Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives General Resource - Review and consider possibilities

Last updated on 25/02/2020

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Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives
CC BY 2.0 Vanderbilt University


Bloom's taxonomy is a framework for designing and analysing learning outcomes.


Bloom's taxonomy is represented in the Griffith Course Design Standards:


We optimise our learning environments to build our students’ capacity to confidently and capably manage their own learning and enable all of our students to succeed to the best of their ability.

FS 5.1 Students experience a course which clearly aligns learning goals, activities and assessment.


Bloom's taxonomy was developed by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues in 1956 for use in designing and analysing learning. It was designed as a nested hierarchy, where the higher levels subsume the lower levels. It has been used extensively in P-12 and higher education to design lessons, courses, assessment and assessment rubrics. Its power lies in the choice of verbs to describe the level of the intended learning objectives. In 2001, revised version of the taxonomy was published which acknowledged more contemporary understandings of learning and information (Anderson, Krathwohl, et al., 2001).

The revised taxonomy (Krathwohl 2002) includes knowledge dimensions:

  • A. Factual knowledge - basic elements of knowledge
  • B. Conceptual knowledge - the interrelationships between the basic elements
  • C. Procedural knowledge - skills, methods, techniques
  • D. Metacognitive knowledge - awareness & knowledge of self

The cognitive dimensions are:

  1. Remember - recall
  2. Understand - meaning making
  3. Apply - using procedures
  4. Analyse - breaking down into parts, finding relationships and structure
  5. Evaluate - make judgments, critique
  6. Create - generate products

You can use Bloom's revised taxonomy to design and align course and assessment learning outcomes.

Note that the hierarchy does not imply that students must start at a lower level and move through the levels. As the higher levels subsume the lower levels, it is important to aim for the upper levels of the taxonomy in all courses.


Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., ... & Wittrock, M. C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives, abridged edition.White Plains, NY: Longman.

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