Foundation Skills/Developing an assessment/Bloom's taxonomy
|Basics of assessment - principles and tools|
|Developing an assessment||Objectives | Overview of question types | Bloom's taxonomy | Designing an assessment | Communicating expectations to students | Using marking schedules and rubrics | e-Activity | Summary|
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy of thinking skills (cognitive skills). His six categories, in order of increasing cognitive demand, were:
- Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation
In 2001, Anderson and Krathwohl revised Bloom's Taxonomy - their six categories of cognitive skills, once again in order of increasing cognitive demand, are:
- Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating
The first three categories are sometimes called the lower order thinking skills (LOTS), whilst the latter three categories are often referred to as the higher order thinking skills (HOTS).
I've developed the following diagram to illustrate the hierarchy in the revised version of Bloom's Taxonomy, together with a sample of action verbs. Action verbs are the critical doing words used in questions. Quite often, the action verb indicates the complexity (level) of the question, e.g. when you ask a student to "justify a method of investing money", the cognitive demand is obviously greater than simply asking the student to "name one way of investing money".
When planning assessment tasks, first revisit the learning outcomes for your course. The action verb used in an assessment question must match the level intended in the learning outcome, e.g. if a learning outcome requires students to "list the tools used to install a wall-mounted flat-screen TV", then appropriate action verbs can include words such as list and name. You wouldn't ask students to "justify the use of tools ...".