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Bloom's Taxonomy FAQs

This article is meant to provide a baseline understanding of Bloom’s Taxonomy. We encourage readers who want a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter to utilize the articles referenced below.

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Sections of this article


Who authored Bloom's Taxonomy?

Why is Bloom's Taxonomy important?

How can Bloom's assist with my course design?

What is Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy?

What is Bloom's Affective Taxonomy?

What is Bloom's Psychomotor Taxonomy?



Bloom's Taxonomy is a popular framework utilized by educators to organize curriculum development. The original cognitive model divides learning objectives and competencies into six levels: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. In 2001, a revised version was introduced, which includes the following levels: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create. Educators rely on these taxonomies to effectively structure and prioritize their instructional goals (Ruhl, 2023; Armstrong, 2010).

Who authored Bloom's Taxonomy?

The original taxonomy was created in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl and published in Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals (Vinay, 2021).

In 1964, the affective model was published as a second handbook and an extension of the original Bloom’s Taxonomy.  David R. Krathwohl, Benjamin S. Bloom, and Bertram B. Masia were the co-authors of Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Objectives Handbook II: Affective Domain (Ruhl, 2023; Shields, 2001).  

In 1972, Elizabeth Simpson, an educator at the University of Illinois proposed the hierarchy for Bloom’s psychomotor domain (Vinay, 2021).

In 2001, A group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists published a revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the title A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (Armstrong, 2010). 

Why is Bloom's Taxonomy important?

Bloom's Taxonomy provides a structured framework for designing and assessing learning objectives in a clear and systematic manner. By utilizing Bloom's Taxonomy, educators can effectively organize objectives to clarify the intended outcomes of the learning process for both teachers and students. Bloom’s hierarchical structure also allows educators to develop assignments, assessments, or other learning opportunities that align with an academic program’s learning outcomes. (Armstrong, 2010). 

How can Bloom's assist with my course design?

Bloom's Taxonomy provides a valuable framework for designing effective courses by guiding students through a process of synthesizing information and developing critical thinking skills. The taxonomy highlights the following progression:

  • Students need to remember a concept before they can understand it
  • After they understand a concept, they can begin to apply it
  • Once they start practical applications of the concept, they can begin to analyze in greater depth
  • This analysis leads students to evaluation of the process
  • Ultimately, creating something new is built upon all of these levels and depends upon that evaluation

By keeping Bloom's Taxonomy in mind, you can effectively structure your coursework (whether it is introductory or advanced) based on the mapping of skills throughout the academic program. Students are encouraged to engage with the material, ask questions, and seek answers, fostering a deeper understanding (Ruhl, 2023).

What is Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy?

The original taxonomy, published in 1956, focused on three domains: Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor. The first handbook, "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals," focused on the cognitive domain, while the second handbook, "Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Handbook II: Affective Domain," covered the affective domain. In 2001, the cognitive taxonomy underwent a revision to provide clear and actionable intentions for each level of learning (Shields, 2001; Vinay, 2021).

The Cognitive Domain, also known as the knowledge-based domain, is represented visually in a pyramid shape. This framework serves as a classification system for instructional activities based on the complexity of skills and abilities required. It's important to note that the 2001 revision brought a significant transformation from using nouns to actionable verbs, emphasizing the active nature of learning (Shields, 2001; Vinay, 2021).



Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

2001 Revised

A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment



















*Knowledge is understood to be the foundational level that is required before moving into deeper levels of understanding and practice.  A separate taxonomy for the types of cognitive knowledge was provided with the 2001 revision (CELT 2022; Vinay, 2021).



Factual Knowledge

  • Knowledge of terminology
  • Knowledge of specific details and elements

Conceptual Knowledge

  • Knowledge of classifications and categories
  • Knowledge of principles and generalizations
  • Knowledge of theories, models, and structures

Procedural Knowledge

  • Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms
  • Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods
  • Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures

Metacognitive Knowledge

  • Strategic knowledge
  • Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge
  • self-knowledge

This article from Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching provides a helpful rubric blending Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy with these learning dimensions.  https://www.celt.iastate.edu/instructional-strategies/effective-teaching-practices/revised-blooms-taxonomy/ 

What is Bloom’s Affective Taxonomy?

The affective domain in Bloom's Taxonomy refers to the emotional and attitudinal aspect of learning. It encompasses the development of feelings, emotions, values, attitudes, and beliefs. This domain focuses on the internalization of values and the formation of a student's character and behavior. It involves students' ability to express empathy, display appropriate attitudes, and demonstrate ethical behavior.

What is Bloom’s Psychomotor Taxonomy?

The psychomotor domain in Bloom's Taxonomy involves the development of physical skills and coordination in relation to cognitive processes. It encompasses the integration of cognitive functions with physical activities or movements. This domain emphasizes learning through physical actions and the ability to manipulate objects, perform tasks, and demonstrate specific motor skills. It includes activities such as writing, playing musical instruments, conducting experiments, or engaging in sports.


Armstrong, P. (2010). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved [May 19, 2023] from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/.

CELT - Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. (2022). Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Iowa State University. Retrieved [May 19, 2023] from https://www.celt.iastate.edu/instructional-strategies/effective-teaching-practices/revised-blooms-taxonomy 

Ruhl, C. (2023). Bloom’s taxonomy of learning. Simply Psychology. Retrieved [May 19, 2023] from https://www.simplypsychology.org/blooms-taxonomy.html  

Shields, R. W. (2001). 1965: Benjamin Bloom publishes Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. In Daniel Schugurensky (Ed.), History of Education: Selected Moments of the 20th Century [online]. Retrieved [May 19, 2023] from http://fcis.oise.utoronto.ca/~daniel_schugurensky/assignment1/1965bloom.html 

Vinay, R. (2021). The evolution of bloom’s taxonomy | OERTX - OERTX repository. The CB OERTX. Retrieved [May 19, 2023] from https://oertx.highered.texas.gov/courseware/lesson/1548/overview