Climb Blooms Taxonomy

Context: You want students to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a variety of ways beyond rote memorization. Bloom’s Taxonomy organizes educational learning objectives into three domains: cognitive (knowledge-based), affective (emotive-based), and psychomotor (action-based). Each domain is organized into levels; the cognitive levels are: 1: Remember; 2: Understand; 3: Apply; 4: Analyze; 5: Evaluate; 6: Create.


Problem & Forces: Lectures and tests often focus on lower levels (remember, understand) but you need to prepare students for future work at higher levels (apply, analyze, evaluate, create). Students do not always remember and understand content they were taught previously, which makes it more difficult to use or build on that content later. Some teachers believe that beginning courses should focus on lower levels, and advanced courses should focus on higher levels, but this can lead to beginning courses that encourage rote learning, are less engaging, and do not prepare students for advanced courses.


Solution & Consequences: Therefore, progress from lower to higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, both within and across learning activities and assignments.  Although beginning students do not yet have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of advanced students, every course, activity, and assignment is an opportunity to help students develop higher-order skills.

Discussion: Climb Bloom’s Taxonomy occurs naturally in EIA (Explore, Invent, Apply) Learning Cycles and with DCV (Directed, Convergent, Divergent) Questions. A cycle usually starts with directed exploration questions that prompt students to remember prior knowledge or notice features in the model, which is useful for Misconception Assessment. Next, convergent questions guide students to use this knowledge and understand new concepts. Finally, convergent and divergent questions prompt students to apply their new understanding in other contexts, which may involve evaluation or creation. Thus, lower level questions are useful for Misconception Assessment, while higher level questions are useful to Challenge Understanding, to Try It Yourself, and for Reflection. A POGIL activity often contains several models that are increasingly complex or abstract, guiding students to higher levels of cognitive activity.


Author: Clif Kussmaul

Publication: C Kussmaul. 2016. Patterns in classroom activities for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). HILLSIDE Proc. of Conf. on Pattern Lang. of Prog. 23 (October 2016).

Contributors to this page: Clif Kussmaul .
Page last modified on Sat November 11, 2017 12:13:53 EST by Clif Kussmaul. (Version 2)