Dr. S. Evans

Are you on the KCAASE?


Six Types of Questions to Ask:

Guide to thinking critically


Knowledge (memory/ basic facts)

            Nature – students recall, remember, or recognize information presented earlier

                Key words – name, list, recall, define, tell, match, who, what, how many


Comprehension (themes/concepts)

Nature – students, at a simple level, translate answers into different forms,

interrelated discrete facts, generalized concepts, and so on

                Key words – describe, compare, contrast, explain, summarize, give an example


Application (life implications)

Nature – students apply learned material to new, but concrete, situation (case

study or specific experience) after deciphering part of unfamiliar problem

            Key words – solve, decide, predict, apply, use, extend, expand


Analysis  (statistics/criticism)

Nature – students break a question/problem into component parts, find the

relationships among them, and then identify how to solve each part

                Key words – diagram, distinguish, analyze, identify, what reasons, why


Synthesis (combine aspects of KCAASE with other theoretical models)

            Nature – students combine two or more elements into a new (for them)

combination or set of relationships

                Key words – plan, create, devise, reorganize, combine, pull-together


Evaluation (personal or normative thoughts & feelings)

Nature – students judge how closely something matches a definite standard

found in the material (e.g., logical consistency), external to material (e.g., grammatical correctness), or specified by the student (in general or for that activity)

                Key words – criticize, rate, judge, evaluate, support, grade, rank


*** Based on Bloom’s classification of questions, 1956

Tools for Teaching,  Barbara Gross Davis


Other aspects of questioning:

Exploratory = basic facts

Challenge = examine assumptions, conclusions, interpretations

Relational = compare themes, ideas, or issues

Diagnostic = motive or cause

Action = conclusion or action


Intuition – What do your senses & feelings tell you?

Historical – What has happened in different historical times, places, and events?

Experiential – What have you, those like you, and those different from you experienced?