Bloom’s Taxonomy for Learning Experience Design

Bloom’s Taxonomy Definition

Bloom’s Taxonomy, developed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom in the 1950s, provides a structured framework for categorizing educational goals, objectives, and standards. A taxonomy is a classification system that organizes concepts or items into hierarchical categories. In the context of education, Bloom’s Taxonomy classifies cognitive skills into a hierarchy, ranging from basic knowledge recall to complex creation and innovation. This organization helps learning professionals design curricula and assessments that promote higher-order thinking skills.

Originally created to assist educators in developing curricula and assessments, Bloom’s Taxonomy has been revised and updated to address contemporary educational needs. This makes it an indispensable tool for designing effective and engaging learning experiences, ensuring that learners progress through increasingly complex levels of understanding and skill application.

Origins and Evolution

Benjamin Bloom, an educational psychologist, introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956. His goal was to create a common language for teachers to discuss and exchange learning and assessment methods. The original taxonomy categorized cognitive skills into six levels: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

In 2001, a group of cognitive psychologists, led by Lorin Anderson, a former student of Bloom, revised the taxonomy to better fit 21st-century learning. This updated version includes: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating.

Related Models and Influences

SOLO Taxonomy (1982)

The Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) Taxonomy, developed by John Biggs and Kevin Collis in 1982, categorizes learning outcomes based on complexity. It includes levels such as Pre-structural, Uni-structural, Multi-structural, Relational, and Extended Abstract, offering a different perspective on assessing students’ understanding and skills.

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (2001)

The revision by Lorin Anderson in 2001 not only updated the categories but also incorporated a two-dimensional framework, combining the cognitive process dimension with the knowledge dimension. This provides a more comprehensive approach to curriculum design.

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) (1997)

Developed by Norman Webb in 1997, DOK categorizes tasks according to the complexity of thinking required to complete them. It includes four levels: Recall and Reproduction, Skills and Concepts, Strategic Thinking, and Extended Thinking. This model complements Bloom’s Taxonomy by providing a depth-focused approach to evaluating cognitive rigor.

Marzano’s Taxonomy (2000)

Robert Marzano developed a New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in 2000, focusing on three systems: the Self-System, the Metacognitive System, and the Cognitive System. This model emphasizes the importance of self-regulation and metacognition in the learning process, integrating well with Bloom’s focus on cognitive skills.

Understanding Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels

Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a hierarchical framework that categorizes learning objectives based on cognitive complexity. Each level builds on the previous one, ranging from basic knowledge recall to advanced creation and innovation. Understanding these levels is crucial for designing effective learning experiences that progressively develop learners’ skills and understanding.

1. Remembering

Remembering is the foundational level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. At this stage, learners are expected to recall or recognize facts, terms, basic concepts, or answers without necessarily understanding their deeper meanings or applications. This level focuses on the retrieval of knowledge from long-term memory, which is critical for all subsequent levels of learning. Activities at this level often involve rote memorization, listing, and defining.

For instance, learners in a corporate training session might be asked to list the steps in a specific business process or define key terms related to their industry. Remembering is essential because it lays the groundwork for understanding and applying more complex concepts and skills in their professional roles.


  • Examples of REMEMBERING verbs:
    • Define, describe, state, specify
    • List, enumerate, itemize, detail
    • Recall, retrieve, recollect, remember
    • Identify, recognize, label, name
    • Locate, find, pinpoint, discover
    • Select, choose, pick, determine
    • Memorize, remember, recite, retain
    • Match, pair, associate, align
    • Mention, cite, quote, reference
    • Repeat, restate, reproduce, reiterate
    • Show, display, exhibit, present
    • Indicate, point out, highlight, mark
    • Record, note, document, register
    • Classify, categorize, group, sort
    • Outline, summarize, condense, abstract


2. Understanding

Understanding moves beyond mere memorization. At this level, learners demonstrate comprehension by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating main ideas. This stage is about grasping the meaning of information. For example, learners in a corporate setting might be asked to summarize the key points of a recent business strategy or explain the significance of a new company policy. Understanding ensures that learners can process information meaningfully, enabling them to engage with the material more deeply and make connections between different aspects of their work.


  • Examples of UNDERSTANDING verbs:
    • Summarize, paraphrase, rephrase, encapsulate
    • Explain, interpret, elucidate, clarify
    • Describe, discuss, review, report
    • Illustrate, demonstrate, exemplify, portray
    • Classify, categorize, group, sort
    • Compare, contrast, differentiate, distinguish
    • Translate, convert, transform, transpose
    • Predict, anticipate, forecast, project
    • Restate, reword, retell, recount
    • Review, recap, analyze, evaluate
    • Simplify, clarify, decode, elucidate
    • Generalize, infer, conclude, derive
    • Analogize, relate, connect, associate
    • Express, communicate, articulate, convey
    • Outline, map, chart, diagram


3. Applying

Applying involves using knowledge in new situations. This level requires learners to use learned material through implementing, carrying out, executing, or using skills or knowledge in practical situations.

For instance, in a workshop setting, learners might use data analysis tools to solve real-world business problems or apply project management principles to develop a detailed project plan. The ability to apply knowledge demonstrates that learners not only understand concepts but can also transfer their understanding to practical and novel contexts. This is a crucial step in moving from theoretical knowledge to practical skill in a corporate environment.


  • Examples of APPLYING verbs:
    • Apply, use, employ, utilize
    • Implement, execute, carry out, perform
    • Solve, resolve, work out, decipher
    • Demonstrate, show, illustrate, exhibit
    • Operate, handle, manipulate, control
    • Practice, perform, execute, engage
    • Sketch, draw, draft, design
    • Experiment, test, try out, explore
    • Dramatize, act out, role-play, simulate
    • Administer, manage, supervise, oversee
    • Calculate, compute, quantify, measure
    • Change, alter, modify, adjust
    • Choose, select, pick, determine
    • Prepare, set up, arrange, organize
    • Develop, design, create, formulate


4. Analyzing

Analyzing involves breaking down information into parts to explore understandings and relationships. At this level, learners can distinguish between facts and inferences, identify motives or causes, and see how parts relate to each other and to the whole. This critical thinking skill is essential for problem-solving and decision-making.

For example, in a workshop, learners might analyze the elements of a successful project plan or break down a case study to understand the factors contributing to its success. Analyzing equips learners with the ability to dissect complex information and understand underlying structures, which is essential for effective problem-solving and strategic thinking.


  • Examples of ANALYZING verbs:
    • Analyze, examine, scrutinize, inspect
    • Compare, contrast, differentiate, distinguish
    • Break down, decompose, dissect, fragment
    • Distinguish, discriminate, separate, isolate
    • Investigate, explore, research, study
    • Categorize, classify, group, sort
    • Organize, arrange, structure, systematize
    • Attribute, assign, associate, relate
    • Outline, map, chart, diagram
    • Structure, systematize, order, arrange
    • Deconstruct, dismantle, take apart, disassemble
    • Survey, inspect, review, appraise
    • Question, probe, inquire, query
    • Test, verify, validate, check
    • Diagram, map, chart, plot


5. Evaluating

Evaluating involves making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing. This stage is about assessing the value of information and ideas, which can involve critiquing arguments, validating data, and forming opinions.

Learners might evaluate the credibility of sources in a research project or judge the effectiveness of different solutions to a problem. This level encourages learners to think critically about the information they consume and produce, fostering skills in assessment and reflective judgment. Evaluating is essential for developing informed opinions and making reasoned decisions.


  • Examples of EVALUATING verbs:
    • Evaluate, assess, appraise, judge
    • Critique, review, analyze, interpret
    • Defend, support, justify, argue
    • Measure, estimate, calculate, gauge
    • Rate, score, grade, rank
    • Recommend, advise, propose, suggest
    • Conclude, deduce, infer, resolve
    • Prioritize, order, rank, sequence
    • Validate, confirm, verify, corroborate
    • Criticize, scrutinize, critique, analyze
    • Weigh, consider, contemplate, ponder
    • Approve, endorse, sanction, authorize
    • Challenge, dispute, contest, question
    • Reflect, deliberate, meditate, ponder
    • Appraise, value, price, assess


6. Creating

Creating is the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. At this stage, learners are capable of putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole, reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing. This level requires innovative thinking and creativity. For instance, in a corporate learning environment, learners might design an innovative solution to a business challenge, create a marketing campaign, or develop a strategic plan for entering a new market.

Creating at this level demonstrates the ability to synthesize information and generate original ideas, showcasing deep understanding and mastery of the subject matter. This level encourages learners to push the boundaries of their knowledge and skills to innovate and create.


  • Examples of CREATING verbs:
    • Create, design, construct, build
    • Develop, formulate, devise, invent
    • Plan, propose, outline, sketch
    • Produce, generate, originate, make
    • Compose, write, author, craft
    • Assemble, compile, collect, gather
    • Integrate, synthesize, combine, merge
    • Innovate, pioneer, introduce, initiate
    • Construct, build, fabricate, manufacture
    • Compose, orchestrate, arrange, devise
    • Conceive, conceptualize, imagine, envision
    • Design, draft, model, blueprint
    • Modify, adapt, adjust, revise
    • Refine, enhance, improve, polish
    • Transform, convert, alter, change


Practical applications of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy offers a versatile framework for enhancing learning experiences across various contexts. By applying this taxonomy, learning professionals can create structured, engaging, and comprehensive educational environments that cater to a wide range of cognitive skills.

Here are several practical ways to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy into learning experience design:

Creating Effective Learning Objectives

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be invaluable for creating clear, measurable learning objectives across all cognitive levels. For instance, a remembering objective might be, “List the steps of the scientific method,” while a creating objective could be, “Design and conduct an experiment using the scientific method.” This ensures objectives are specific, achievable, and cover a comprehensive range of cognitive processes.

Designing Assessments

Aligning assessments with Bloom’s Taxonomy might help to challenge learners at various cognitive levels. Multiple-choice questions can assess remembering and understanding, while project-based assessments might evaluate applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. This method provides a way to measure not only knowledge retention but also the application and synthesis of knowledge, ensuring a deeper understanding.

Enhancing Classroom Activities

Designing activities that target different cognitive levels can be beneficial. Group discussions might foster understanding, problem-solving exercises could encourage applying, and collaborative projects may promote creating. This variety engages learners and develops diverse cognitive skills, ensuring a comprehensive educational experience.

Fostering Higher-Order Thinking

Incorporating higher-order thinking skills—analyzing, evaluating, and creating—into lessons can be a way to develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. This prepares learners for complex challenges beyond the classroom, fostering independence and confidence in tackling new problems.

Developing Interactive E-Learning Modules

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to enhance e-learning can address all cognitive levels. Interactive quizzes might test recall and understanding, while simulations and case studies could support applying and analyzing. Creative assignments can promote evaluating and creating, ensuring that online learning is engaging and dynamic.

Crafting Engaging Content

Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to design engaging educational materials can be effective. Starting with recall questions and introducing tasks requiring higher-order thinking ensures content is both comprehensive and challenging. This method can keep learners engaged and progressively build their skills.

Designing Training Programs

Structuring training programs with Bloom’s Taxonomy might cover a range of cognitive skills. Beginning with basic concepts and progressing to complex strategies ensures thorough and progressive training. This approach helps learners build a solid foundation before tackling more challenging material.

Creating Interactive Presentations

Enhancing presentations with Bloom’s Taxonomy by incorporating questions and activities for various cognitive levels can promote active participation. Including recall questions and interactive case studies makes presentations more engaging and ensures audiences interact with and apply what they learn.

Structuring Collaborative Learning

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to design collaborative learning experiences that address all cognitive levels might promote deeper learning and teamwork. Moving from basic recall and understanding to complex analysis and creation fosters a collaborative environment where learners can learn from each other.

Designing Self-Paced Learning Materials

Developing self-paced learning materials using Bloom’s Taxonomy can guide learners from basic recall tasks to complex creation activities. This provides a structured and comprehensive learning experience, allowing learners to progress at their own speed and fully understand each concept.

Enhancing Curriculum Development

Optimizing curriculum development with Bloom’s Taxonomy can ensure learning objectives and activities address all cognitive levels. This comprehensive approach meets diverse learning needs and ensures the curriculum is balanced and thorough, preparing learners for all levels of cognitive challenges.

Improving Feedback Mechanisms

Designing feedback mechanisms using Bloom’s Taxonomy might provide constructive, targeted feedback. Addressing basic recall and understanding, as well as higher-order thinking skills like analysis and creation, helps learners understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

Designing Workshops and Seminars

Structuring workshops and seminars with Bloom’s Taxonomy to cover a range of cognitive skills can make these sessions engaging and provide a variety of learning experiences. Including basic recall exercises, group discussions, and hands-on projects ensures workshops and seminars cater to different learner needs and preferences.

Creating Online Courses

Developing online courses with Bloom’s Taxonomy might ensure coverage of all cognitive levels. Mixing videos, quizzes, interactive exercises, and projects requiring higher-order thinking creates engaging and effective learning experiences.

Utilizing Technology in the Classroom

Integrating technology tools with Bloom’s Taxonomy can enhance classroom learning. Using interactive whiteboards, educational apps, and online resources to create activities addressing various cognitive levels ensures technology supports and enhances the learning process.

Bloom’s Taxonomy for Learning Experience Design

Bloom’s Taxonomy remains a vital framework for learning experience design. By understanding and applying the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy—Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating—learning professionals can create more effective and engaging learning experiences. Utilizing a comprehensive list of verbs, example questions, and activities for each level ensures that educational goals are met, fostering deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills.

By optimizing for Bloom’s Taxonomy, educators can enhance their teaching strategies, better align learning objectives, and ultimately improve student outcomes. This approach not only supports the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also encourages creativity and innovation in the learning process.

Tags: Adaptive Learning, Curriculum Design, Fundamentals, Instructional Design, Learning development, Learning Experience Design, Learning objectives, LXD Frameworks, LXD Toolkit
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