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Scaffolding Instruction Toolkit: Taxonomies of Learning

Background information, tools, resources, and ideas for learning more about and implementing scaffolded instruction

Taxonomies of Learning

Taxonomies of Learning
Taxonomies of Learning are useful to consult when scaffolding library instruction. Use them to develop your learning objectives, activities, and assessments. 

Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning

Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning

Image of Bloom's Taxonomy

Image by Jessica Shabatura

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom published a framework for categorizing educational goals: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Familiarly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, this framework has been applied by generations of K-12 teachers and college instructors in their teaching.

A group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists and instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists published in 2001 a revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the title A Taxonomy for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. The authors of the revised taxonomy used verbs and gerunds to label their categories and subcategories (rather than the nouns of the original taxonomy). These “action words” describe the cognitive processes by which thinkers encounter and work with knowledge:

Summary excerpted from Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Using Bloom's Taxonomy

Applying Bloom's

Librarians can use Bloom's Taxonomy when crafting learning outcomes. Use the verbs suggested by Bloom's to ensure that you are teaching on multiple levels. Don't forget to assess whether or not the students have met the goals in your learning outcomes!

Bloom's can also be used to craft more effective questions to engage students and encourage higher-level thinking.

Additional Resources about Bloom's Taxonomy

Learn More About Bloom's

Webb's Depth of Knowledge

The concept of depth of knowledge was developed by Norman Webb in 1997. Essentially, depth of knowledge designates how deeply students must know, understand, and be aware of what they are learning in order to attain and explain answers, outcomes, results, and solutions.  It also designates how extensively students are expected to transfer and use what they have learned in different academic and real-world contexts.

In teaching and learning for cognitive rigor, Bloom’s determines the cognition or thinking students are expected to demonstrate as part of a learning experience.  That’s the verb that starts the educational objective or academic standard.  Webb’s designates the context – the scenario, setting, and situation – students are expected to express and share what they are learning (Francis, E. M., 2017).

Using Webb's Depth of Knowledge

Applying Webb's

Librarians can use Webb's Depth of Knowledge to create higher-order questions that will engage students.

Additional Resources about Webb's Depth of Knowledge