What is Bloom's Taxonomy and How Does it Relate to Education?

Designing Digitally


In 1956, an educational psychologist by the name of Dr. Benjamin Bloom, along with a committee of other professionals, developed a system of classification called “Blooms Taxonomy,” which was designed to measure learning in the education industry.


What Are The Three Types of Learning?

Bloom and his team recognized three major areas of learning (called “Domains”), which are listed below. However, for this piece we will focus on Bloom’s most noted work, the Cognitive Domain.  

Cognitive: Critical thinking and understanding (Knowledge)

Affective: Growing in emotional sectors (Attitude)

Psychomotor: Physical or manual skills (Skills) Blooms Taxonomy and Web based training

Cognitive domain involves mental operations. These operations can be basic, like recalling a simple fact, or difficult, like using prior information to build something new. For example, employees who are asked, “what are the company’s three most important policies?” are being tested on the most basic recall level.

If an employee is asked to explain in their own words the importance of these three policies, then they are being asked to understand the material, not just repeat it. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a universally-accepted representation of how cognitive learning can vary. It also describes cognitive learning objectives from easiest to achieve, to more difficult as you move up the levels.

Bloom’s Taxonomy was later revised to create a more dynamic description. The levels were changed to the following: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating.

Looking More Closely at the Cognitive Domain

The cognitive domain includes information and the expansion of intellectual skills. This includes one’s ability to recall specific patterns, facts, or concepts that relate to the development of their intellectual skills or abilities. There are six levels of learning that originate from the cognitive domain. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, they are:

  1. Remembering: Recalling previously learned information in order to determine right or wrong answers. For example, the learner can recite a policy or quote prices using only their memory to a customer.

  2. Understanding: Understanding the meaning of information. The learner would need to explain, in their own words, the steps involved with completing a specific task (such as an equation into a spreadsheet).

  3. Applying: One’s ability to apply information (knowledge) that has been previously learned. For instance, quoting a price on a custom project based on previously learned factors.

  4. Analyzing: Refers to the breaking down of material into smaller parts. It can also refer to the examining of information in a specific organizational structure. For example, a learner could troubleshoot specific equipment problems using logical deduction. They could also gather information from a department or select the tasks that are required for training.

  5. Evaluating: When synthesizing information, the learner would be expected to design a plan, propose a set of operations, or place various parts or procedures together to create something new. For example, an employee could be required to develop a new company policy based on ones that already exist.

  6. Creating: Compared to judging or deciding on something based on pre-specified criteria. There are no real wrong or right answers here. Here, the student would basically choose the most effective solution to a problem, which could mean hiring the most suitable candidate or justifying a budget change.

Bloom’s Taxonomy describes different levels of learning, breaking down the cognitive domain into sections. At Designing Digitally, Inc. we use this to determine where your learning objectives fall and how we will reach those goals through web based training. Lower levels of learning involved in your learning objectives means a less complex scope of work. As your objective moves to higher, more complex levels, the scope of work grows more complex as well. To learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy and how it is involved in our process, contact us today.