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Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Learning

Best practices suggest that instructors should strive to push students from Knowledge to Synthesis and Evaluation. It is not enough for students to demonstrate Knowledge or Comprehension. They should also be able to demonstrate that they can use this knowledge in higher order thinking and problem solving.

As you construct Student Learning Outcomes, think about the active verbs you are using. What do you expect your students to be able to do? Do you want them to be able to list or describe some facts? Or do you want them to be able to design an experiment or critically analyze data and make a recommendation utilizing those facts?

Competence
Skills Demonstrated
Action Verbs for Learning Outcomes
Knowledge
Observation and recall of information; knowledge of dates, events, places; knowledge of major ideas; mastery of subject matter
List, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where
Comprehension
Understanding information; grasp meaning; translate knowledge into new context; interpret facts, compare, contrast; order, group, infer causes; predict consequences
Summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend
Application
Use information; use methods, concepts, theories in new situations; solve problems using required skills or knowledge
Apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover
Analysis
Seeing patterns; organization of parts; recognition of hidden meanings; identification of components
Analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer
Synthesis
Use old ideas to create new ones; generalize from given facts; relate knowledge from several areas; predict, draw conclusions
Combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite
Evaluation
Compare and discriminate between ideas; assess value of theories, presentations; make choices based on reasoned argument; verify value of evidence; recognize subjectivity
Assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize

Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.