Metacognitive Domain

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metacognitive domain circle

My original circular representation of the metacognitive domain of educational ‘objectives’ is developed from Anderson and Krathwohl’s ‘knowledge dimension’ (2001) with an addition of contextualising knowledge.  An explanation of why I have chosen to use the circular design and to use ‘active’ verbs is on the main taxonomy page.

I chose to distinguish between the cognitive or intellectual skills acquired as to what to do with knowledge and the skills associated with working with the nature of that knowledge. Anderson and Krathwohl identified metacognition as one dimension of knowledge, along with factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge. They presented a matrix which alongside their six levels in their cognitive domain represents 24 ‘items’ that designers might aim for. I believe that separating out the ‘nature of knowledge’ from the cognitive in a separate taxonomy makes it easier for faculty to work with and certainly to structure intended learning outcomes. In the past, I have referred to this domain as the ‘knowledge’ domain and am inclined to refer to it as the personal epistemology domain but I suspect metacognition is a widely understood term.

Anderson (2001) Atkinson’s 

Active Verbs

Atkinson’s Description
Factual Knowledge Specify ability to locate, identify and recognise factual knowledge, dates, terminology, artefacts (audio and visual) required of a given discipline domain.
Contextualise ability to place specific knowledge within appropriate discipline relationships, classifications, taxonomies and categorizations
Conceptual Knowledge Conceptualise ability to articulate relationships between knowledge contexts and to work with models, visualizations, theories and structures that relate between contexts or within contexts
Procedural Knowledge Process ability to utilize subject or discipline language and actions to specify, contextualise and conceptualize existing and new knowledge
Metacognitive Knowledge Abstract ability to recognise and process abstract, unseen or unspecified knowledge, and articulate knowledge origination, including meta-cognition


Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing : a revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.
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