The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy as a Framework for Writing Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are important in online courses as they play the role of road maps for students. With learning objectives in mind, students can direct their learning efforts reasonably and monitor their own learning progress in one course.

Clear and logical module-level learning objectives would help learners build connections between the course outcomes, learning activities, and assessments. Well-written learning objectives should be SMART.

Since learning objectives aim to achieve the intended outcome, it should start by completing the sentence along with who will do, how much, how well, of what, by when. Bloom’s Taxonomy is widely used as the framework for creating learning objectives.

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

The original Bloom’s Taxonomy is framework elaborated in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom and his collaborators. It consisted of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The categories after Knowledge were presented as “skills and abilities,” with the understanding that knowledge was the necessary precondition for putting these skills and abilities into practice (Armstrong, 2010).

Instructional designers at TILT use the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (as shown in the diagram ) as a framework for helping faculty write specific and measurable module-level learning objectives.

FHSU faculty may use examples of Bloom’s Taxonomy in course blueprints, syllabi, and through course mapping on CourseTune.

Why Do We Use Bloom’s Taxonomy?

The major concept of the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is that learning objectives can be organized in a hierarchy that moves from low-levels of thinking to high-level of thinking. The levels are considered as successive: low-level thinking needs to be mastered before the next level can be reached. Remember, understand, and apply are often considered as involving low-level thinking, while analyzing, evaluating, and creating are often considered as involving high-level thinking or higher-order thinking.

The taxonomy can assist faculty in developing assessments by matching their learning objectives to any given level of mastery. When teaching lower-division, introductory courses, faculty might measure mastery of objectives at the lower levels. When teaching more advanced, upper division courses, faculty would likely be assessing students’ abilities at the higher levels of the taxonomy (Northern Illinois University, 2020).

Action Verbs for SMART Learning Objectives

An learning objective needs to be SMART, meaning specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Verbs used in learning objectives should represent the level of performance expectation that is measurable and observable (Chatterjee & Corral, 2017). To create such a SMART learning objective, faculty can use action verbs provided at each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

For example, a learning objective might state, “By the end of this module, students will be able to analyze the features and limitations of various sampling procedures and research methodologies.”

Bloom’s Taxonomy Resources


Armstrong, P. (2010). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved Feb 2023 from

Chatterjee D, Corral J. How to Write Well-Defined Learning Objectives. J Educ Perioper Med. 2017 Oct 1;19(4):E610. PMID: 29766034; PMCID: PMC5944406.

Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2020). Bloom’s taxonomy. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from

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