Bloom’s Taxonomy (Part 2): Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in Assessment

September 19, 2016 Christy Terry

 

Now that we know what Bloom’s Taxonomy is, it’s time to discuss a few helpful tips for applying the philosophy to assessments as a means of gaining insight into learning comprehension.

Tips for Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to Assessment

  1. Always keep the hierarchy in mind.

When selecting learning outcomes for the semester, it’s important to remember that Bloom’s Taxonomy follows a hierarchy, with the lowest level of cognition beginning at the bottom. Therefore, creating exam questions according to expected learning ability in relation to those levels is crucial. For example, exams given toward the beginning of the semester might consist only of questions that apply to the Remembering level of Bloom’s, followed by (as well as combined with) questions that apply to Understanding and Applying.

  1. Introduce exam items that explore higher levels of cognition gradually.

Once students have mastered the learning objectives tied to the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, educators can begin integrating questions from each of the higher levels as well. As the semester develops and students gain a stronger understanding of the material, the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used more sparingly, with the higher levels taking precedence.

  1. Analyze assessment results and readjust course objectives accordingly.

After reviewing assessments, educators can determine which learning objectives may need to be revisited for students to master specific levels within Bloom’s Taxonomy. ExamSoft allows educators to tag each exam item to these levels, as well as key course objectives, to measure learning accordingly. Easily digestible reports are then produced to help identify specific weaknesses so that curriculum changes can be considered to keep students on the right track.

The Bloom’s Taxonomy approach to measured learning is a proven way to support learning improvement and develop a strong curriculum, so be sure to keep these tips in mind when creating assessments throughout the semester.

In the next installment of this series, we'll share key components that help guide the process of writing specific objectives to effectively measure learning according to Bloom's Taxonomy.

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