Implementation Group: "Blooming" Your Courses


This discussion group focuses on aligning course goals, assignments, and assessments of student learning, using the lens of Bloom's taxonomy for the cognitive domain. Before each meeting, each participant shares course-level goals, an assignment, in-class activity, or assessment from one of their courses. Classifying these course materials according to Bloom's taxonomic level provides the foundation for our discussions.

Discussion series goals

The goal of this activity is to work through the process of "Blooming" one of your courses and get input from your faculty colleagues as you go. "Blooming" your course means aligning your learning goals for students, your classroom assignments and activities, and your assessments of student learning in terms of the level of cognitive work you expect from students relative to Bloom's taxonomy.

Structure and format

Prior to the first meeting:

  • Participants send the discussion coordinator a set of course-level learning goals for the course of your choice
    • Discussion coordinator organizes peer review groups
  • Participants review course-level learning goals from 3 or 4 other participants, rank them according to Bloom's taxonomy, and send their rankings to their peer review group
  • Participants review their peers' rankings of the Bloom's taxonomic levels of their own course goals and reflect: How much variation is there? What surprises you?

1st meeting:

  • Does everyone agree on the Bloom's level of each of your learning goals?
    • If not, what are the learning goals that are debatable?
    • If so, what's the proportion of higher-level goals to lower-level goals? What do you think about that proportion - does it represent what you want students to learn?

Prior to the second meeting:

  • As above, with a set of exam questions, but in (new) review groups of 3

2nd meeting:

  • As above, with respect to exam questions

Prior to the third meeting:

  • As above, with an assignment, and in (new) review groups of 3

3rd meeting:

  • As above, with respect to assignments


We scheduled 3 weeks between each of the 3 synchronous discussions in this series, to allow ample time for faculty members to peer review each other's materials and to digest their peers' comments on their own course materials.

Additional resources

SAGE Musings: Using Bloom's Taxonomy to Boost Student Metacognition

SAGE Musings: "Blooming" Exams and Other Summative Assessments


Bloom, B. S., Krathwohl, D. R., and Masia, B. B. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, New York, NY: D. McKay