Bloom’s Taxonomy

Some types of online tests can be automatically graded, reducing your marking time and allowing you to conduct more regular assessment in your course. In addition, it allows you to use a variety of assessment methods. Depending on how you choose to incorporate online assessments in your overall assessment strategy, online assessment can lead to more prepared students and it can help your students to understand the module content better. Online assessment can be used particularly effectively in formative assessment.

Bloom’s taxonomy is a helpful resource to determine and classify the difficulty-level of your questions.

Description of different levels of Bloom’s

  • Remember

    Remembering previously learned material (ONLY remembering is enough
    Lowest level of learnin
    Listing learned informatio
    Remembering terms, methods, facts, concepts, specific items of information

  • Understand

    Ability to grasp the meaning of materia
    Communicating an ide
    Explaining idea
    Summarizing materia
    Understanding facts and principles

    Understand

  • Apply

    Applying concepts and principles to new situation
    Applying laws and theories to practical situation
    Demonstrating correct usage of a method or procedur
    Applying rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, theorie
    Requires higher level of understanding than comprehension

  • Analyze

    Breaking material down into component part
    Understanding the organizational structur
    Analysis of relationships between part
    Recognition of organizational principles involve
    Understanding both the content and structural for
    Analyzing the elements

    Analyze

  • Evaluate

    Ability to judge the value of materia
    Use of definite criteria for judgment
    Value judgments based on clearly defined criteria

  • Create

    Putting parts together in a new whol
    Formulating new patterns or structure
    Abstract relationship
    Communicating an idea in a unique wa
    Proposing a new set of operation
    Creating new or original thing
    Take things and pattern them in a new way

    Create

Examples of multiple choice questions on different levels of Bloom’s

Example question

Which of the following is one of the major approaches to psychology?

a) psychoanalysis

b) structuralism

c) psychiatry

d) New Age Movement

  • Explanation

    Students would only have to remember the major approaches to psychology and that psychoanalysis is one of them.

Example question

Which one of the following describes what takes place in the so-called PREPARATION stage of the creative process, as applied to the solution of a particular problem?

a) The problem is identified and defined.

b) All available information about the problem is collected.

c) An attempt is made to see if the proposed solution to the problem is acceptable.

d) The person goes through some experience leading to a general idea of how the problem can be solved.

e) The person sets the problem aside, and gets involved with some other unrelated activity.

  • Explanation

    This question is on an understand level if the descriptions in options a to e are slightly different than the descriptions students received in their class notes or text books. If the descriptions are a summary/ using different wording students would need to understand what happens in the preparation stage to select the correct answer. If the descriptions are exactly the same as in their class slides or textbooks, however, this would be a remember question.

Example question

Sally is newly appointed in a managerial role. She has noticed that two of her subordinates, Lisa and Joan, do not get along. Lisa and Joan need to work as part of a larger team, and the conflict between them causes stress for the rest of the team. Because of the conflict between Lisa and Joan they are often abrupt and unclear when they communicate in writing with each other which often leads to misunderstandings. Sally sends both Joan and Lisa for a training course in how to professionally communicate via email in order to solve the problem.

Which of the following problem solving steps did Sally skip in her attempt to find a solution to the problem?

a) Evaluate and learn

b) Define the problem

c) Select the best solution

d) Implement

  • Explanation

    The problem solving steps need to be applied to the scenario provided.

Example question

The Swift Fox is a small mammal (about the size of a cat) that once lived throughout the prairie grasslands of central Canada. However, due to a number of factors including hunting, it had completely disappeared from Canada by the late 1970s. In an attempt to restore this species, foxes from American populations have been released in Canada. However, the number of Swift Foxes in Canada still remains low. Which factor is most likely NOT contributing to this?

a) Much of the fox’s original grassland habitat has been replaced with agriculture, which has reduced the quality and quantity of habitat for the foxes and the availability of suitable prey.

b) The foxes released in early reintroductions did not survive well, likely due to a lack of knowledge of sources of food and den locations, or because the American foxes were not adapted to the longer Canadian winters.

c) Coyotes, which are increasing in numbers, are feeding on the foxes, or competing with the foxes for available resources.

d) Swift foxes are still being trapped for their pelts (fur), as they have been since the early 1800s.

e) Swift foxes may have been the unintended victim of trapping and poisoning campaigns directed at other mammals, such as coyotes, wolves, and ground squirrels.

  • Explanation

    The student is required to analyse each of the provided options in relation to the scenario and decide on the factor that is least likely to contribute to the problem. An argument can also be made that this question is on an ‘evaluate’ level.

Planning your assessment using Bloom’s Taxonomy

It can be helpful to create a test blueprint before setting up questions for a test to plan the proportions of different levels of questions that you want to include. For instance, if you want the biggest portion of your test to consist of application level questions, you can allocate a larger percentage of the total marks to this level. It is also useful to make use of a test blueprint if you are part of a teaching team where more than one person sets up a test. A blueprint can then be used to divide the work between the different lecturers. An example of a test blueprint is shown below:

Example of test blueprint:

Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Total
Remember 7
(step 3)
2
(step 3)
1
(step 3)
1
(step 3)
11
(step 2)
Understand 4
(step 3)
6
(step 3)
8
(step 3)
2
(step 3)
20
(step 2)
Apply 4
(step 3)
10
(step 3)
12
(step 3)
24
(step 3)
50
(step 2)
Analyze 0
(step 3)
3
(step 3)
3
(step 3)
8
(step 3)
14
(step 2)
Evaluate 0
(step 3)
0
(step 3)
0
(step 3)
5
(step 3)
5
(Step 2)
Create 0
(step 3)
0
(step 3)
0
(step 3)
0
(step 3)
0
(step 2)
TOTAL 15
(step 4)
21
(step 4)
24
(step 4)
40
(step 4)
100
(step 1)

Planning your assessment using Bloom’s Taxonomy

It can be helpful to create a test blueprint before setting up questions for a test to plan the proportions of different levels of questions that you want to include. For instance, if you want the biggest portion of your test to consist of application level questions, you can allocate a larger percentage of the total marks to this level. It is also useful to make use of a test blueprint if you are part of a teaching team where more than one person sets up a test. A blueprint can then be used to divide the work between the different lecturers. An example of a test blueprint is shown below:

  • Initial setup:

     

    Create a column for each of the units of work (or chapters) that will be covered in the test with a ‘total’ column at the end. Create a row for each of Bloom’s levels with a ‘total’ row at the bottom.

  • Step 1

    Fill in the test total in the cell at the bottom right

     

    Step 1

  • Step 2:

     

    Fill in the total marks you want to allocate to different levels of Bloom’s in the column on the right.

  • Step 3:

    Fill in the total marks that you will be able to get from each of the units/ chapters to get to the total in the column of the right for each of the Bloom’s levels

     

    Step 3:

  • Step 4:

     

    Calculate the totals of each of the columns to confirm that you get to the total score of the test.

References

Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. Raths, J. & Wittrock, M. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

University of Toronto. (2001). Guidelines for composing multiple-choice test questions. Retrieved from http://bio150.chass.utoronto.ca/tips/mc.htm

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