Depth of Knowledge evolved from Dr. Norman Webb’s research on assessment of students’ knowledge of mathematics and the alignment of standards and assessments. Dr. Webb is a senior research scientist with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the National Institute for Science Education.
According to Dr. Webb, “Interpreting and assigning depth of knowledge levels to both objectives and standards and assessment items is an essential requirement of alignment analysis” (“Depth of Knowledge Levels for Four Content Areas,” March 28, 2002).
Four DOK levels were developed by Dr. Webb focusing in the areas of Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Missouri is one of twenty states that have selected DOK as an alignment tool to meet the requirements of NCLB. The use of DOK will allow Missouri teachers to continue to improve the alignment between the GLEs, the state assessment, and the student learning opportunities being provided in their classrooms.
Depth of Knowledge focuses attention on the cognitive processes demanded of students to complete a given task. By working to create lessons that reach higher Depths of Knowledge, educators encourage students to become strategic thinkers, extend their thinking, solve complex problems, reason, analyze and communicate their understanding. Students need to be given opportunities to work at all levels of DOK.
This book was created by Myra Collins, Missouri Assessment Program Mathematics Regional Instructional Facilitator, with the approval of Dr. Webb, as a way to assist teachers in their quest to increase the depth of knowledge in their classrooms. Descriptors, examples and question stems are given to indicate the various levels of knowledge.
To view a few excerpts of the DOK Flip book, click here.