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Bloom's Taxonomy

Corrosion Training

Following the 1948 Convention of the American Psychological Association, B.S. Bloom took a lead in formulating a classification of "the goals of the educational process". Three "domains" of educational activities were identified. The first of these, named the Cognitive Domain, involves knowledge and the development of intellectual attitudes and skills. The other domains are the Affective Domain and the Psychomotor Domain, which are usually not addressed by goals specified in a corrosion course. Eventually, Bloom and his co-workers established a hierarchy of educational objectives, which is generally referred to as Bloom's Taxonomy, and which divides cognitive objectives ranging from the simplest behavior to the most complex.

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Training levels have been added to the following adaptation of Bloom's taxonomy to corrosion education, with Level 1 corresponding to the easiest goal and level 5 to the most difficult. Typically, goals belonging to levels 4 and 5 would be required of students in their last years of an engineering program, or at the graduate level. Levels 1 to 3 would correspond to difficulties associated with the very first years of any university program. (view Taxonomy in Table format) (view example in Table format)


  • Knowledge is defined as the remembering of previously learned material. This may involve the recall of a wide range of material, from specific facts to complete theories, but all that is required is the bringing to mind of the appropriate information. Knowledge represents the lowest level of learning outcomes in the cognitive domain.
  • Defines; describes; enumerates; identifies; labels; lists; matches; names; reads; records; reproduces; selects; states; views.
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • What are the units of corrosion penetration rates? (level 1) Relate these to Faraday's law (level 2)
    • State the characteristics of each type of corrosion testing studied (level 1)
    • Describe how the linear polarization method can yield corrosion rates (level 3)
    • List the procedure to draw a mixed potential or Evans' diagram (level 4)
    • State the guidelines to design an anodic protection system (level 3)


  • Comprehension is defined as the ability to grasp the meaning of material. This may be shown by translating material from one form to another (words to numbers), by interpreting material (explaining or summarizing), and by estimating future trends (predicting consequences or effects). These learning outcomes go one step beyond the simple remembering of material, and represent the lowest level of understanding.
  • Classifies; cites; converts; describes; discusses; estimates; explains; generalizes; gives examples; makes sense out of; paraphrases; restates (in own words); summarizes; traces; understands.
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • Recognize types of corrosion inhibitors (level 1).
    • Given these five corrosion inhibitors, V, W, X, Y, Z, identify which are passivators (level 2()
    • What will happen if the pH of a steel vessel was to drop below 6.2 from 10.2?(level 4)
    • Use the E-pH or Pourbaix diagram of Cr to determine the control current and potential for the anodic protection of a S43000 stainless steel vessel. (level 5)


  • Application refers to the ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations. This may include the application of such things as rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories. Learning outcomes in this area require a higher level of understanding than those under comprehension.
  • Acts; administers; articulates; assesses; charts; collects; computes; constructs; contributes; controls; determines; develops; discovers; establishes; extends; implements; includes; informs; instructs; operationalizes; participates; predicts; prepares; preserves; produces; projects; provides; relates; reports; shows; solves; teaches; transfers; uses; utilizes.
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • Specify the thickness of a galvanized coating based on atmospheric data? ( level 2)
    • Select an alloy that could be coupled with titanium in seawater application? (level 1)
    • Calculate the number of sacrificial anodes that would be required to form a calcareous deposit on a steel pile immersed in seawater. (level 5)


  • Analysis refers to the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. This may include the identification of parts, analysis of the relationship between parts, and recognition of the organizational principles involved. Learning outcomes here represent a higher intellectual level than comprehension and application because they require an understanding of both the content and the structural form of the material.
  • Breaks down; correlates; diagrams; differentiates; discriminates; distinguishes; focuses; illustrates; infers; limits; outlines; points out; prioritizes; recognizes; separates; subdivides.
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • From a series of pictures and context description identify the forms of corrosion that were involved in a failure?(level 2)
    • What could be the consequences to operate a stainless steel vessel with deaerated water when the specifications are written for aerated water ? (level 3)
    • Evaluate the corrosion monitoring needs of a chemical processing plant and design a cost effective strategy to generate reliable data. (level 5)


  • Synthesis refers to the ability to put parts together to form a new whole. This may involve the production of a unique communication, a plan of operations (research proposal), or a set of abstract relations (scheme for classifying information). Learning outcomes in this area stress creative behaviors, with major emphasis on the formulation of new patterns or structure.
  • Adapts; anticipates; categorizes; collaborates; combines; communicates; compares; compiles; composes; contrasts; creates; designs; devises; expresses; facilitates; formulates; generates; incorporates; individualizes; initiates; integrates; intervenes; models; modifies; negotiates; plans; progresses; rearranges; reconstructs; reinforces; reorganizes; revises; structures; substitutes; validates
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • Following the identification of the forms of corrosion that were involved in a failure, recommend a solution to avoid this failure? (level 3)
    • Design a testing scenario to assess the susceptibility of an alloy to be used in a given environment? (level 2)
    • Create a set of guidelines to determine the points of a plant susceptible to localized corrosion. (level 2)


  • Evaluation is concerned with the ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose. The judgments are to be based on definite criteria. These may be internal criteria (organization) or external criteria (relevance to the purpose) and the student may determine the criteria or be given them. Learning outcomes in this area are highest in the cognitive hierarchy because they contain elements of all the other categories, plus conscious value judgments based on clearly defined criteria.
  • Appraises; compares & contrasts; concludes; criticizes; critiques; decides; defends; interprets; judges; justifies; reframes; supports.
  • Examples of learning objectives:
    • Choose a paint schedule for the maintenance of an outdoor structure? (level 2)
    • Evaluate the level of galvanic coupling between two metals using basic kinetic information?(level 4)
    • Using straight value depreciation, decide between two copper-nickel alloys for the design of a heat exchanger. (level 1)