EMS Education Tips

Multiple Choice Question Writing: Bloom's Taxonomy

In the 1950s Benjamin Bloom led a group of psychologists to develop Bloom’s Taxonomy, a classification of the levels of learning. The taxonomy is a pyramid; the basic and bottom level of learning is knowledge. Building up, learners are expected at the next levels to apply, analyze, synthesize and finally evaluate the information they have gained. 

For example, examine the following questions. The first is a simple recall question, and the second asks the user to apply what they have learned.

Which of the following age groups includes the most frequent victims of ingested poisonings involving household products?

a. Children

b. Teenagers

c. Adults

d. Elderly

You respond to a wheat farm where your patient, 48 year old Darrell has a large chemical burn covering his right hand and right lower arm. Darrell reports that he was mixing a liquid solution of pesticide, when it splashed onto his ungloved hand and arm. What is the transmission route for this type of poisoning is:

a. Surface absorbed

b. Ingested

c. Inhaled

d. Injected

When writing multiple choice quiz questions, it is vital to remember the taxonomy to ensure to ask learners to not only recall information but also to understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they have learned.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.