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What are the methods you use to check if your students really understood the material you presented them with?

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  • What have you tried? What has your research shown so far? Jan 23, 2020 at 21:45
  • Why is it tagged 'research-process'? Are you interested in teaching or in research about teaching?
    – Buffy
    Jan 23, 2020 at 21:46
  • This question is much too broad. The answer is "Assessment" but again that is very broad. Jan 23, 2020 at 21:48
  • And, give some hint about the field in question.
    – Buffy
    Jan 23, 2020 at 21:55
  • In theory this is exactly what exams are supposed to do. In practice, that's a different story.
    – Nick S
    Jan 23, 2020 at 23:25

1 Answer 1

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‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ is a useful tool for classroom educators. Benjamin Bloom creates the taxonomy, which was later revised by Lorin Anderson.

His taxonomy helps educators develop critical thinking and higher order cognitive abilities in students. It provides a framework, or organisation, for classifying classroom lesson objectives.

Bloom’s Taxonomy states that, from the lowest level of cognitive rigour to the highest, a student is required to:

  • Remember

  • Understand

  • Apply

  • Analyse

  • Evaluate

  • and, Create

Changes to the Model: The term ‘Remember’ was previously known as ‘Knowledge’; ‘Understand’ also replaced ‘Comprehension’; and, lastly, the order of ‘Create’ and ‘Evaluate’ was switched.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is actually a hierarchy, where students must first master the lower levels before mastering the higher levels. The levels represent a shift from simple and concrete thinking to more abstract and complex modes of thinking.

Tables of descriptive verbs have been made available to help educators plan lessons. These tables have been aligned to Bloom’s levels of Taxonomy.

  • ‘Remember’ can be described as to: Arrange, Describe, Order, Name or Memorise terms.

  • ‘Understand’: Explain, Summarise, Paraphrase, Discuss

  • ‘Apply’: Choose, Modify, Discover, Diagram, Show

  • ‘Analyse’: Break down, Calculate, Model, Subdivide, Infer

  • ‘Evaluate’: Critique, Judge

  • ‘Create’: Generate, Plan, Produce

If students are able to apply their understanding and analyse, evaluate or synthesise something from it, this is evidence that they have understood what they have been taught.

Whereas, if they were only to memorise something, this would not show understanding.

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