Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

The foundational Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: A Classification of Educational Goals was established in 1956 by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, an educational psychologist, and is often referred to as Bloom's Taxonomy. This classification divided educational objectives into three learning domains: Cognitive (knowledge), Affective (attitude) and Psychomotor (skills). In 2000, Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl updated Bloom’s seminal framework to create Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, focusing on the Cognitive and Affective Domains. As described below, the ACM Committee for Computing Education in Community Colleges has adopted Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy for the assessment of student learning outcomes in its computing curricula.

It is important to note that in the framework of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy learners need not start at the lowest taxonomic level and work up; rather, the learning process can be initiated at any point, and the lower taxonomic levels will be subsumed within the learning scaffold. To wit:

  • Before we can understand a concept we have to remember it;
  • Before we can apply the concept we must understand it;
  • Before we analyze it we must be able to apply it;
  • Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analyzed it; and
  • Before we can create, we must have remembered, understood, applied, analyzed and evaluated.

Cognitive Domain

In its computing curricula, the ACM Committee for Computing Education in Community Colleges uses the Cognitive domain to assess student mastery of learning outcomes. There are six levels in the taxonomy for the Cognitive domain, progressing from the lowest order processes to the highest:

  1. Remembering - Retrieving, recalling, or recognizing information from memory. Students can recall or remember information. Note: This process is the most basic thinking skill.
  2. Understanding - Constructing meaning or explaining material from written, spoken or graphic sources. Students can explain ideas or concepts.
  3. Applying - Using learned materials or implementing materials in new situations. Students can use/apply information in a new way.
  4. Analyzing - Breaking material or concepts into parts, determining how the parts relate or interrelate to one another or to an overall structure or purpose. Students can distinguish between different parts.
  5. Evaluating - Assessing, making judgments and drawing conclusions from ideas, information, or data. Students can justify a stand or decision.
  6. Creating - Putting elements together or reorganizing them into a new way, form or product. Students can create a new product. Note: This process is the most difficult mental function.