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  • List of Active Verbs structured by Levels of Abstraction

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  1. Knowledge, Observation, & Recall of Information: i.e., knowledge of dates, events, places; knowledge of major ideas; mastery of subject matter.
    Use these Active Verbs: arrange, collect, define, duplicate, examine, label, list, memorize, name (who, when, where, etc.), order, quote, recall, recite, recognize, relate, repeat, reproduce, show, state, tabulate, tell
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • Define iambic pentameter
    • State Newton's Laws of Motion
    • Identify the major Impressionist painters
  2. Comprehension - Understanding Information: i.e., grasp meaning; translate knowledge into new context; interpret facts, compare, contrast, order, group, infer causes, predict consequences.
    Use these Active Verbs: associate, classify, contrast, describe, discuss, differentiate, discuss, distinguish, estimate, explain, express, extend, identify, indicate, interpret, list, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, summarize, trace, translate
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • Describe data presented in graphs....
    • Summarize the main ideas of...
  3. Application: i.e., use information; use methods, concepts, theories in new situations; solve problems using required skills or knowledge.
    Use these Active Verbs: apply, calculate, change, choose, classify, complete, compose examples of, demonstrate, describe, discover, employ, examine, experiment, illustrate, interpret, modify, operate, practice, relate, scan, schedule, show, sketch, solve,
    test, use.
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • Describe an experiment to test the influence of light and light quality
      on the Hill reaction of photosynthesis.
    • Scan a poem for metric foot and meter scheme.
    • Use the Archimedes principle to determine the volume of an irregularly
      shaped object.
  4. Analysis: i.e. seeing patterns, organization of parts, recognition of hidden meanings, identification of components
    Use these Active Verbs: analyze, appraise, arrange, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, determine, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, divide, examine, experiment, explain, infer, order, question, select, separate, test.
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • List and analyze arguments for and against gun control.
    • Determine the necessary controls for an experiment.
    • Discuss the rationale and efficacy of isolationism in the global economy.
  5. Synthesis: i.e. use old ideas to create new ones, generalize from given facts, relate knowledge from several areas, predict, draw conclusions.
    Use these Active Verbs: arrange, assemble, collect, combine, compose, construct, create, design, formulate, generalize, integrate, invent, manage, modify, organize, plan, predict, prepare, propose, rearrange, rewrite, set up, substitute
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • Compose a logical argument on assisted suicide supported with
      well-selected evidence drawn from a variety of relevant sources.
    • Construct a helium-neon laser.
  6. Evaluation: i.e. compare and discriminate between ideas; assess value of theories, presentations; make choices based on reasoned argument; verify value of evidence; recognize subjectivity
    Use these Active Verbs: appraise, argue, assess, challenge, choose, conclude, convince, decide, defend, discriminate, dispute, evaluate, grade, judge, measure, rank, rate, recommend, score, select, support, test, value
    Example Learning Outcomes:
    • Assess the validity of the conclusions based on data and statistical analysis.
    • Critically analyze and evaluate a novel, supported by well-selected textual evidence and appropriate criteria for evaluation.
    • Propose defensible stock market investments based on company performance and projected value.