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Growth Mindset

Depth of Knowledge

Dr. Norman Webb developed a process and criteria for analyzing the alignment between standards and standardized assessments. Through this process, a body of work titled Depth of Knowledge (DOK) was offered. This model analyzes the cognitive expectation demanded by standards, activities, and assessment tasks. Webb grouped tasks to reflect a different level of cognitive expectation or DOK. 

He introduced four levels of DOK:
1. Recall
2. Skills and Concepts
3. Strategic Thinking
4. Extended Thinking

Webb also came up with different activities, questions, and resources to help teachers and students reach different depths of knowledge.

Here are possible products you and/or your students can produce for each DOK level for students to complete:
Level 1 Recall:

  • Quiz
  • Definition
  • Fact
  • Test
  • Label
  • Collection
  • Bulleting
  • Googling
  • Reproduction
Level 2 Skills and Concepts:

  • Illustration
  • Simulation
  • Presentation
  • Diary
  • Mind Maps
  • Blog Commenting
  • Interview
  • Cracking Codes
  • Sculpture 
Level 3 Strategic Thinking:
  • Graph
  • Checklist
  • Outline
  • Survey
  • Database
  • Report
  • Debate
  • Film
  • Animation
Level 4 Extended Thinking
  • Film
  • Story
  • Project
  • Plan
  • Game
  • Song
  • Newspaper
  • Media Product

Webb also lists potential activities for each level of his DOK. Here are a few of the activities your students can complete for each level:

Level 1 Recall:

  • Make a timeline
  • Recite a fact related to...
  • Report or present to the class
  • Retell in your own words
Level 2 Skills and Concepts:
  • Classify a series of steps
  • Write a diary/blog entry
  • Construct a model
  • Make up a puzzle or game about the topic
Level 3 Strategic Thinking:
  • Use a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts two topics
  • Design a questionnaire to gather information
  • Prepare and conduct a debate
  • Write a persuasive speech arguing for/against
Level 4 Extended Thinking
  • Devise a way to...
  • Write a jingle to advertise a new product
  • Develop a menu for a new restaurant using a variety of healthy foods
  • Tasks that require students to make multiple strategic and procedural decisions as they are presented with new information throughout the course of an event 
For more information on Dr. Webb and his Depth of Knowledge (DOK) guide, you can visit:

I have a free download encompassing Webb's guiding questions for DOK in an easy to use format. Each level is accompanied by several questions. All you have to do is print the document on card stock, laminate for durability, cut, and group together. After you have assembled your cards, you'll have easy access to Webb's DOK and guiding questions to use during your lessons. You can group your cards with a ring, ribbon, or brad. Place in a good spot so you can grab the cards while you're teaching. Ask your students the guiding questions and help them think critically. You can even print more copies and distribute to your students when they're working collaboratively or even independently. The possibilities are endless!

Let me know what you think!

Happy teaching! :)

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