Knowledge “involves the recall of specifics and universals, the recall of methods and processes, or the recall of a pattern, structure, or setting.”Comprehension “refers to a type of understanding or apprehension such that the individual knows what is being communicated and can make use of the material or idea being communicated without necessarily relating it to other material or seeing its fullest implications.”Application refers to the “use of abstractions in particular and concrete situations.”Analysis represents the “breakdown of a communication into its constituent elements or parts such that the relative hierarchy of ideas is made clear and/or the relations between ideas expressed are made explicit.”Synthesis involves the “putting together of elements and parts so as to form a whole.”Evaluation engenders “judgments about the value of material and methods for given purposes.” (quoted from Vanderbilt University)
Updated June 30, 2022
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a framework that classifies human cognition into various levels. Developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues, Bloom’s taxonomy consists of 6 key cognitive domains: Knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
These domains are arranged along a continuum of difficulty from the most simple and concrete (i.e., remembering knowledge) to the most complex and abstract level (i.e., critiquing, evaluating, and making judgements). According to the authors :
Since its inception, Bloom’s Taxonomy has been widely embraced by teachers, educators, trainers, and curriculum designers and was used to help with designing educational content and instructional activities. In the final decade of last century, Lorin Anderson and his colleagues modified Bloom’s Taxonomy adding slight changes that speak to the zeitgeist of today’s teaching.
Changes focused mainly on terminology, structure, and emphasis. At the terminological level, the revised taxonomy used verbs instead of nouns thus highlighting the concepts of agency and action. At the structural level, the revised taxonomy puts Creating at the highest level of the cognitive processes and moved down Synthesis.
This structural change, according to the folks in the Peak Performance Center, “was made because the taxonomy is viewed as a hierarchy reflecting increasing complexity of thinking, and creative thinking (creating level) is considered a more complex form of thinking than critical thinking (evaluating level)”. At the emphasis level, the revised taxonomy “emphasizes the use of taxonomy as a tool for alignment of curriculum planning, instructional delivery, and assessment”.
The Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel below is a graphic I created which visually captures the core elements of Bloom’s Taxonomy (first inner ring) and the revised taxonomy (second ring). I also added a section featuring suggested tools teachers can use with students to develop thinking skills related to any given cognitive level (fourth ring).
Apart from the digital tools section, there is nothing original about this wheel. The design and the content were based on the sources listed at the bottom of this page. Check them out to learn more. I would also love to hear your feedback about this work: use @educatorstech (Twitter) or send me an email at email@example.com.
Do you want this graphic in a downloadable PDF format? Shoot me an email with the subject: ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel visual’. Feel free to use the visual in your website or blog provided you credit this page as the source.
Here are few other examples of Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel you may want to check out. They will help you better understand what Bloom’s Taxonomy is all about and how you can use it in your teaching.
Stonybrook has this awesome interactive Bloom’s taxonomy wheel to use when designing learning objectives. For each level of this taxonomy a number of verbs are provided. Simply click on the wheel and drag it around to see the content of each level.
This is another good Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel that you can use in your instruction. This wheel is composed of three main layers each of which is accorded a specific colour. For instance, the Green area contains suggested activities for students, the orange area contains suggested verbs, and the purple area features levels of the taxonomy.
This 3-page PDF by Quinnipiac outlines what Bloom’s Taxonomy is all about, why it is important and how to use it to design courses. The last page in this document features an awesome Bloom’s Taxonomy wheel composed of three main rings: the first ring is about the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the second level contains verbs associated with each level and the third ring features assessment activities.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Wheel, Clemson.edu
Bloom’s Taxonomy: A New Look at an Old Standby, Intel Teach Program
Bloom’s Taxonomy revised, The Peak Performance Center
Anderson, L. W. & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing. New York: Longman.
Bloom, B.S., (Ed.). 1956. Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York: Longman.