Bloom’s Taxonomy and Depth of Knowledge

In addition to Bloom’s Taxonomy for describing curriculum, assessment of curriculum should use the four levels of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK). Each level examines how the students think and are being assessed.

The four DOK levels:

  • Recall/Reproduction of a fact, information or a procedure by the learner.
  • Skill/Concept Application where the learner uses information or conceptual knowledge.
  • Strategic Thinking Requires reasoning; learner develops a plan or a sequence of steps; some complexity; more than one possible answer.
  • Extended Thinking Requires an investigation by the learner; time to think and process multiple conditions of the problem.

Things to consider when assigning a level, consider:

  1. The level of work students are most commonly required to perform;
  2. The complexity of the task rather than its difficulty (the DOK level describes the kind of thinking in a task, not the likelihood that the task will be completed correctly);
  3. The complete domain of items that would be appropriate for completing the task (identify the depth of knowledge level of the most common of these items; you may have some recall, some application; some synthesis and some evaluation but have to look at what is used the most).

References to see:

L.W., Krathwohl,

Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy for Learning.
Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix
Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to Increase Rigor