Using Action Verbs as Learning Outcomes: Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in Measuring Instructional Objectives in Introductory Psychology

Jeffrey S. Nevid, Nate McClelland


We used a set of action verbs based on Bloom’s taxonomy to assess learning outcomes in two college-level introductory psychology courses.  The action verbs represented an acronym, IDEA, comprising skills relating to identifying, defining or describing, evaluating or explaining, and applying psychological knowledge.  Exam performance demonstrated that higher level cognitive skills in Bloom’s taxonomy represented by the action verbs evaluating and explaining were the most difficult for students to acquire and also showed the highest item discrimination index in differentiating between better and poorer students.  This study provides a heuristic framework for evaluating areas of relative strength and weakness in acquired skills in college coursework.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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