Grading and expectations

Bloom’s Taxonomy shows what is expected from your academic work and can help you focus your daily studies and your exam performance.


Why are there so few multiple choice quizzes at Danish universities? Why is group work such a valued working method? Why are oral exams so common? How much time should I spend on memorizing facts for my exam?

You can probably think of more questions about the working methods and the standards that your exams are expected to meet at Aarhus University.

The issues can be discussed and explored with Bloom’s Taxonomy, which is depicted below. Click on the levels in the illustration to learn more. You will see examples of what to do at each level.

Helps you focus

Bloom's Taxonomy shows how you should be able to demonstrate that you know and understand a number of theoretical or methodological positions and that you know to apply them and to analyze and evaluate them.

It can help you focus your daily studies and your exam performance, both at oral and written exams. Identifying and distinguishing between the different levels in the exam questions will help you decide how to prioritise them.

The taxonomy places 6 learning objectives in a hierarchical structure that moves from basic to advanced. Generally speaking, if you show that you master the taxonomy’s higher levels you will get you a higher grade. But you cannot skip the lower levels.

Remember

Demonstrating that you have sufficient knowledge of facts, relevant terminology, and basic concepts are ways of showing that you master the learning objective of remembering.

You do this by:                         
Describing
Listing
Naming
Identifying
Recalling
Recognizing
Stating
Relevant actions could be:
Describe what happened
State how many...
Name who...
Describe what is...
Identify which is true or false...

Understand

In order to show that you master the learning objective of understanding you must demonstrate your understanding of relevant facts and ideas.

You do this by:                          
Organizing
Explaining
Interpreting
Comparing
Translating
Paraphrasing
Giving examples
Relevant actions could be:
Make an outline of...
Explain what was the main idea...
Interpret a text to show who was the key character...
Make a comparison to find the differences that exist between...
Give examples of... 

Apply

Demonstrating that you can use your knowledge of facts, methods, and ideas to solve problems in new and different manners are ways of showing that you master the learning objective of applying.

You do this by:                           
Showing
Using
Constructing
Examining
Classifying
Relevant actions could be:
Show that you know another instance of the same
Classify something by certain characteristics
Apply the method used to some experience of your own
Formulate your own questions to ask of the matter at hand
Develop a set of instructions based on the matter at hand

Analyze

When you master the learning objective of analyzing you are able to examine and break your knowledge into parts and demonstrate that you can distinguish between the different parts.

This you do by:                          
Comparing
Analyzing
Categorizing
Examining
Identifying
Contrasting
Relevant actions could be:
Compare with other matters and find similarities
Contrast with other matters and find differences
Identify any underlying themes
Identify any problems
Create useful distinctions and categories
Examine motives, turning points, important aspects

Evaluate

Assessing and making judgments through checking and critiquing and justifying your stand or decision are ways of demonstrating that you master the learning objective of evaluating.

You do this by:                          
Assessing
Discussing
Criticise
Rating
Arguing
Justifying
Verifying
Relevant actions could be:
Discuss whether there may be better solutions to the problem
Rate different solutions
Recommend one solution to another
Criticise a perspective
Argue why something - according to you - is good or bad
Defend your standpoint

Create

You demonstrate that you master the learning objective of creating when you create something new, a new product or idea or perspective.

You do this by:                          
Creating
Inventing
Designing
Predicting
Imagining
Formulating
Relevant actions could be:
Design one or two possible solutions to...
Imagine how you would deal with the situation
Create possible future scenarios with desirable changes
Invent new ways of using...
Develop proposals for action to solve the matter at hand