Professor Rosilyn Overton | About Learning
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About Learning

Bloom’s Taxonomy*

Educators use this taxonomy to measure how well a student has met the objectives of the educational program.  Each level is higher in terms of mastery.  As college students, you should be striving to reach the highest level you can in each of your courses. For most undergraduate courses, Level 4 will be adequate but not outstanding.  Outstanding undergraduate students will reach Level 5 and occasionally Level 6. — Professor Overton

Level 1: Knowledge observation and recall of information


  • knowledge of dates, events, places
  • knowledge of major ideas
  • mastery of subject matter


Question Cues:
list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.


Level 2: Comprehension understanding information


  • grasp meaning
  • translate knowledge into new context
  • interpret facts, compare, contrast
  • order, group, infer causes
  • predict consequences


Question Cues:
summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend


Level 3: Application use information


  • use methods, concepts, theories in new situations
  • solve problems using required skills or knowledge


Questions Cues:
apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover


Level 4: Analysis seeing patterns


  • organization of parts
  • recognition of hidden meanings
  • identification of components


Question Cues:
analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer


Level 5: Synthesis use old ideas to create new ones


  • generalize from given facts
  • relate knowledge from several areas
  • predict, draw conclusions


Question Cues:
combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite


Level 6: Evaluation compare and discriminate between ideas


  • assess value of theories, presentations
  • make choices based on reasoned argument
  • verify value of evidence
  • recognize subjectivity


Question Cues:
assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize


* Adapted from: Bloom, B.S. (Ed.) (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York ; Toronto: Longmans, Green.