Course Resource Kit

NILOA’s verb categories

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) published a paper in 2015 advocating for categorizing learning outcomes according to the principles of Natural Language processing which includes 20 groups of operational verbs. These categories are not hierarchical in the way that Bloom’s categories are. You can access the paper at this link.

A.)  Verbs describing student acquisition and preparation of tools, materials, and texts of various types (including digital and archival)access, acquire, collect, accumulate, extract, gather, locate, obtain, retrieve
B.)  Verbs indicating what students do to certify information, materials, texts, etc.cite, document, record, reference, source (v)
C.)  Verbs indicating the modes of student characterization of the objects of knowledge or materials of production, performance, exhibitcategorize, classify, define, describe, determine, frame, identify, prioritize, specify
D.)  Verbs describing what students do in processing data and allied informationcalculate, determine, estimate, manipulate, measure, solve, test 
  D 1.) Verbs further describing the ways in which students format data, information, materials arrange, assemble, collate, organize, sort
E.)  Verbs describing what students do in explaining a position, creation, set of observations, or a textarticulate, clarify, explicate, illustrate, interpret, outline, translate, elaborate, elucidate
F.)  Verbs falling under the cognitive activities we group under “analyze”compare, contrast, differentiate, distinguish, formulate, map, match, equate
G.)  Verbs describing what students do when they “inquire”examine, experiment, explore, hypothesize, investigate, research, test
H.)  Verbs describing what students do when they combine ideas, materials, observationsassimilate, consolidate, merge, connect, integrate, link, synthesize, summarize
I.)    Verbs that describe what students do in various forms of “making”build, compose, construct, craft, create, design, develop, generate, model, shape, simulate
J.)   Verbs that describe the various ways in which students utilize the materials of learningapply, carry out, conduct, demonstrate, employ, implement, perform, produce, use
K.)  Verbs that describe various executive functions students performoperate, administer, control, coordinate, engage, lead, maintain, manage, navigate, optimize, plan
L.)   Verbs that describe forms of deliberative activity in which students engageargue, challenge, debate, defend, justify, resolve, dispute, advocate, persuade
M.) Verbs that indicate how students valuate objects, experiences, texts, productions, etc.audit, appraise, assess, evaluate, judge, rank
N.)  Verbs that reference the types of communication in which we ask students to engage:report, edit, encode/decode, pantomime (v), map, display, draw/ diagram
O.)  Verbs, related to modes of communication, that indicate what students do in groups:collaborate, contribute, negotiate, feed back
P.)  Verbs that describe what students do in rethinking or reconstructingaccommodate, adapt, adjust, improve, modify, refine, reflect, review

Adapted from:

For more, check out:

Eubanks, D., & Gliem, D. (2015, May). Improving teaching, learning, and assessment by making evidence of achievement transparent (Occasional Paper No. 25). National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.