Questioning based upon Bloom’s Taxonomy for the Cognitive
In the mid-1950s, Bloom and coworkers describe three
domains of learning:
- cognitive (about knowing)
- affective (about attitudes,
- psychomotor (about doing)
Taxonomies for COGNITIVE and PSYCHOMOTOR domains
were formulated and published by Bloom and coworkers in the 1950s. Several
updates and revisions have been made since then, but the original taxonomies
tend to be more readily understood. Later versions can seem rather complicated.
The remainder of these two pages summarizes the six
levels of the COGNITIVE DOMAIN taxonomy, and includes verbs and question stems
for each level. These are useful when building MODULE or LESSON Learning Goals,
and when writing questions for activities and assessments. Note that these
provide guidance. Many authors like to either swap columns 5 & 6, or rename
columns, or argue about 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4 or 5 vs 6 … the point is this is a
framework and it is useful; but don’t feel constrained or intimidated by it.
Finally, are these “levels” hierarchical? This is
often debated. Consider all as necessary, but knowledge and comprehension as
foundations. You may have trouble if you focus on 5 & 6 unless you are sure
students are competent to some degree with 1, 2, 3, and 4. Some would argue
levels 5 and 6 are the domains of “experts” – ie suitable in grad school only,
but others will disagree. Testing at all levels is highly recommended. And you
can ask hard level 1 questions or easy level 6 questions (although it may take
Goggle Bloom’s Taxonomy and you will be swamped with
resources, many trivial and some that are excellent.
Knowledge or Recognition Questions
- What is...?
- How is...?
- Where is...?
- When did ... happen?
- How would you describe...?
- Can you select....?
- Can you list three...?
- Who was....?
- Who were the
- Why did....?
- Mastery of
- Knowledge of
ideas and facts
Comprehension or Recall Questions
- How would you
- How would you compare/contrast...?
- Rephrase the meaning of...
- What facts or ideas show....?
- Interpret in your own words...?
- Which statement supports...?
- How would you summarize...?
- What is meant....?
- What is the main
- Grasping meaning
- Predict consequences
- Order, group, infer
- Translating from one scenario to another
- Describing in your own words
- Organization and
selection of facts
- How would you use...
- How would you solve... using what you have learned
- How would you organize....to show....
- What approach would you use to...
- What would result if....
- What facts would you select to show...
- Problem solving by applying acquired knowledge
- Using information in a new context
- Using facts, rules or principles in new situations
- How is this related to.
- Why is this significant?
- What are the parts of...?
- How is....related to...?
- What is the theme of...?
- What do you think...?
- Can you list the parts...?
- What inferences can you make...?
- What conclusions can you draw...?
- How would you categorize...?
- What is the relationship between...?
- What is the function of...?
- What ideas justify...?
- Can you make the distinction between...?
- Identifying motives or hidden meanings
- Seeing patterns
- Subdividing something to how it is put together
- Finding the underlying structure
- Classify…according to
- How does…compare and contrast with.
- What changes would you make to solve....?
- How would you improve...?
- Can you elaborate on the reason...?
- Can you propose an alternative...?
- How would you adapt...to create a different...?
- What could be done to minimize....?
- How would you test...?
- Can you formulate a theory...?
- Can you predict the outcome if...?
- Can you construct a model that would change...?
- Combining ideas to form a new whole
- Predict, draw conclusions
- What solution would you suggest
- What might happen if you combined
- What could you predict or infer from.
- Do you agree with...?
- How would you prove...?
- Why did they choose...?
- Would it be better if....?
- How would you evaluate...?
- How could you determine...?
- What choice would you have made...?
- How would you prioritize...?
- How would you justify...?
- Given a scenario, what's the BEST option?
- Same scenario - what's the WORST option?
- Why, or how did you choose? (both)
- Making value decisions – make choices based on reasoned argument
- Assess value of theories
- Compare and discriminate
- Developing opinions, judgments or decisions
- Resolving controversies
Ask and STLF for more help.