Taxonomy of Assessment

Even before the advent of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, I viewed Bloom’s taxonomy, particularly for math instruction, as a process.  Unfortunately, many math students started and ended a course at the LOTS levels of Knowledge, and, once in a while, at the Comprehension level. Therefore, the never-ending math teacher cry: “These students have no retention and can’t use what I’ve taught them!”

As a result, my approach has always been to guide my students through each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, but not always in the same order or using the same methods.  In terms of content, I have always expected my students to understand the big math picture graphically, algebraically, numerically, verbally, and contextually.  Together, these two constructs make for powerful math instruction.  But… can I make that happen in an online class?

Churches’ article is, for me, nothing short of a miracle.  It provides the much-needed explanation for how things that occur in my face-to-face classroom can migrate to the online classroom.  By teaming his suggestions together with the tools we’ve been examining, I am starting to see this come together.

Hand-in-hand with Churches’ article is the Digital Bloom’s Visual (Fisher, 2009) which matches digital tools with levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

I have typically assessed students at every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy as well.  The only way all of this can happen in an online class is to create projects and activities that combine assessments and levels of understanding.  So… the building process begins.

Thus far I’ve got a concept map and this week I created the assessment taxonomy shown below.


Bloom categories


Learning objective verbs




(recall, list, define, identify, collect, label)

define Students will use a digital class glossary to define and summarize new terminology related to conic sections. (blog/wiki/moodle)



(summarize, describe interpret, predict, discuss)

• describe • Students will describe their cutting conics theory with a digital reflection/response journal entry. (journal/moodle)



(apply, demonstrate, illustrate, classify, experiment, discover)

experiment Students will experiment with an applet to formulate a theory on cutting conics

(analyze, classify, connect, explain, infer)

formulate Students will experiment with an applet to formulate a theory on cutting conics.

(combine, integrate, plan, create, design, formulate)

create Students will create a digital multi-media presentation demonstrating real-world application of conic sections.

(assess, recommend, convince, compare, conclude, summarize)

• assess

• compare & contrast

• Student presentations (as per synthesis activity) will be assessed using a workshop in which students assess self/other presentations. (Blue Harvest)

• Students will compare & contrast conic sections and their equations by completing a template.

Armed with these two resources, the process of writing learning objectives became one of clarity.  I was able to write the following objectives for a unit of Analytic Geometry on Conic Sections:

  • Students will formulate a Cutting Conics theory by conducting an experiment using an interactive applet and will describe their theory with 100% accuracy using a video communication tool.
  • Students will compile, refine, and revise a digital class glossary of conic section terminology by contributing a minimum of x entries to the class wiki.
  • Using a blog, students will maintain an online journal for reflection on learning and/or response to teacher-created prompts at a minimum 80% participation rate.
  • Students will compare and contrast conic sections and their equations by completing an individual template and by contributing to the class template posted on the class wiki.
  • Students will design and create a digital multi-media presentation demonstrating real-world application of conic sections according to the rubric at a minimum 80% performance level.
  • Students will assess their digital multi-media presentation according to the rubric.
  • Students will use the rubric to evaluate and provide feedback for at least x peer multi-media presentations.

Assuming these components are acceptable, I feel I am well on my way to completing my final project.  A lot of detailed writing and planning remains, but the basics are in place and I’ve set the stage for completion.

Additional Resources

Churches, A. (2009).  Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.  edorigami.  Retrieved July 10, 2012 from

Fisher, M. (2009).  Digital Bloom’s Visual.  Digigogy.  Retrieved July 10, 2012 from

The Differentiator.  Byrdseed.  Retrieved July 11, 2012 from


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