Using the lesson below: Design four questions from Bloom's Thinking Taxonomy to assess your student's learning. Align your questions with at least four different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
A lesson that evaluates students' "detective skills", and would be suitable to use as a segueway into a lesson on evolution. Connections can be made to argumentative writing, public speaking, critical thinking and data analysis. This lesson is intended for 9th graders; at this level, students should be able to evaluate scientific data, relate it to a hypothesis, and formulate a thesis statement/argument that supports or rejects the hypothesis.
This particular lesson is a great one to explore different aspects of Bloom's taxonomy in an assessment. In developing different types of assessments based on the taxonomical structure, the profound implications of learning become evident.
Knowledge- In terms of representing the domain of knowledge, it becomes essential to frame questions that demand students to recall different aspects of the experiment. The answers to these experiments should be verifiable, and reflective of knowledge based experience in the lab. For example, "Identify the instrument used in your collection of beans and recall how effective it was in obtaining beans in the bowl by stating how many beans were in the bowl and how many you were able to retrieve using your instrument." This type of question is direct and asks the student to recall specific information from the lab.
Comprehension- In using Bloom's understanding of comprehension, the questions are designed to have students develop multiple frames of reference in understanding content. For example, "Summarize the reactions and observations that your lab partners had in their experiences with obtaining beans from the bowl with the particular instrument assigned to your group." This type of question prompts the student to interpret the lab experiment from other frames of reference and cognitively understand it from their own and other points of view.
Synthesis- When moving into the synthesis realm, the student is asked to envision patterns or connections between their experience and others elements related to it. Given the experiment's connection to natural selection, a task could be for students to "Compile a list of 10 similarities between this experiment and the state of nature for the survival of organisms." Students make the pivot towards looking for a pattern or a sense of connection between classroom experience and larger content themes.
Evaluation- Finally, notice how these questions are different from those posed in the mode of evaluation: "In a speech, assess the veracity of the following statement: "All groups had the same chance for success in the experiment. Your speech should be persuasive in both its point of view and addressing potential flaws in its opposing viewpoint." This type of evaluative question forces the student to take a position and form a specific judgment related to multiple frames of reference. It also demands that a student analyze both sides of an issue in their speeches, which can be delivered to the class in order to generate further discussion.
These four questions can assess student work in the lab from different vantage points of understanding. It creates a differentiated view of content knowledge and ensures that students are being challenged through intellectual rigor.