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Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy: Explained

Revised Bloom’s taxonomy puts a lot of emphasis on the learning outcome of students with the use of highly refined terminology. This revised Bloom’s taxonomy is a fresh take on Bloom’s Taxonomy from 1956, which was used to examine the cognitive skills and learning behavior of students.

The terminology changes, revised structure, and more emphasis are all a part of the newly revised approach. Nouns such as evaluation or synthesis are now replaced with verbs such as creating or evaluating respectively.

With structure, “creating” now becomes the highest level i.e., the area meant for generating ideas or constructing a new point of view. Emphasis has also changed, whereby the taxonomy is aimed at wider audiences and attempts to be more universal beyond grade school.

Revised Bloom’s taxonomy largely refers to the focus on two important learning domains that make up educational objectives: cognitive (knowledge) and affective (attitude). The revised taxonomy focuses on six levels:

  • Remember
  • Understand
  • Apply
  • Analyze
  • Evaluate and
  • Create.

These verbs refer to the cognitive process that students encounter and the knowledge that they work with. For instance, a verb under the “remember” category may ask students to recall how to perform CPR whereas a verb under the “create” category may ask students to design an effective project workflow.

Levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

As we have just seen above, there are six levels of cognitive learning according to the revised version of Bloom's Taxonomy. Each level is conceptually different. Let us try and understand these levels in detail.

Remember

Remember can be identified with words like retrieve, recall, or recognize relevant knowledge from long-term memory (e.g., recall dates of important events in Indian history, recognize the components of a bacterial cell or reproduction in a flower). Some of the appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include: cite, define, describe, identify, label, list, match, name, outline, quote, recall, report, reproduce, retrieve, show, state, tabulate, and tell.

Understand

The word “understand” can be comprehended through one or more forms of explanation (e.g., classify a type of physical illness, compare any ritual practices in two different religions). Some of the appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include: abstract, arrange, articulate, associate, categorize, clarify, classify, compare, conclude, compute, contrast, defend, diagram, differentiate, discuss, distinguish, estimate, exemplify, explain, extend, extrapolate, generalize, give examples of, illustrate, infer, interpret, match, outline, paraphrase, predict, rearrange, reorder, rephrase, represent, restate, summarize, transform, and translate.

Apply

Apply is used for the application of information or skill in a new situation (e.g., use Newton's first law to solve any given problem for which it is appropriate, or try to carry out a multivariate statistical analysis using a data set not previously calculated). Some of the appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include: apply, calculate, carry out, classify, complete, compute, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, examine, execute, experiment, generalize, illustrate, implement, infer, interpret, manipulate, modify, operate, organize, outline, predict, solve, transfer, translate, and use.

Analyze

Analyze can be used to break material into its constituent parts and subsequently try to determine how the parts relate to one another or an overall structure or purpose (e.g., analyze the relationship between different flora and fauna in an ecological setting; analyze the relationship between different characters in a story; analyze the relationship between different institutions or groups in society). Some of the appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include analyze, arrange, break down, categorize, classify, compare, connect, contrast, deconstruct, detect, diagram, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, divide, explain, identify, integrate, inventory, order, organize, relate, separate, and structure.

Evaluate

Evaluate means to make judgments based on criteria and standards (e.g., detect inconsistencies or defects within a process or product, determine whether a scientist's conclusions follow from observed data, judge which of two methods is the way to solve a given problem, determine the quality of a product based on disciplinary criteria). Appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include: appraise, appraise, argue, assess, compare, conclude, consider, contrast, convince, criticize, critique, decide, determine, discriminate, evaluate, grade, judge, justify, measure, rank, rate, recommend, review, score, select, standardize, support, test, and validate.

Create

Create means to put elements together to form a new coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure (design a new set for art production, write a report, develop an alternative hypothesis based on criteria, invent a product, create a piece of the story, write a play). Some of the appropriate learning outcome verbs for this level include: arrange, assemble, build, collect, combine, compile, compose, constitute, construct, create, design, develop, devise, formulate, generate, hypothesize, integrate, invent, make, manage, modify, organize, perform, plan, prepare, produce, propose, rearrange, reconstruct, reorganize, revise, rewrite, specify, synthesize, and write.

Using Bloom's Revised Taxonomy in Assessment

These levels of Bloom's Taxonomy can be incredibly helpful in developing learning outcomes because certain verbs are particularly appropriate at each level and not appropriate at other levels (though some verbs are quite useful at multiple levels). A student might list Prime Ministers or proteins or participles to demonstrate that they remember something they learned, but generating a list does not demonstrate (for example) that the student is capable of evaluating the contribution of multiple Prime Ministers to Indian politics or explaining protein folding or distinguishing between active and passive participles.

Conclusion

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is an upgrade to the original taxonomy. The hierarchical arrangement of cognitive skills helps teachers teach in a better way and students learn more easily and efficiently. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy expands the relationship between the knowledge dimension and the cognitive process dimension, essentially making it a two-dimensional framework.

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