Course Resource Kit

Learning Taxonomies

A taxonomy is “a particular system of classifying things” (Oxford, n.d.). Taxonomies can be helpful when writing learning outcomes, which in turn can help create learning activities and assessments. Taxonomies can help you craft learning outcomes which are clear, consistent, and specific to your educational context whether at the lesson, course, program, or institutional levels. 

Taxonomies that have often been used to assist in writing learning outcomes in higher education include the following:

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom & Krathwohl) and Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl)
  • Taxonomy of Significant Learning (Fink)
  • National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)’s extensive verb categorization
  • The SOLO (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) Taxonomy (Biggs & Collins)

As well, Marcella LaFever has created a taxonomy that takes into account the Medicine Wheel. It’s a wonderful tool if you are striving to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into your course. You can find more information about it in her article Switching from Bloom to the Medicine Wheel: Creating learning outcomes that support Indigenous ways of knowing in post-secondary education.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning

NILOA’s verb categories

SOLO Taxonomy