We developed the Blooming Biology Tool (BBT), an assessment tool based on Bloom's Taxonomy, to assist science faculty in better aligning their assessments with their teaching activities and to help students enhance their study skills and metacognition. The work presented here shows how assessment tools, such as the BBT, can be used to guide and enhance teaching and student learning in a discipline-specific manner in postsecondary education. The BBT was first designed and extensively tested for a study in which we ranked almost 600 science questions from college life science exams and standardized tests. The BBT was then implemented in three different collegiate settings. Implementation of the BBT helped us to adjust our teaching to better enhance our students' current mastery of the material, design questions at higher cognitive skills levels, and assist students in studying for college-level exams and in writing study questions at higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. From this work we also created a suite of complementary tools that can assist biology faculty in creating classroom materials and exams at the appropriate level of Bloom's Taxonomy and students to successfully develop and answer questions that require higher-order cognitive skills.