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Quality Instruction. The ♥ of the matter is the depth of knowledge. Three issues for Curriculum and Assessment. Alignment Implementation Interpretation. Alignment. Is the district curriculum aligned to the Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs)?

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quality instruction

Quality Instruction

The ♥ of

the matter

is the depth

of knowledge

three issues for curriculum and assessment
Three issues for Curriculum and Assessment
  • Alignment
  • Implementation
  • Interpretation
  • Is the district curriculum aligned to the Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs)?
    • Does the district curriculum have measurable goals and objectives?
    • Do the measurable goals and objectives aligned to the GLEs at the appropriate grade level?

Is the aligned district curriculum being used in the classroom?

Are the classroom objectives and district objectives aligned?

Do the formative and summative assessments used in the district’s classrooms assess the district curriculum’s measurable objectives?

  • Is the classroom assessment of an objective the same as the intended district assessment of an objective?
    • Is the objective being interpreted at the classroom level as it was intended by the district?
    • Is the classroom assessment assessing what is actually being taught in the classroom?
depth of knowledge
  • Measures the degree to which the knowledge elicited from students on assessments is as complex as what students are expected to know and do as stated in the curriculum/GLEs/Show-Me Standards.
  • Developed by Norman Webb from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
what is dok
What is DOK?
  • A common language for discussing complexity
  • A tool for alignment
  • A conversation starter
  • A way to “tune” common assessments
  • A part of reflective teaching
  • Language used in 4th cycle MSIP curriculum reviews
what is dok not
What is DOK not?
  • A state mandate
  • Anything new
  • A silver bullet
  • Based on verbs
depth of knowledge levels descriptors
  • Mathematics DOK Levels & Reading and Writing DOK Levels
    • Level 1 (Recall of Information)
    • Level 1 (Recall)
    • Level 2 (Skill/Concept)
    • Level 2 (Basic Reasoning)
    • Level 3 (Strategic Thinking)
    • Level 3 (Complex Reasoning)
    • Level 4 (Extended Thinking)
    • Level 4 (Extended Reasoning)

The levels are loosely based on Blooms and other models of learning theory.

depth of knowledge levels objectives
  • Objective 1    
    • (Grade 8) Solve two-step linear equations and inequalities in one variable over the rational numbers, interpret the solution or solutions in the context from which they arose, and verify the reasonableness of results.
    • This objective is an example of Level 3. The expectation expressed in this objective is that students will not only solve a two-step linear equation, but will also interpret the solution and verify the results. This will require students to do some reasoning in order to interpret the solution and could be fairly complex depending on the context. If students were only required to solve linear equations and verify solutions, then the expectation would be Level 2.
depth of knowledge levels objectives12
  • Objective 2    
    • Design a statistical experiment to study a problem and communicate the outcomes.
    • To plan a statistical experiment, a student must define the problem and develop a procedure for solving it. This involves the student identifying the correct statistical model, applying the model to data and communicating the outcome of the selected model. The student must interpret findings and make reasonable and rationed inferences from obtained data. This represents complex, multistep reasoning and reflects a Level 4 task.
depth of knowledge levels objectives13
  • Objective 1 (R1F4)    
    • Apply pre-reading strategies to aid comprehension
      • Access prior knowledge
      • Preview
      • Predict
      • Set a purpose for reading
    • This objective is an example of Level 2.
depth of knowledge levels objectives14
  • Objective 2  (R3A3)  
    • Locate and interpret key information in illustrations, title, chapter headings, table of contents, glossary, charts, diagrams, graphs, captions and maps to answer questions.
    • This objective is an example of Level 2. If the word “interpret” is removed this becomes a Level 1.
dok and assessment
DOK and Assessment
  • Formative Assessment
  • Summative Assessment

Using DOK to determine if curriculum is aligned, implemented, and interpreted correctly.


Model Curriculum Unit1. Assign DOK to the GLEs2. Assign DOK to the formative and summative assessment items.

depth of knowledge levels procedures

Is there a good match between the curriculum objectives and what teachers are assessing?

DOK of curriculum objectives

DOK of summative assessment items


What is the DOK of the assessments in the building?

A DOK review of summative assessments in use will shed light on what the expectations in the building are and raise questions about alignment, implementation and interpretation of curriculum.

walt brown walt brown@dese mo gov michael muenks michael muenks@dese mo gov 800 845 3545