Learning Objectives (or Learner Outcomes) and Bloom's Taxonomy

A simple Bloom's taxonomy model with Remembering, Understanding, and Applying given as "Lower Order Thinking" and Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating given as "Higher Order Thinking"


A. Why Use Bloom's Taxonomy?

"Bloom's Taxonomy" (web page) introduces Bloom's "framework for for categorizing educational goals" and provides an excellent (and pithy) explanation for why university instructors should use Bloom's Taxonony:

1. "Objectives (learning goals) are important to establish in a pedagogical interchange so that teachers and students alike understand the purpose of that interchange."

2. "Teachers can benefit from using frameworks to organize objectives because

a. "Organizing objectives helps to clarify objectives for themselves and for students.

b. "Having an organized set of objectives helps teachers to:

  • Plan and deliver appropriate instruction
  • Design valid assessment tasks and strategies
  • Ensure that instruction and assessment are aligned with the objectives.”

B. How to Use Bloom's Taxonomy?

"Using Bloom's Taxonomy to Write Effective Learning Objectives" (web page) walks instructors through the process of using the taxonomy in course design, working through the following topics:

  • What is Bloom's Taxomony?
  • How Bloom's can aid in course design
  • How Bloom's works with learning objectives
  • How Bloom's works with Quality Matters
  • How Bloom's works with course level and lesson level objectives
  • Steps towards writing effective learning objectives

C. Other Useful Resources

1. "Bloom's Taxonomy Verb Chart" (web page)

  • A "list of measurable action verbs that can be used when you are creating your learning objectives"

2. "Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and Digital Approaches" (web page)

  • An excellent resource that draws on digital possibilities in the suggested "Keywords and Actions" and "Digital Approaches"
An hourglass shape with the bottom section building up to "Understanding" (for Presentation) in the following order - Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating (as Preparation); the top section builds up from "Remembering" in the following order - Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating (as Practice)


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