Driving deeper learning by assessment: an adaptation of the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy for medical imaging in gross anatomy

Acad Radiol. 2013 Jun;20(6):784-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2013.02.001.


Rationale and objectives: As medical imaging continues to grow as a central modality by which physicians of all specialties visualize anatomy, so, too, is its role in medical student education. However, no study to our knowledge has attempted to categorize the necessary cognitive skills. Here, we assess a tool to identify those skills and their possible hierarchical nature that reflects deeper understanding of radiological anatomy.

Materials and methods: We adapted the revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to create examination questions and teaching points for normal radiological anatomy in a medical anatomy course in 2008. All six previously established levels of cognitive processes were adapted, ranging from Remembering to Create. Reliability and validity were assessed.

Results: Of 102 eligible students, 98 (98%) consented to participate, and 108 examination questions were assessed. Cronbach α assessing reliability ranged from poor (.197) to moderate (.571) with most categories being moderate. Score means for the levels of cognitive processes were statistically distinct [F(4, 102) = 180.63, P < .001] and tended to decrease as the level of cognitive process increased [Spearman ρ(5) = -.800, P = .104], consistent with a valid hierarchical structure.

Conclusions: A radiological anatomy adaptation of the revised taxonomy demonstrated generally adequate reliability and acceptable validity to establish evaluations that test different depths of cognitive processes. This is a critical first step to create a fundamental curricular tool by which medical imaging education-both normal and pathological-may be taught and assessed in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy / education*
  • Classification*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • United States