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Revised Bloom's Taxonomy
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Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains

Bloom's Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning).

The Three Types of Learning

The committee identified three domains of educational activities or learning (Bloom, 1956):

Since the work was produced by higher education, the words tend to be a little bigger than we normally use. Domains can be thought of as categories. Trainers often refer to these three categories as KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude). This taxonomy of learning behaviors can be thought of as “the goals of the learning process.” That is, after a learning episode, the learner should have acquired new skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes.

While the committee produced an elaborate compilation for the cognitive and affective domains, they omitted the psychomotor domain. Their explanation for this oversight was that they have little experience in teaching manual skills within the college level (I guess they never thought to check with their sports or drama departments).

This compilation divides the three domains into subdivisions, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The divisions outlined are not absolutes and there are other systems or hierarchies that have been devised in the educational and training world. However, Bloom's taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied one in use today.

Cognitive Domain

learner thinking - cognitive domain

The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills (Bloom, 1956). This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first ones must normally be mastered before the next ones can take place.

Table of The Cognitive Domain

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Knowledge: Recall data or information.

Examples: Recite a policy. Quote prices from memory to a customer. Know the safety rules. Define a term.

Key Words: arranges, defines, describes, identifies, knows, labels, lists, matches, names, outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces, selects, states.

Comprehension: Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one's own words.

Examples: Rewrites the principles of test writing. Explain in one's own words the steps for performing a complex task. Translates an equation into a computer spreadsheet.

Key Words: comprehends, converts, defends, distinguishes, estimates, explains, extends, generalizes, gives an example, infers, interprets, paraphrases, predicts, rewrites, summarizes, translates.

Application: Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place.

Examples: Use a manual to calculate an employee's vacation time. Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test.

Key Words: applies, changes, computes, constructs, demonstrates, discovers, manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts, prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves, uses.

Analysis: Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences.

Examples: Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gathers information from a department and selects the required tasks for training.

Key Words: analyzes, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates.

Synthesis: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.

Examples: Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task. Integrates training from several sources to solve a problem. Revises and process to improve the outcome.

Key Words: categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.

Evaluation: Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.

Examples: Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.

Key Words: appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.

 

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

Lorin Anderson, a former student of Bloom, revisited the cognitive domain in the learning taxonomy in the mid-nineties and made some changes, with perhaps the two most prominent ones being, 1) changing the names in the six categories from noun to verb forms, and 2) slightly rearranging them (Anderson, Krathwohl, Airasian, Cruikshank, Mayer, Pintrich, Raths, Wittrock, 2000; Pohl, 2000).

This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate:

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

Table of The Revised Cognitive Domain

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Remembering: Recall previous learned information.

Examples: Recite a policy. Quote prices from memory to a customer. Knows the safety rules.

Key Words: defines, describes, identifies, knows, labels, lists, matches, names, outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces, selects, states.

Understanding: Comprehending the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one's own words.

Examples: Rewrites the principles of test writing. Explain in one's own words the steps for performing a complex task. Translates an equation into a computer spreadsheet.

Key Words: comprehends, converts, defends, distinguishes, estimates, explains, extends, generalizes, gives an example, infers, interprets, paraphrases, predicts, rewrites, summarizes, translates.

Applying: Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place.

Examples: Use a manual to calculate an employee's vacation time. Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test.

Key Words: applies, changes, computes, constructs, demonstrates, discovers, manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts, prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves, uses.

Analyzing: Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences.

Examples: Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gathers information from a department and selects the required tasks for training.

Key Words: analyzes, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates.

Evaluating: Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.

Examples: Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.

Key Words: appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.

Creating: Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.

Examples: Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task. Integrates training from several sources to solve a problem. Revises and process to improve the outcome.

Key Words: categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.

 

Alternative to Bloom: Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) Taxonomy

While Bloom's Taxonomy has been quite useful in that it has extended learning from simply remembering to more complex cognitive structures, such as analyzing and evaluating, newer models have come along. IT has also become more useful with the revised taxonomy.

However, one model that might prove more useful is the Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) taxonomy. It is a model that describes levels of increasing complexity in a learner's understanding of subjects (Biggs, Collis, 1982). It aids both trainers and learners in understanding the learning process. The model consists of five levels in the order of understanding:

SOLO Taxonomy

SOLO not only shows the instructors how the learners are progressing, but also the learners themselves. This can best be shown by using the square process (start in the inner square):

SOLO-squares

Affective Domain

affective domain

The affective domain (Krathwohl, Bloom, Masia, 1973) includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes. The five major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex:

 

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Receiving Phenomena: Awareness, willingness to hear, selected attention.

Examples: Listen to others with respect. Listen for and remember the name of newly introduced people.

Key Words: asks, chooses, describes, follows, gives, holds, identifies, locates, names, points to, selects, sits, erects, replies, uses.

Responding to Phenomena: Active participation on the part of the learners. Attends and reacts to a particular phenomenon. Learning outcomes may emphasize compliance in responding, willingness to respond, or satisfaction in responding (motivation).

Examples:  Participates in class discussions.  Gives a presentation. Questions new ideals, concepts, models, etc. in order to fully understand them. Know the safety rules and practices them.

Key Words: answers, assists, aids, complies, conforms, discusses, greets, helps, labels, performs, practices, presents, reads, recites, reports, selects, tells, writes.

Valuing: The worth or value a person attaches to a particular object, phenomenon, or behavior. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more complex state of commitment. Valuing is based on the internalization of a set of specified values, while clues to these values are expressed in the learner's overt behavior and are often identifiable. 

Examples:  Demonstrates belief in the democratic process. Is sensitive towards individual and cultural differences (value diversity). Shows the ability to solve problems. Proposes a plan to social improvement and follows through with commitment. Informs management on matters that one feels strongly about.

Key Words: completes, demonstrates, differentiates, explains, follows, forms, initiates, invites, joins, justifies, proposes, reads, reports, selects, shares, studies, works.

Organization: Organizes values into priorities by contrasting different values, resolving conflicts between them, and creating an unique value system.  The emphasis is on comparing, relating, and synthesizing values. 

Examples:  Recognizes the need for balance between freedom and responsible behavior. Accepts responsibility for one's behavior. Explains the role of systematic planning in solving problems. Accepts professional ethical standards. Creates a life plan in harmony with abilities, interests, and beliefs. Prioritizes time effectively to meet the needs of the organization, family, and self.

Key Words: adheres, alters, arranges, combines, compares, completes, defends, explains, formulates, generalizes, identifies, integrates, modifies, orders, organizes, prepares, relates, synthesizes.

Internalizing values (characterization): Has a value system that controls their behavior. The behavior is pervasive, consistent, predictable, and most importantly, characteristic of the learner. Instructional objectives are concerned with the student's general patterns of adjustment (personal, social, emotional).

Examples:  Shows self-reliance when working independently. Cooperates in group activities (displays teamwork). Uses an objective approach in problem solving.  Displays a professional commitment to ethical  practice on a daily basis. Revises judgments and changes behavior in light of new evidence. Values people for what they are, not how they look.

Key Words: acts, discriminates, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies, questions, revises, serves, solves, verifies.

 

 

Psychomotor Domain

psychomotor domain The psychomotor domain (Simpson, 1972) includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution. The seven major categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex:

 

 

 

 

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Perception (awareness): The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity.  This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation.

Examples:  Detects non-verbal communication cues. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Adjusts heat of stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. Adjusts the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet.

Key Words: chooses, describes, detects, differentiates, distinguishes, identifies, isolates, relates, selects.

Set: Readiness to act. It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person's response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets).

Examples:  Knows and acts upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Recognize one's abilities and limitations. Shows desire to learn a new process (motivation). NOTE: This subdivision of Psychomotor is closely related with the “Responding to phenomena” subdivision of the Affective domain.

Key Words: begins, displays, explains, moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states, volunteers.

Guided Response: The early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error. Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.

Examples:  Performs a mathematical equation as demonstrated. Follows instructions to build a model. Responds hand-signals of instructor while learning to operate a forklift.

Key Words: copies, traces, follows, react, reproduce, responds

Mechanism (basic proficiency): This is the intermediate stage in learning a complex skill. Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency.

Examples:  Use a personal computer. Repair a leaking faucet. Drive a car.

Key Words: assembles, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.

Complex Overt Response (Expert): The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns. Proficiency is indicated by a quick, accurate, and highly coordinated performance, requiring a minimum of energy. This category includes performing without hesitation, and automatic performance. For example, players are often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football, because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce.

Examples:  Maneuvers a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Displays competence while playing the piano.

Key Words: assembles, builds, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.

NOTE: The Key Words are the same as Mechanism, but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker, better, more accurate, etc.

Adaptation: Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements.

Examples:  Responds effectively to unexpected experiences.  Modifies instruction to meet the needs of the learners. Perform a task with a machine that it was not originally intended to do (machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task).

Key Words: adapts, alters, changes, rearranges, reorganizes, revises, varies.

Origination: Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem. Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills.

Examples:  Constructs a new theory. Develops a new and comprehensive training programming. Creates a new gymnastic routine.

Key Words: arranges, builds, combines, composes, constructs, creates, designs, initiate, makes, originates.

 

 

Other Psychomotor Domain Taxonomies

As mentioned earlier, the committee did not produce a compilation for the psychomotor domain model, but others have. The one discussed above is by Simpson (1972). There are two other popular versions:

Dave's (1975):

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Imitation — Observing and patterning behavior after someone else. Performance may be of low quality.

Examples: Copying a work of art. Performing a skill while observing a demonstrator.

Key Words: copy, follow, mimic, repeat, replicate, reproduce, trace

Manipulation — Being able to perform certain actions by memory or following instructions.

Examples: Being able to perform a skill on one's own after taking lessons or reading about it. Follows instructions to build a model.

Key Words: act, execute, perform

Precision — Refining, becoming more exact. Performing a skill within a high degree of precision

Examples:  Working and reworking something, so it will be “just right.” Perform a skill or task without assistance. Demonstrate a task to a beginner.

Key Words: calibrate, demonstrate, master, perfectionism

Articulation — Coordinating and adapting a series of actions to achieve harmony and internal consistency.

Examples: Combining a series of skills to produce a video that involves music, drama, color, sound, etc. Combining a series of skills or activities to meet a novel requirement.

Key Words: adapt, constructs, creates, modifies

Naturalization — Mastering a high level performance until it become second-nature or natural, without needing to think much about it.

Examples:  Maneuvers a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Displays competence while playing the piano. Michael Jordan playing basketball or Nancy Lopez hitting a golf ball.

Key Words: design, development

 

Harrow's (1972):

 

Category

Example and Key Words (verbs)

Reflex Movements — Reactions that are not learned, such as a involuntary reaction

Examples:  instinctive response

Key Words: react, respond

Fundamental Movements — Basic movements such as walking, or grasping.

Examples:  perform a simple task

Key Words:grasp and object, throw a ball, walk

Perceptual Abilities — Response to stimuli such as visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or tactile discrimination.

Examples:  track a moving object, recognize a pattern

Key Words: catch a ball, draw or write

Physical Abilities (fitness) — Stamina that must be developed for further development such as strength and agility.

Examples:  gain strength, run a marathon

Key Words: agility, endurance, strength

Skilled movements — Advanced learned movements as one would find in sports or acting.

Examples:  Using an advanced series of integrated movements, perform a role in a stage play or play in a set of series in a sports game.

Key Words: adapt, constructs, creates, modifies

 

No discursive communication — Use effective body language, such as gestures and facial expressions.

Examples:  Express one's self by using movements and gestures

Key Words: interpretation 

 

 

 

Next Steps

Learning Strategies: Using Bloom's Taxonomy

Instructional Design Toolkit

 

References

Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., Raths, J., Wittrock, M. C. (2000). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon.

Biggs, J. B. and Collis, K. (1982). Evaluating the Quality of Learning: the SOLO taxonomy. New York, Academic Press

Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.

Dave, R. H. (1975). Developing and Writing Behavioral Objectives. (R. J. Armstrong, ed.). Tucson, Arizona: Educational Innovators Press.

Harrow, A. (1972) A Taxonomy of Psychomotor Domain: A Guide for Developing Behavioral Objectives. New York: David McKay.

Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., & Masia, B. B. (1973). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook II: Affective Domain. New York: David McKay Co., Inc.

Pohl, M. (2000). Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn: Models and Strategies to Develop a Classroom Culture of Thinking. Cheltenham, Vic.: Hawker Brownlow.

Simpson E. J. (1972). The Classification of Educational Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain. Washington, DC: Gryphon House.