Bloom's Taxonomy

Updated by Anderson and Krathwohl (2000)

Instructor initiated questions enhance student learning by:

  • developing critical thinking skills
  • reinforcing student understanding
  • correcting student misunderstanding
  • providing feedback for students
  • enlivening class discussion

Questions serve as a teaching tool by which instructors manage and direct learning, test student understanding, and diagnose problem areas. The skilful use of the following question strategies have been found to enhance the effectiveness of instructor initiated questions.

USING A SKILL HIERARCHY: Asking questions that move from requiring simple recall of information to more difficult levels of cognitive reasoning, helps students develop cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills. (see chart below.)



Recalling facts or observations; Supplying definitions

  1. Who? What? Where? When?
  2. How would you define the term...?


Describing; Stating main ideas; Comparing & contrasting

  1. Describe (what will happen when...)
  2. What is the main idea (of article)?
  3. How are the theories alike/ different?


Applying techniques & rules to solve problems that have a single correct answer

  1. If..., then...
  2. How does this rule apply to...
  3. How would you interpret this graph/chart?


Identifying motives or making inferences; Finding evidence to support generalizations

  1. What can we conclude about...?
  2. What does this tell us about...?
  3. What evidence can you find to support...?


Making value judgments about a controversial issue; Judging truth, validity, beauty, worth etc.

  1. What is your opinion (on this matter)?
  2. Would it be better done another way?
  3. Why do you agree with...?


Developing solutions to problems and/or making predictions    

  1. How can this dilemma be solved?
  2. How can we improve this?
  3. What might happen if...?