Instructional design/Learning objectives/Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain

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Learning Domains edit

When discussing learning objectives, it is helpful to identify the skills, or tasks we want the learner to accomplish. These skills can be grouped according to three learning domains.

  • Cognitive domain - Development of knowledge and intellectual skills
  • Affective domain - Development of attitudes, feelings, and emotions
  • Psychomotor domain - Development of physical skills and tasks

Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain edit


The majority of teaching and learning centers around knowledge, comprehension, and intellectual skills. Therefore, our examples concentrate on developing learning objectives for the cognitive domain.

The most well known taxonomy of the cognitive domain was developed by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues. According to this taxonomy there are six levels of cognitive skills. (An updated version of Bloom's Taxonomy was finished in 2001. Additional links are provided in the reference section)

  • Knowledge - (memorize and recall of information)
  • Comprehension - (organizing and interpreting information)
  • Application - (applying or using knowledge to a situation)
  • Analysis - (breaking down information into components or parts)
  • Synthesis - (combining information into new or unique way)
  • Evaluation - (making judgments or developing opinions about information)

References edit

Anderson, L. W. and Krathwohl, D. R., et al (2000) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Allyn & Bacon

Bloom, B. S. and Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: Longmans, Green.

For Additional Study:

An Updated Version of the Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain:

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