The Evolution of Bloom's Taxonomy

Psychomotor Skill Hierarchy (1972)

In 1972, Elizabeth Simpson, an educator at the University of Illinois proposed a hierarchy for Bloom’s aforementioned psychomotor domain, with the following seven levels:

psychomotor domain

  1. Perception - The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity: This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation. Examples: Detects non-verbal communication cues. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Adjusts heat of the stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. Adjusts the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet. Key words: chooses, describes, detects, differentiates, distinguishes, identifies, isolates, relates, selects.
  2. Set - Readiness to act: It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person's response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets). This subdivision of psychomotor is closely related with the "responding to phenomena" subdivision of the affective domain. Examples: Knows and acts upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Recognizes his or her abilities and limitations. Shows desire to learn a new process (motivation). Keywords: begins, displays, explains, moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states, volunteers.
  3. Guided response - The early stages of learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error: Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing. Examples: Performs a mathematical equation as demonstrated. Follows instructions to build a model. Responds to hand-signals of the instructor while learning to operate a forklift. Keywords: copies, traces, follows, reacts, reproduces, responds.
  4. Mechanism- The intermediate stage in learning a complex skill: Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency. Examples: Use a personal computer. Repair a leaking tap. Drive a car. Key words: assembles, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.
  5. Guided (complex overt) response -The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns: Proficiency is indicated by a quick, accurate, and highly coordinated performance, requiring a minimum of energy. This category includes performing without hesitation and automatic performance. For example, players will often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce. Examples: Maneuvers a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Displays competence while playing the piano. Key words: assembles, builds, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches. (Note: The key words are the same as in mechanism, but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker, better, more accurate, etc.)
  6. Adaptation - Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements. Examples: Responds effectively to unexpected experiences. Modifies instruction to meet the needs of the learners. Performs a task with a machine that was not originally intended for that purpose (the machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task). Key words: adapts, alters, changes, rearranges, reorganizes, revises, varies.
  7. Origination - Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem: Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills. Examples: Constructs a new set or pattern of movements organized around a novel concept or theory. Develops a new and comprehensive training program. Creates a new gymnastic routine. Key words: arranges, builds, combines, composes, constructs, creates, designs, initiates, makes, originates.