Understanding Six Levels of Blooms Taxonomy

Understanding Six Levels of Blooms Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy of educational learning objectives. He identified three domains of learning: Cognitive Domain, Affective Domain, and Psychomotor Domain. Let’s understand the six levels of Blooms Taxonomy and see what type of learning each level can address:

Knowledge

  • Represents the lowest level of knowledge
  • Imparts knowledge that needs to be recalled or recognized
  • Learners are assessed on their ability to recall or recognize facts

Comprehension

  • Imparts knowledge that needs to be assimilated in order to interpret / make a decision
  • Assumes recall of facts (Level 1) has been mastered
  • Learners are assessed on comprehension and the resulting ability to make a decision in a given situation

Application

  • Used to teach skills for application in various circumstances
  • Assumes recall of facts (Level 1) and assimilation have been mastered (Level 2)
  • Learners are assessed on their ability to apply a skill in a new situation

Analysis

  • Used to teach analysis of a situation to arrive at a decision/compare/differentiate
  • Assumes recall of facts, assimilation, and application (Level 3) have been mastered
  • Learners are assessed on their ability to analyze, compare, differentiate, or justify

Synthesis

  • Used to teach how to create new entities from known information/objects/facts
  • Assumes mastery of all previous cognitive levels
  • Learners are assessed on their ability to combine, summarize, organize

Evaluation

  • Used to teach knowledge that will enable learners to make judgments
  • Considers all previous levels of knowledge
  • Learners are assessed on their ability to evaluate new entities

By creating learning objectives and assessments at the appropriate Bloom’s level we can make our courses truly effective.

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Written By Pamela Fontenot

Pamela Fontenot

Tags: Blooms Taxonomy, domains of learning, Learning, learning objective, types of learning
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4 comments on “Understanding Six Levels of Blooms Taxonomy
  1. Michael J. Spangle says:

    When a true concept is discovered and it is put to the test in the real world, it has the foundation of becoming timeless. For all the representations concerning the limitations/flaws that Bloom’s Taxonomy is supposed to contain, and for all the research on how the brain works that has been done since he first published this, the taxonomy still stands true because it is in alignment with the real world and it works. There is only one additional level that I would wish to see added to the six, and that is Wisdom. It is not enough to know how to do something but it can be, and often is, more important to be able to explain Why, or even Why Not, something Should be done. Dr. Frankenstein had mastered the first six levels in his pursuit of knowledge but he failed miserably in the area of Wisdom. He never asked the question, “Just because I CAN do something, does that mean that I SHOULD do that thing?”

  2. Bloom’s is great standard that can be developed and built upon. Published in 23 languages and used internationally by institutes of higher learning this is a great standard. I’ve used this standard in countless processes in addition to the development of knowledge transfer curriculum and exam /evaluation.

  3. Gina Gray says:

    I have used Blooms as a guide for developing lesson plans when I was in the education field, and have also incorporated the various levels in training material I have developed as an Instructional Designer in a corporate setting. I agree with the previous comments regarding the validity of the levels and Blooms connection to real world concepts. Where I struggle with applying some of the Blooms levels in ID work, however, is in the area of actually measuring the knowledge transfer. I realize you can measure a person’s understanding of the concepts and/or application of the processes through various evaluation methods; however, when using some of the concepts with adult learners in a corporate training it is sometimes difficult to measure the learner’s level of comprehension.

  4. Michael J. Spangle says:

    Gina,
    I empathize with your situation. This is especially challenging in the area of what is generally referred to as “soft skills” training. Training a person to adopt a specific attitude is difficult as the attitude is an internal thing. The closest you can come is to evaluate the behaviors of the trainee and compare them to those behaviors which would be consistent with the desired attitude. We can not directly measure the degree to which a person embraces diversity, but we can measure the way in which they interact with other employees to see if their words and actions are consistent with those of a person who has embraced it.

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