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Questions - Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom was an American educational psychologist who famously came up with a taxonomy of learning. A good question goes beyond simple recall, but towards analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

For this task create one or more (preferably) higher-order questions using Bloom revised, Bloom original, or Barkley (below) as a model.

Bloom (revised)


Cognitive Dimension

  1. Remember (recognizing, recalling)
    • "Who, what, when, where, how .... ?"
  2. Understand (interpreting, classifying, comparing, explaining)
    • "Retell .... "
    • "Summarize ..."
  3. Apply (executing, implementing)
    • "How is .... an example of .... ?"
    • "How is .... related to .... ?"
    • "Why is .... significant?
  4. Analyze (differentiating, organizing, attributing)
    • "What are the parts or features of .... ?"
    • "Classify .... according to .... "
    • "Outline / diagram .... "
    • "How does .... compare / contrast with .... ?"
    • "What evidence can you list for .... ?"
  5. Evaluate (checking, critiquing)
    • "Do you agree .... ?"
    • "What do you think about .... ?"
    • "What is the most important .... ?"
    • "Place the following in order of priority .... "
    • "How would you decide about .... ?"
    • "What criteria would you use to assess .... ?"
  6. Create (generating, planning, producing)
    • "What would you predict / infer from .... ?"
    • "What ideas can you add to .... ?"
    • "How would you create / design a new .... ?"
    • "What might happen if you combined .... ?"
    • "What solutions would you suggest for .... ?"

Bloom (original)


  1. Knowledge (identification and recall of information)
    • "Who, what, when, where, how .... ?"
    • "Describe .... "
  2. Comprehension (organization and selection of facts and ideas):
    • "Retell .... "
    • "Summarize ..."
  3. Application (use of facts, rules and principles):
    • "How is .... an example of .... ?"
    • "How is .... related to .... ?"
    • "Why is .... significant?
  4. Analysis (separation of a whole into component parts):
    • "What are the parts or features of .... ?"
    • "Classify .... according to .... "
    • "Outline / diagram .... "
    • "How does .... compare / contrast with .... ?"
    • "What evidence can you list for .... ?"
  5. Synthesis (combination of ideas to form a new whole):
    • "What would you predict / infer from .... ?"
    • "What ideas can you add to .... ?"
    • "How would you create / design a new .... ?"
    • "What might happen if you combined .... ?"
    • "What solutions would you suggest for .... ?"
  6. Evaluation (development of opinions, judgments, or decisions):
    • "Do you agree .... ?"
    • "What do you think about .... ?"
    • "What is the most important .... ?"
    • "Place the following in order of priority .... "
    • "How would you decide about .... ?"
    • "What criteria would you use to assess .... ?"

Barkley


Exploratory: probe facts and basic knowledge

What research evidence supports ....?
Challenge: examine assumptions, conclusions, and interpretations)
How else might we account for ....?
Relational: ask for comparison of themes, ideas, or issues)
How does compare to ....?
Diagnostic: probe motives or causes
Why did ....?
Action?: Call for a conclusion or action
In response to ....., what should .... do?
Cause and effect: ask for causal relationships between ideas, actions, or events
If .... occurred, what would happen?
Extension: expand the discussion
What are additional ways that ....?
Hypothetical: pose a change in the facts or issues
Suppose .... had been the case, would the outcome have been the same?
Priority: seek to identify the most important issue
From all that we have discussed, what is the most important ....?
Summary: elicit syntheses
What themes or lessons have emerged from ....?
Problem: challenge students to find solutions to real or hypothetical situations.
What if?
Interpretation: help students to uncover the underlying meaning of things
From whose viewpoint course perspective are we seeing, hearing, reading?
What does this mean? What may have been intended by ....?
Application: probe for relationships and ask students to connect theory to practice
How does this apply to that? Knowing this, how would you ...?
Evaluative: require students to assess and make judgments
Which of these are better? Why does it matter? So what?
Critical: require students to examine the validity of statements, arguments, and conclusions and to analyze their thinking and challenge their own assumptions.
How do we know? What's the evidence? How reliable is the evidence

Source: Elizabeth F. Barkley (2010) in Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty (Table 7.1: Sample Task Prompts, p. 90.)
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