Supplemental Resources: Supporting Student Learning

Question / Prompt Cues for Bloom’s Taxonomy

Context

The following document highlights some of the subcategories of Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain as Anderson and Krathwohl revised it in the early 2000s. Anderson and Krathwohl introduced a second facet to Bloom’s taxonomy, encouraging us to think of the ways that each of their revised categories (remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create) mapped onto four different kinds of knowledge (factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive).

We’ve drawn verbs, question cues, and example assignment/quiz statements from the literature that followed this revision. You’ll notice that there is occasionally some overlap between the verbs and question types below. This is because assessments are often context-dependent: some of these verbs map differently onto different disciplines’ practices.

Navigation: Remember  |  Understand  |  Apply   |  Analyze   |  Evaluate  |  Create  |  Resource Attributions

 

(1) REMEMBER

Subcategory Skills
1.1  Recognizing  Ability to recognize dates, events, places, major ideas or concepts
1.2 Recalling Ability to retrieve dates, events, places, major ideas, or concepts

Question / Prompt Cues

MEMORY QUESTIONS require the recall of information that was actually stated, either facts or stated concepts and generalizations.

  • cite
  • define
  • describe
  • identify
  • label
  • list
  • locate
  • match
  • memorize
  • name
  • outline
  • recall
  • recite
  • recognize
  • record
  • relate
  • repeat
  • reproduce
  • select
  • state
  • tabulate
  • “who, when, where” questions

Examples

  1. What is the specific gravity of mercury?
  2. Review the development of the United Nations.
  3. How would you show …?
  4. Who (what) were the main …?
  5. What are three …?
  6. What is the definition of ….?

(2) UNDERSTAND

Subcategory Skills
2.1 Interpreting Changing from one form of representation (e.g., numerical) to another
2.2 Exemplifying Finding a specific example or illustration of a concept or principle
2.3 Classifying Determining that something belongs to a category (e.g., concept or principle)
2.4 Summarizing Abstracting a general theme or major point(s)
2.5 Inferring Drawing a logical conclusion from presented information
2.6 Comparing Detecting correspondences between two ideas, objects, and the like
2.7 Explaining Constructing a cause-and-effect model of a system

Question / Prompt Cues

TRANSLATION QUESTIONS involve expressing an idea in a different form of communication (words to symbols; symbols to words; words to diagrams; words to other words, etc.).

INTERPRETATION QUESTIONS require drawing relationships among facts, definitions, generalizations, or values. (For instance: comparison or contrast questions or questions that seek a cause-and-effect relationship.)

  • classify
  • compare
  • contrast
  • convert
  • defend
  • describe
  • discuss
  • distinguish
  • estimate
  • explain
  • express
  • extend
  • generalize
  • illustrate
  • infer
  • interpret
  • locate
  • organize
  • paraphrase
  • provide examples of
  • predict
  • recognize
  • report
  • restate
  • review
  • rewrite
  • summarize
  • translate

Examples

  1. Depict the steps involved in extracting DNA from a strawberry in the form of a flow chart.
  2. Compare the effects of alcohol and marijuana.
  3. How does the concept of ‘democracy’ as used in the United States differ from the way the word is understood in Russia?
  4. What facts or ideas show …?
  5. What is the main idea of …?
  6. Which statements support …?
  7. How can you explain what is meant by/when …?
  8. What can you say about …?
  9. Which is the best answer …?
  10. How would you summarize …
  11. Write a short summary of the events portrayed in the following video clip
  12. Paraphrase Mary Wollstonecraft’s opinions of contemporary women’s education in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

(3) APPLY

Subcategory Skills
3.1 Executing Applying a concept/procedure to a familiar task/context
3.2 Implementing Applying a concept/procedure to an unfamiliar task/context

Question / Prompt Cues

APPLICATION QUESTIONS often ask the reader to transfer concepts from one academic context to another or from an academic context to the context of everyday life.

  • act
  • apply
  • calculate
  • choose
  • compute
  • construct
  • demonstrate
  • dramatize
  • employ
  • illustrate
  • interpret
  • manipulate
  • modify
  • operate
  • practice
  • predict
  • prepare
  • produce
  • relate
  • schedule
  • show
  • sketch
  • solve
  • use

Examples

  1. How does the growing population of the US affect me?
  2. How does the concept of immediate approval or reward apply in a child’s learning to talk?
  3. How would you use … to address …?
  4. What examples can you find to …?
  5. How would you organize _______ to show …?
  6. How would you show your understanding of …?
  7. What approach would you use to …?
  8. How would you apply what you learned to develop…?
  9. What other approaches could you take if you wanted to …?
  10. What would result if …?
  11. What evidence would you select to show …?
  12. What questions would you ask in an interview with…? Why?

(4) ANALYZE

Subcategory Skills
4.1 Differentiating Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant parts or important from unimportant parts of presented material
4.2 Organizing Determining how elements fit or function within a structure
4.3 Attributing Determine a point of view, bias, values, or intent underlying presented material

Question / Prompt Cues

ANALYSIS QUESTIONS often require the reader to identify the logical steps used in a thinking process to arrive at a conclusion. When working with analysis questions, students must understand the parts as well as the reasoning process used to hold the parts together.

  • analyze
  • appraise
  • categorize
  • classify
  • compare
  • contrast
  • criticize
  • diagnose
  • diagram
  • differentiate
  • discriminate
  • distinguish
  • divide
  • examine
  • infer
  • order
  • outline
  • point out
  • question
  • relate
  • select
  • separate
  • subdivide
  • test

Examples

  1. How does Jefferson arrive at his conclusion that all men are created equal?
  2. Why might many people in the US have shifted from celebrating the concept of tolerance to celebrating the concept of inclusivity?
  3. What are the parts or features of …?
  4. How is _______ related to …?
  5. What motive is there for …?
  6. How would you classify …?
  7. What evidence can you find to support …?
  8. What is the relationship between …?
  9. What distinctions do you see between …?
  10. What is the function of …?
  11. What philosophies justify …?
  12. Structure evidence in a historical description into evidence for and against a particular historical explanation

(5) EVALUATE

Subcategory Skills
5.1 Checking Detecting inconsistencies or fallacies within a process or product; determining whether a process or product has internal consistency; detecting the effectiveness of a procedure as it is being implemented.
5.2 Critiquing Detecting inconsistencies between a product and external criteria, determining whether a product has external consistency; detecting the appropriateness of a procedure for a given problem

Question / Prompt Cues

EVALUATION QUESTIONS require judgments of value and validity measured against specific standards which are derived from the relationships of internal criteria and/or external criteria.

  • advise
  • appraise
  • argue
  • assess
  • choose
  • compare
  • conclude
  • counsel
  • criticize
  • critique
  • decide
  • defend
  • estimate
  • evaluate
  • grade
  • judge
  • manage
  • prepare
  • prioritize
  • rearrange
  • recommend
  • reconcile
  • set up
  • support
  • verify

Examples

  • Given the conditions described in our case study, determine whether solar or wind power would be the most productive choice for the town in question.
  • When do you believe individual freedom should be given precedence over the welfare of the community as a whole and vice versa? Why?
  • How would you prove …? disprove …?
  • How can you assess the value or importance of …?
  • What would you recommend …?
  • How would you rate or evaluate the …?
  • What choice would you have made …?
  • How would you prioritize …?
  • What details would you use to support the view …?
  • Why was … a more practical approach to take than … in … situation?

 


(6) CREATE

Subcategory Skills
5.1 Generating Coming up with alternative hypotheses based on criteria
5.2 Planning Devising a procedure for accomplishing some task
5.3 Producing Inventing a product or artifact (written, visual media, etc.)

Question / Prompt Cues

SYNTHESIS QUESTIONS ask the reader to bring together information in order to create a new idea that was not explicitly stated previously.

Synthesis questions allow for a ‘controlled freedom’ in developing answers. This means recognizing many possible avenues, yet working within the limits set by the particular problems, materials, or methodologies. The answer to a “synthesis” question must provide an outcome, whether it be a unique communication, a proposed set of operations, etc.

CREATION QUESTIONS require putting ideas together to form a new and different whole.

Creation questions frequently invite students to demonstrate a mastery of course content but also an understanding of a specific communication genre. (For instance, when students are invited to create a research poster to present their findings, they’re being asked to navigate the research process and also to translate that research into a visual and textual format that follows established field conventions.)

  • arrange
  • assemble
  • combine
  • compose
  • construct
  • create
  • design
  • develop
  • devise
  • formulate
  • generate
  • generalize
  • improve
  • integrate
  • invent
  • modify
  • organize
  • plan
  • prepare
  • produce
  • propose
  • rate
  • respond to “what if” question
  • revise
  • rewrite
  • role-play
  • write

Examples

  1. Based on both of today’s readings, what conclusions can you draw about …?
  2. What do you think …. might have said about … if she had lived in the present day? Why?
  3. How would you improve …?
  4. What alternative can you propose …?
  5. How would you adapt ________ to create a different …?
  6. What could be done to minimize (maximize) …?
  7. What way would you design …?
  8. What could be combined to improve (change) …?
  9. How would you test or formulate a theory for …?
  10. What would you predict as the outcome of …?
  11. How might a model be constructed that would change…?

 


Resource Attributions

In this resource, we have synthesized excerpts from several existing resources into one document and have added additional language of our own.

  • We drew subcategories and verbatim descriptions of each revised Bloom’s taxonomy category from Lorin W. Anderson and David Krathwohl’s 2001 edited collection, A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. (Longman). These excerpts appear in the form of tables after each heading.
  • We drew some language about types of questions (interpretation, translation, etc.) and examples from a handout by the University of Victoria Counseling Services. In turn, the University of Victoria reprinted this hierarchy from Benjamin S. Bloom, et. al., TAXONOMY OF EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES, Handbook I, David McKay Company, Inc., 1956, and added modifications by Norris M. Sanders, CLASSROOM QUESTIONS – WHAT KINDS?, New York: Harper and Row, 1966.
  • We drew most of the verb examples from Claudia J. Stanney’s 2016 article in Education Sciences, Reevaluating Bloom’s Taxonomy: What Measurable Verbs Can and Cannot Say about Student Learning.” (This is an interesting read: Stanney searched for patterns across Bloom’s Taxonomy verb lists.) Stanney published this article with a CC-BY license.

We believe our adaptation and circulation of these resources are in alignment with fair use in the US. To the extent that this is a transformative work, we’re comfortable with you rehosting or further adapting this adaptation for your own purposes under the terms of our Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, but we recommend that you make your own fair use assessment in consultation with the sources above, that you include attributions and links to the original sources, and that you include a similar attributions statement to ensure that future adaptors also provide careful credit for their adaptations.

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MTLE Resources by Christian Castro, Naomi Salmon, and Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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