Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Action Verbs

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom first described a hierarchy of cognitive skills, with higher-level skills building upon those at lower levels. His hierarchy, and verbs associated with these various levels, have been extensively discussed, revised, and enlarged. The following is a short description of each cognitive skill.

Knowledge: Standards that ask the learner to recognize and recall facts and specifics; rote memorization

  • Observation of information, memorizing
  • Recognizing, recalling, identifying
  • Knowledge of major ideas
  • Mastery of subject matter

Comprehension: Standards that ask the learner to interpret, summarize, or paraphrase important information

  • Understanding information
  • Translating from one medium or context to another
  • Interpreting facts
  • Organization and selection of facts and ideas
  • Describing in one’s own words
  • Predict consequences

Application: Standards that ask the learner to use concepts in a situation different from the original learning context

  • Use methods, concepts, theories in new situations
  • Use of information, facts, rules and principles
  • Solve problems using required skills or knowledge
  • Applying information to produce some result

Analysis: Standards that ask the learner to separate the whole into its parts, differentiate between parts, and better understand the organization of the whole and the relationship between the parts

  • Separation of a whole into component parts
  • Finding the underlying structure of a message
  • Seeing patterns
  • Organization of parts
  • Recognition of levels of meaning
  • Identification of components
  • Identifying motives

Synthesis: Standards that ask the learner to combine learned elements to form a new entity

  • Use old ideas to create new ones
  • Generalize from given facts
  • Relate knowledge from several areas
  • Predict, draw conclusions

Evaluation: Standards that ask the learner to make decisions, judge, or select based on criteria and rationale; look at others’ ideas or principles and see the worth of the work and the value of the methods and conclusions

  • Compare and discriminate between ideas
  • Assess value of theories, presentations
  • Make choices based on reasoned argument
  • Verify value of evidence
  • Recognize subjectivity
  • Resolve controversies
  • Development of opinions, judgments, or decisions

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Skills with Action Verbs List

As noted by Dr. Gavin Henning, a leading proponent of equitable assessment, there are other approaches to categorizing learning outcomes:

View additional resources collected by Dr. Henning.

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