Learning outcomes

The scope and form of learning outcomes tend to form an important consideration in the choice of an appropriate learning design. Different learning designs are needed to enable students to achieve different forms of learning outcome. Bloom describes six levels of cognition within which learning outcomes typically fall (refer to the Table below). The lower level outcomes (eg knowledge and comprehension), are usually associated with structured and directed learning settings while the higher level outcomes (eg synthesis and evaluation) require learning experiences that are more open and less directed.

Across all sectors of education, learning usually seeks to develop learners within several levels. Learning often proceeds in a sequential fashion with knowledge and comprehension sought ahead of application and analysis. The level of learning sought is a very important consideration in the choice of the learning design to be used.


Bloom's knowledge levels

OutcomesSkill/Capability
KnowledgeArrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognise, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state.
ComprehensionClassify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognise, report, restate, review, select, translate.
ApplicationApply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
AnalysisAnalyse, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticise, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
SynthesisArrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organise, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.
EvaluationAppraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.
Bloom B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc.
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