Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Educational Psychology / Research

First Advisor

Robert L Johnson


A taxonomy of learning objectives generally refers to a schema to classify the levels of learning. In 1956, Benjamin Bloom, with a group of educational psychologists, created a taxonomy for classifying educational objectives using six major categories of thinking skills: (a) knowledge (recalling information), (b) comprehension, (understanding the material), (c) application (use of rules in problem solving), (d) analysis (separating the material into its components), (e) synthesis (combining elements to form a new structure), and (f) evaluation (determining if the stimulus materials meet relevant criteria). In 2001, Anderson and Krathwhol, with six other educators, revised Bloom's taxonomy by reconceptualizing the thinking skills as cognitive strategies, expressing the strategies in their verb form, and placing create at the top of the hierarchy. They also incorporated a knowledge dimension with four types of knowledge: (a) factual (basic elements), (b) conceptual (the interrelationships among the basic elements within a larger structure enabling to function together), (c) procedural (the methods of inquiry, and criteria for using skills), and (d) metacognitive (cognition in general as well as awareness and knowledge of one's own cognition). The widespread usage of the Revised Taxonomy (RT) in curriculum, instructional design, and assessment elevates the need to develop effective instructional methods to teach the RT to educators. In order to share a common concept of each of the categories of the RT, it is very important to assure that educators accurately understand the categories of the RT. Informal training in using the taxonomy may cause a challenge in using the taxonomy, resulting in an unexpected low agreement rate in classifying content standards and test items following the taxonomy. The goal of this study was to investigate a method in teaching the RT to support educators in making more accurate use of the taxonomy. The study participants were 123 teacher candidates in four sections of an undergraduate course on classroom assessment. The sections of the class were randomly assigned into two treatment groups with two sections in each treatment group. Prior to the lesson on the RT, participants in the two treatment groups completed a short survey about their prior knowledge and academic experiences related to the Bloom's taxonomy and the RT. In this study, the two treatment groups received the same instructional information, and the only difference between the two treatment groups was in the types of practice activities. One of the treatment groups practiced categorizing content standards and test items, whereas the other group practiced categorizing only content standards. At the end of the lesson the two treatment groups completed a 20-item test in which they categorized both test items and content standards. The study results indicated that the two treatment groups did not perform significantly different to each other. A majority of the students of both groups (1) categorized test items incorrectly as compared to content standards, and (2) performed better in categorizing the standards and items in the lower cognitive levels.