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Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

A Model of Learning Objectives

based on

A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing:
A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives*

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A statement of a learning objective contains a verb (an action) and an object (usually a noun).

  • The verb generally refers to [actions associated with] the intended cognitive process.
  • The object generally describes the knowledge students are expected to acquire or construct.
    (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 4–5)

The cognitive process dimension represents a continuum of increasing cognitive complexityfrom remember to create. Anderson and Krathwohl identify 19 specific cognitive processes that further clarify the bounds of the six categories (Table 1).

Table 1. The cognitive processes dimension categories, cognitive processes (and alternative names)
 
remember understand apply analyze evaluate create

recognizing

(identifying)

recalling

(retrieving)

interpreting

(clarifying, paraphrasing, representing, translating)

exemplifying

(illustrating, instantiating)

classifying

(categorizing, subsuming)

summarizing

(abstracting, generalizing)

inferring

(concluding, extrapolating, interpolating, predicting)

comparing

(contrasting, mapping, matching)

explaining

(constructing models)

executing

(carrying out)

implementing

(using)

differentiating

(discriminating, distinguishing, focusing, selecting)

organizing

(finding coherence, integrating, outlining, parsing, structuring)

attributing

(deconstructing)

checking

(coordinating, detecting, monitoring, testing)

critiquing

(judging)

generating

(hypothesizing)

planning

(designing)

producing

(construct)

(Table 1 adapted from Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 6768.)

The knowledge dimension represents a range from concrete (factual) to abstract (metacognitive) (Table 2). Representation of the knowledge dimension as a number of discrete steps can be a bit misleading. For example, all procedural knowledge may not be more abstract than all conceptual knowledge. And metacognitive knowledge is a special case. In this model, "metacognitive knowledge is knowledge of [one's own] cognition and about oneself in relation to various subject matters . . . " (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, p. 44).

Table 2. The knowledge dimension — major types and subtypes
 
factual conceptual procedural metacognitive

knowledge of terminology

knowledge of specific details and elements

knowledge of classifications and categories

knowledge of principles and generalizations

knowledge of theories, models, and structures

knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms

knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods

knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures

strategic knowledge

knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge

self-knowledge

(Table 2 adapted from Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001, p. 46.).

Recommended resources

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy by Andrew Churches a thorough orientation to the revised taxonomy; practical recommendations for a wide variety of ways mapping the taxonomy to the uses of current online technologies; and associated rubrics

Bloom et al.'s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain (Dr. William G. Huitt, Valdosta State University)

Bloom's Taxonomy - An Overview and Bloom's Taxonomy - Designing Activities (Colorado Community College System Faculty Wiki)

Revising Bloom's Taxonomy. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), Autumn 2002. 212-264. This issue of Theory Into Practice includes the following articles:

Author Title Pages
Krathwohl, D. R. A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy: An Overview 212-218
Pintrich, P.R. The Role of Metacognitive Knowledge in Learning, Teaching, and Assessing 219-225
Mayer, R.E. Rote Versus Meaningful Learning 226-232
Raths, J. Improving Instruction 233-237
Ferguson, C. Using the Revised Taxonomy to Plan and Deliver Team-Taught, Integrated, Thematic Units 238-243
Byrd, P.A. The Revised Taxonomy and Prospective Teachers 244-248
Airasian, P.W. & Miranda, H. The Role of Assessment in the Revised Taxonomy 249-254
Anderson, L.W. Curricular Alignment: A Re-Examination 255-260
  Additional Resources for Classroom Use 261-264

Learning Domains or Bloom's Taxonomy (Don Clark)

The Best Resources For Helping Teachers Use Bloom's Taxonomy In The Classroom (Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...)

*Anderson, L.W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D.R. (Ed.), Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition). New York: Longman.


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A Model of Learning Objectives–based on A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives by Rex Heer, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Iowa State University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.