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Bloom’s Taxonomy: Shaping Learning Platforms

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Shaping Learning Platforms

What Is Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives?

Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is a classification system in which learning objectives can be arranged according to six cognitive levels: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.  In trainings, given via learning platforms, institutions typically want students or staff to meet knowledge-based goals.  Revised in 2001, the classification system was designed in order of hierarchal learning goals: the first taxonomy, at the bottom of the pyramid, being the easiest to grasp, and the final taxonomy, at the top of the pyramid, representing the greatest form of understanding (Forehand, 2005).  When designing an online certification course on online learning platforms, it is optimal for each course module to meet the intended learning outcomes at each level of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives.


The Stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

  • Remember
    • The first level of understanding involves recalling facts and recognizing basic concepts. This may call upon a learner to define a concept, identify the names for that specified concept, and/or put concepts in the correct order (Armstrong, 2016).
    • If the first module of an online certification course can affirm learner mastery of basic definitions, then learners can be eased into more complex subject matter.
  • Understand
    • The second level of understanding requires students or staff to explain, describe, summarize, and/or give examples of the knowledge presented in the prior course module (Administrate, 2014).
    • This can be measured via short-answer or multiple-choice questions, which require slightly more higher-order thinking than simply regurgitating facts or definitions.
    • These online assessments are quick to administer and self-grading on learning platforms.  Online assessments to measure understanding save your institution time and resources.  Additionally, assessments given via online learning platforms ensure that students or staff are retaining knowledge from your certification course.
  • Apply
    • The third level of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives requires students or staff to apply the information learned to real-world situations (Armstrong, 2016).
    • This next course module in their certification course may test their ability to implement this new knowledge as it applies to their profession. For example, for nurses, this may mean learning about new blood tests in prior modules and now being called upon to interpret the results of these new blood tests.
  • Analyze
    • The fourth level of understanding requires analysis skills. This level calls upon learners to distinguish between what information is pertinent and what information is irrelevant (Administrate, 2014).
    • For example, in reference to the new blood tests, learners in this course module might be asked to organize test results into pertinent and non-pertinent information for reports.
  • Evaluate
    • The fifth level of understanding requires learners to make judgements and take a stance on the material.
    • For example, when teaching nurses about a new blood test, this might mean students critique their interpretation of the results and/or try to understand if this is the best strategy to achieve the desired testing outcomes.
  • Create
    • The final level of understanding requires the individual to produce original work based on these learned procedures (Armstrong, 2016).
    • For example, in regard to the blood test example, this might mean writing a health report based on the blood test results and talking with a patient about the potential long-term implications.
Creating courses via online learning platforms can be complicated without following a model. Utilize Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives to organize your course creation process.

Summary Model of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives


Why Use Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives?

In most occupations, it is necessary to refresh yourself on best practices and renew your certifications.  Now, as it is easier than ever for institutions to design their own certification courses and exams utilizing an LMS platform, it is important for content creators to understand that there is much more to designing a certification course than one might think.  Not only does certification course creation require using reliable sources and implementing comprehensive examination questions, but designing a course also requires a firm understanding of proper course design.  A strong online certification course should have been tested to be a valid and reliable way of enabling the acquisition of targeted skills and/or knowledge.  Without this testing, the certification course might not be teaching what it is designed to certify.  So, how can you ensure that your certification program is rigorous?  Try following a widely used continuing education model.  One of these being Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives.

Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives is helpful not only in organizing the material of your course, but also in understanding where students might be struggling most (Administrate, 2014).  For example, if students have difficulty in the third or fourth stage of the model, this might direct your attention for necessary revision to your curriculum.  You might want to consider adding other modes of delivering material such as utilizing videos, infographics, or procedural images to clarify your content.  Additionally, Bloom’s taxonomy is helpful to integrate because it clearly identifies learning objectives for each section of the course (Armstrong, 2016).  When course objectives are clearly outlined, students’ satisfaction with the course generally increases.  This is because students want their efforts in each section to be worthwhile and serve a greater purpose in their academic and professional careers (Armstrong, 2016).



Administrate. (2014, June 5). Using Bloom’s taxonomy to develop educational objectives. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Armstrong, P. (2016, September 6). Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from

Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from

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