Using a summative assessment alignment model and the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy to improve curriculum development, instruction, and evaluation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching and Leadership


Joseph Shedd


Summative assessment alignment, Revised Bloom's Taxonomy, Curriculum development

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


This study describes the experiences of twenty-seven in-service and pre-service teachers who completed curriculum development and alignment training at a comprehensive state college in the Northeast. Previous studies of curriculum development and alignment have focused on the relationship between content validity and instructional validity in isolation. This study uses the Knowledge Dimension and the Cognitive Processes Dimension of the Revised Taxonomy (Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001) to prioritize the types of knowledge and cognitive processes required on summative assessments. The prioritization of the types of knowledge and cognitive processes provides teachers with a framework for planning classroom instruction and assessments that provide students with an opportunity to learn about alignment of assessments with instruction (Marzano, 2003).

An anonymous, online qualitative survey was administered to the participants after completion of the training. Two focus group discussions and an online follow-up survey was administered, both serving as member checks of the initial data analysis. Data was analyzed for confirming and disconfirming codes and an external reviewer was used to validate findings.

Participants reported that the factors that most facilitated their understanding of curriculum development and alignment were concrete activities and applications that allowed them to analyze multiple summative assessments and to evaluate gaps in their own pedagogical knowledge. Participants were uncomfortable with abstract applications and applying curriculum development procedures without explicit practice. Many participants reported limited content and pedagogical knowledge, a limitation that significantly influenced their ability to apply their learning in professional practice.

The findings of this study provide a clearer understanding of the Revised Taxonomy and its use as a as a tool for curriculum development. By defining the relationship between course objectives, instructional strategies and summative assessments, this study suggests that teachers can use the Cognitive Process Dimension and the Knowledge Dimension to prioritize instructional approaches to maximize student learning. Future studies that use the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to evaluate the alignment of the objectives, instruction, and assessments within teacher education programs may provide a framework for revising teacher training programs to more efficiently and appropriately prepare teachers for the realities of professional practice.


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