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DOK Refresher

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Melanie Amos

on 4 September 2013

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Transcript of DOK Refresher

1. Begin with a lengthy or very general standard.

Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Refresher

What about verbs?

The Basics

DOK is not…

about the verb, but what comes after the verb

about difficulty, but rather cognitive complexity

About how you taught it or what you expect students to know, but rather what does the student need to do cognitively to demonstrate their knowledge of a particular concept

adding DOK 1 + DOK 1 ≠ DOK 2

about a single student or particular group of students, but rather the task


What is cognitive demand?

The kind and level of thinking required of
students to successfully engage with and solve a task

Ways in which students interact with content



Synthesize information across multiple sources or texts
Writing and/or research tasks that involve formulating and testing hypotheses over time
Design a mathematical model to inform and solve a practical or abstract situation
Conduct a project that specifies a problem, identifies solution paths, solves the problem, and reports results

Examples of
DOK Level 4
In humans, the trait of short fingers is dominant and the trait of long fingers is recessive. A short-fingered man whose mother had long fingers married a long fingered woman. What proportion of the offspring will be heterozygous for short fingers?

A. 1/4
B. 1/2
C. 3/4*
D. 4/4

DOK 3 Science
How did the shortage of imported goods affect
economic activity during the Revolutionary War?

A. Farmers and shopkeepers lowered their prices.
B. People were allowed to store large amounts of goods.
C. States were required to contribute money to pay for the war.
D. The prices began to rise and the value of the paper money decreased.*

DOK 2 Social Studies
Identify and summarize the major events in a narrative.
Describe the cause/effect of a particular event.
Identify patterns in events or behavior.
Formulate a problem given data and conditions.
Organize, represent, and interpret data.

Examples of
DOK Level 2

What was one goal of the Declaration of Independence?

A. establish a new monarchy for the independent states

B. convince the British Parliament to prevent the start of war

C. explain why the colonists felt the need to be free from British rule*

D. outline an economic system to raise
money for the revolution

DOK 1 Social Studies
Recall elements and details of story structure, such as sequence of events, character, plot, and setting.
Conduct basic mathematical calculations.
Label locations on a map.
Perform routine procedures like measuring length or using punctuation marks correctly.
Recall the features of a place or people.

Examples of
DOK Level 1

The Levels of Cognitive Complexity

Be purposeful when selecting verbs for the items that you write.

When Choosing Verbs…

Bloom's Taxonomy
Hierarchy from simplest behavior to the most complex
Categories are viewed in degrees of difficulty
Different verbs represent six levels of cognitive processes
Focuses on instruction

Webb’s DOK
Scale of cognitive demand
Refers to the complexity of the mental processing that must occur to answer a question, perform a task, or generate a product
Verbs are not sufficient to determine the DOK level
Focuses on assessment

How is Webb’s DOK different from Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Refers to the cognitive complexity (or cognitive demand) related to a specific task
-The kind and level of thinking required of students to successfully engage with and solve a task
-Ways in which students interact with content
-Cognitive Complexity is NOT the same as difficulty

What is Depth of Knowledge?

When choosing items or assigning DOK levels to items, if you can’t come to a consensus within your group, (i.e. high 1 or low 2 or high 2 or low 3), give students the benefit of the doubt, and choose the higher DOK level.

Teachers can add rigor in classroom instruction and assessments through the use of DOK.
Teachers must feel comfortable with DOK in order to model this way of thinking for students.
The feedback teachers provide to students about incorrectly answered assessment items should focus on how the student arrived at the answer.
The more teachers understand DOK, the better they will be able to prepare students for district and statewide assessments.

So…Why is DOK important?

DOK 3 Math
Support ideas with details and examples.
Identify research questions and design investigations for a scientific problem.
Develop a scientific model for a complex situation.
Determine the author’s purpose and describe how it affects the interpretation of a reading selection.
Apply a concept in other contexts.

Examples of
DOK Level 3

A student predicts that the distance an object moves depends on how hard it is pushed. He designs an experiment to test his prediction. The student repeats the experiment 10 times.
Which of the following should stay the same each time he does the experiment?
A. the weight of the object
B. the temperature of the object
C. the force used to push the object
D. the distance the object moves

DOK 2 Science
Unlike Bloom’s, verbs are not sufficient when determining the DOK value of an item.

Caution: The verb included in an item may give an initial clue to the DOK level, but DOK level is ultimately based on what comes after the verb.

Adapted from the model created by Norman Webb, University of Wisconsin, to align state standards with assessments

Focuses on the content of the standard and the depth to which a student needs to know the content

What is Depth of Knowledge?
The Basics
DOK and Verbs
The Levels of Cognitive Complexity

Summary and Reminders

Copying, posting, or reproduction of
any of the assessment items in this
PowerPoint is prohibited, as these items
are from various released state and county
assessments and are copyright protected.

This PowerPoint may be used for review purposes.

Which of the following sentences is a compound sentence?

A. The group will leave this coming Saturday at 9:00 a.m. from the main entrance to Canyon Lake State Park.

B. Tour guides will be on hand to answer any questions about nesting, feeding, or migratory habits.

C. If there is enough interest, perhaps a second tour of the lake can be arranged in the future.

D. After a general introduction, the guides will go over the safety rules, and then the students will break into pairs.*

Verbs should be considered in context and may not reflect the DOK

is associated with how many students answer the question correctly.

DOK = Complexity
DOK = Difficulty

3. Based on the learning targets you identified, select or write items that are aligned to the most appropriate DOK level.

2. Deconstruct the standard to identify the embedded learning targets.

Putting it all together….

Assessment item has more than one possible answer and may require students to make connections across multiple disciplines, content areas, and use multiple sources when citing evidence or solving a problem.

Strategic thinking processes are employed and sustained over longer periods of time to solve a problem.

An investigation or application to real world problems with unpredictable outcomes; requires time to research, think and process multiple conditions of the problem or task

A coat that you really want has just been placed on sale. The original price was $63.99. The sale price is $47.99 plus an additional 1/3 off of the sale price. What percent of the original price will you pay for the coat?

A. 33%
B. 50%*
C. 25%
D. 66%

An assessment item that has more than one possible answer and requires students to justify the response they give.

The cognitive demands are complex and abstract.

Requires a deep understanding as exhibited through planning, using evidence, and more demanding cognitive reasoning.

These actions imply more complex mental or cognitive processing.

Items require students to make some decisions as to how to approach the question or problem.

The engagement of some mental processing beyond recalling or reproducing a response.

Simple skills and abilities or recall characterize DOK 1

Answering a Level 1 item can involve following a simple, well-known procedure or formula

Basic recall of concepts, definitions, facts, and processes

Same verb…three DOK levels

Cognitive Complexity, or the Cognitive Demand, required to complete a task increases as the levels increase.

Depth of Knowledge Levels

LEVEL 4 Extended Thinking

Strategic Thinking

Recall and Reproduction

Review basic information on DOK and
its application to assessment items


DOK 2-
the difference between metamorphic and igneous rocks. (requires cognitive processing to determine the differences in the two rock types)

DOK 3-
a model that you might use to represent the relationships that exist within the rock cycle. (requires a deep understanding of the rock cycle and a determination of how best to represent it)

Cognitive Demand

Application of Skills and Concepts

Gwinnett Comprehensive Accountability and Assessment System

Ex 1) What is the suffix in the word unsuccessful?

(Most students are able to answer this question, so it is considered an “easy” question)
Ex 2) What is the suffix in the word unimaginative?

(If the majority of students answer this question incorrectly, it is considered to be a “difficult” question. However, the complexity, i.e., the mental processing required to answer the question, has not changed.)
Cognitive Demand

Same verb…three DOK levels

DOK 2- Describe the difference between metamorphic and igneous rocks. (requires cognitive processing to determine the differences in the two rock types)

DOK 3- Describe a model that you might use to represent the relationships that exist within the rock cycle. (requires a deep understanding of the rock cycle and a determination of how best to represent it)

“Explain how to add 2 apples plus 3 apples.”
“Explain how to add 2 apples plus 3 apples.”
While the verb may be associated with a difficult task, the cognitive process does not require more of the student than recalling and reciting how to add two numbers.

“Analyze the sentence to decide if the quotation marks are placed correctly.”

“Analyze the sentence to decide if the quotation marks are placed correctly.”

For the student who has been taught the rules for using quotation marks, this task does not require high cognitive processing.

DOK and Verbs
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