Self-Assessment with Bloom’s Taxonomy


For this course, instead of more traditional grading processes, you’ll be participating in self-reflection and self-assessment. At various points throughout the semester, you’ll fill out google forms that give you an opportunity to consider your work and learning in various aspects of the class.

I will draw on your self-assessments in the grading process, although if I feel your self-assessment does not match with my own sense of your work and growth in the class (as in, you grade yourself too harshly, as students can at times do!), I’ll reach out to you to talk it through.

Bloom’s Taxonomy as a Rubric for Learning and Self-Assessment

As part of these reflections, I will ask you to assess your work on specific elements/ dimensions of the class with the aid of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a thoughtful approach to student learning.

The taxonomy positions knowledge as the core base of the learning experience (Did you familiarize yourself with ideas presented in class materials?) It then moves into more deep and rigorous dimensions of learning, starting with comprehension (Did you understand the arguments being made in class materials? Can you summarize and discuss them and discussion them?) Next comes Application (Can you apply the ideas presented?); Analysis (Can you use the ideas to analyze and make larger arguments?) At the tip of the Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid, Synthesis and Evaluation, which are really two parts of a whole: have you brought the ideas from class into conversation with each other, and have you entered into conversation *with* them, taking them to new places? Can you assess these new ideas, both yours and others?

The skills that make up Bloom’s Taxonomy are cumulative and exponential, demonstrating growth and deeper understanding and mastery as you move from knowledge and comprehension toward synthesis and evaluation. The handy pyramid above really helps as a reference point.

Self-Assessment & Grades: How Do They Combine?

The purpose of this self reflection process is to de-emphasize grades in favor of learning and creativity, but as grades are a reality at Middlebury, here’s how Bloom’s Taxonomy translates to letter and numerical grading.

  • Synthesis & Evaluation: A or A- (100-90)
  • Analysis: B+ or B (84-89) 
  • Application: B- (80-83)
  • Comprehension C+ or C (73-79)

As I said above, I will primarily reference your self-assessments in the grading process. I will also look at your learning growth over the course of the semester. And again, if I feel you’ve assessed yourself in a way that really doesn’t match with my sense of your learning, I will reach out with you to talk it through.