Course Guides: Bloomin’ Verbs

Daphne in winter, Melbourne, ready for Semester 2

Daphne in winter, Melbourne, ready for Semester 2

Posted by: John Benwell, Principal Advisor, Learning and Teaching, Design and Social Context College, RMIT University.

It’s that time of the academic year when we have to revise our course/subject guides — the details of the course you are running and an important document for students. Independent learners need a menu, a planting guide, a chart, of what is to be learnt during the semester, and how their learning will be assessed. Without a guide, they will not be able to plan their studies.

Clearly articulating your learning objectives and learning activities will allow students to proceed at their own pace and use their own initiative and skills in learning the material you are presenting.

One key field in a course/subject guide outline is the learning objectives. Whilst these high-level objectives are developed and written at the time the program is developed (and at RMIT, are in Part A of the course guide), have you ever thought of creating a subset of learning or key objectives for each lecture/week to help the student study and learn? Perhaps it could be as simple as linking the course objective to the relevant week (or weeks) and unpacking it with your students as you go along.

As tertiary educators, we would hope that all students understand the main topics in the course, but what is delivered each week, and what is meant to be understood and studied should also be communicated. This is easily done in the Part B course guide (at RMIT) with small statements in the teaching schedule outlining each week’s topics. The language of these key outcomes can be the same as the learning outcomes, which usually begin with a verb. The statements should demonstrate a structured approach for students’ learning.

Following on from Helen McLean’s post on Bloom’s Taxonomy and Constructive Alignment, Bloom can also help set a framework for the verbs we use in creating learning objectives by linking them to cognitive actions.

Below is a handy list of verbs you might like to use in constructing or revising learning objectives and teaching schedules. For your lectures, and Part B course guide, think about how you can summarise the lecture content using sentences that follow this framework. Try using several from each section to make sure you have covered the spectrum of Bloom’s Cognitive Objectives in your course.

Keep it handy while you’re planning your course and visit the link below for more information. Good luck for Semester 2!

The list is re-published with permission from Bloom’s Taxonomy, Penn State Learning Design Community Hub:

Cognitive Objective Verbs
Knowledge (Ability to recall previously learned material) Define

Identify

List

Name

Recall

Recognise

Record

Relate

Repeat

Underline

Circle

Comprehension (Ability to grasp meaning, explain, restate ideas) Choose

Cite examples of

Demonstrate use of

Describe

Determine

Differentiate between

Discriminate

Discuss

Explain

Express

Give in own words

Identify

Interpret

LocatePickReport

Restate

Review

Recognise

Select

Tell

Translate

Respond

Practice

Simulate

Application(Ability to use learnt material in new situations) Apply

Demonstrate

Dramatise

Employ

Generalise

Illustrate

Interpret

Operate

Operationalise

Practice

Relate

Schedule

Use

Utilise

Initiate

Analysis(Ability to separate material into component parts and show relationships between parts) Analyse

Appraise

Calculate

Categorise

Compare

Conclude

Contrast

Correlate

Criticise

Deduce

Debate

Detect

Determine

Develop

Diagram

Differentiate

Distinguish

Draw conclusions

Estimate

Evaluate

Examine

Experiment

Identify

Infer

Inspect

Inventory

Predict

Question

Relate

Solve

Test

Diagnose

Synthesis(Ability to put together the separate ideas to create new and establish new relationships) Arrange

Assemble

Collect

Compose

Construct

Create

Design

Develop

Formulate

Manage

Modify

Organise

Plan

Prepare

Produce

Propose

Predict

Reconstruct

Set-up

Synthesise

Systematise

Devise

Evaluation(Ability to judge the worth of material against stated criteria) Appraise

Assess

Choose

Compare

Critique

Estimate

Evaluate

Judge

Measure

Rate

Revise

Score

Select

Validate

Value

Test

2 responses to “Course Guides: Bloomin’ Verbs

  1. Pingback: Writing critical thinking learning outcomes « theteachingtomtom

  2. Pingback: Grounding graduate attributes « theteachingtomtom

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