verb. Can we be more specific? What exactly do we want learners to achieve? What do you want them to be familiar with? How about re-writing this objective as follows:
Improved Objective: Create a social media campaign on Facebook to increase awareness of the risks associated with consuming fast food. or: Name free social media platforms available for solo entrepreneurs and explore their suitability for retail, B2B services and DIY niche.
Writing objectives at the appropriate cognitive level
The taxonomy can help you to address the relevant level – make sure to write the goals that match learners’ advancement and needs. This way, you can feed learners more knowledge and keep them interested and motivated. Below are some examples of dummy social media course objectives for different cognitive levels – select down-pointing arrow to access examples.
- Based on your experience with social media platforms, make a product prototype for the perfect tool.
- Review the three discussed approaches to conducting social media marketing and recommend the most appropriate strategy for artists and creative workers.
- Analyse the proposed social media campaign plan and identify possible implementation issues.
- Review the Campaign results and identify the list of possible improvements/reasons for unnecessary budget spent.
- Write a one-page social media campaign plan (the roadmap) for the life coach starting their own business, recommending the right tools.
- Develop and implement a long-term social media campaign for company x, ensuring the sales funnel application.
- Name the Social Media platforms most suitable for B2B marketing.
- Name the stages of creating an online product sales funnel.
- Name free social media platforms available for solo entrepreneurs.
- Define what a sales funnel is.
Blooms Taxonomy Sample Questions and Activities
I have created a free cheat sheet that outlines each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and lists sample questions and cognitive activities. Hopefully, this aid will support you in improving your course design. It should help you explain learning expectations more clearly and write more specific learning outcomes for a lesson, topic, or course. You can preview it below. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive the full-res PDF version!
I hope you will find this post helpful on your design journey. While I don’t always strictly follow it, I tend to keep it in mind to set clear learning objectives and design better learning programmes that keep learners interested, motivated and foster critical thinking.
Wikimedia Foundation. (2023, July 10). Bloom’s taxonomy. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom’s_taxonomy
Krahtwohl, L. W., & Anderson, D. R. (2013). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing. Pearson Higher Education.
Bloom’s taxonomy of measurable verbs – utica college. (n.d.). https://www.utica.edu/academic/Assessment/new/Blooms Taxonomy – Best.pdf
Shabatura, J. (2022, July 26). Using Bloom’s taxonomy to write effective learning outcomes. Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support. https://tips.uark.edu/using-blooms-taxonomy/
Shabatura, J. (2022a, July 26). Learning outcomes: Examples and before & after. Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support. https://tips.uark.edu/learning-objectives-before-and-after-examples/
Shabatura , J. (2014, September 18). Bloom’s taxonomy verb chart. Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support. https://tips.uark.edu/blooms-taxonomy-verb-chart/
Andreev, I. (2023, May 17). Bloom’s taxonomy: Revised levels, verbs for objectives . Valamis. https://www.valamis.com/hub/blooms-taxonomy
Blooms taxonomy :: Resource for educators. Blooms Taxonomy :: Resource for Educators. (n.d.). https://bloomstaxonomy.net/
Wikimedia Foundation. (2023a, March 6). Benjamin Bloom. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Bloom
Persaud, C. (2021, February 25). Ultimate Guide to implementing bloom’s taxonomy in your course. Top Hat. https://tophat.com/blog/blooms-taxonomy/
Make sure to check out my other posts related to planning online courses, designing and developing learning content and delivering training. I share strategies and tools that you can use and many practical tips.