Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and Digital Technology

Clif Mims



"The concept of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) became a major educational agenda item with the 1956 publication of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Within the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy there are six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Higher order thinking skills are those skills in the top three levels: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These three skill levels are important in critical thinking.

"There is a notion that students must master the lower level skills before they can engage in higher order thinking. However, the National Research Council objected to this line of reasoning, saying that cognitive research challenges that assumption, and that higher order thinking is important even in elementary school.

"Including higher order thinking skills in learning outcomes is a very common feature of standards based education reform" (Source).


  1. What kinds of activities, projects, student work, etc. occur in your class?
  2. What are students like today?
  3. Pay Attention

Workshop Resources

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

Andrew Churches explains that this "is an update to Bloom's Revised Taxonomy which attempts to account for the new behaviours and actions emerging as technology advances and becomes more ubiquitous. Bloom's Revised Taxonomy describes many traditional classroom practices, behaviours and actions, but does not account for the new processes and actions associated with Web 2.0 technologies, infowhelm (the exponential growth in information), increasing ubiquitous personal technologies or cloud computing.

"Bloom's Digital Taxonomy isn't about the tools or technologies rather it is about using these to facilitate learning. Outcomes on rubrics are measured by competence of use and most importantly the quality of the process or product. For example. Bookmarking a resource is of no value if the resource is inappropriate, invalid, out of date or inaccurate.

"Bloom's Digital Taxonomy lends itself to problem and project based learning where the student must work through the entire process of development and evaluation. The 21st Century Fluency Project's 6D model for Solution Fluency is an excellent example of how to work through the project or problem based learning frame work" (Source).

  1. Creativity - Isolated No Longer with Online Publishing
  2. Bloom's Digital Taxonomy: PDF, Wiki
  3. Traditional Approaches and Digital Alternatives
  4. Bloom's Planning Sheet
  5. Visual Bloom's
  6. Bloom's Taxonomy and Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
    1. Bloom's and Assessment
    2. Educational Origami - Note Andrew Churches' growing Bloom's Taxonomy resources
  7. Web 2.0's Potential Impact on Teaching and Learning

Thinking and Understanding

  1. Making Thinking Visible
  2. Harvard's Thinking Routines
  3. Introduction to Multiple Representations of Understanding


  1. Bloom's Planning Sheet
  2. Mike Fisher's Critical Thinking Guide

Technology Integration

  1. Multiple Representations of Understanding through Digital Media
  2. Multiple Representations of Mathematic Understanding
  3. Multiple Representations of Language Arts Understanding


  1. Clif Mims' Bookmarks - Under the Public Tags in the right hand menu (You may have to scroll down just a bit) click on any of the following tags for a list of resources related to this topic: HOTS, Assessment, Technology Integration, Lesson Plans, Resources, Games, and Digital.
  2. Clif's Notes - Click on the following tag(s) for blog posts and resources related to this topic: Curriculum Integration, Teaching, Technology Integration.