Curriculum, News

What Is DOK and How Does Progress Learning Build Content Around it?



What Is DOK?

Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels are a well-known pedagogical standard for designing quality, rigorous instruction. Created by Norman Webb from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, DOK is the degree or complexity of knowledge that the content curriculum standards and expectations require. In other words, DOK provides a framework for aligning appropriate levels of rigor at each stage of learning and required instructional tasks. 

DOK levels range at the lower end, from basic recall and reproduction of information up to extended thinking and complex reasoning. At each varying level of complexity, there are examples of the types of tasks students should be able to complete. Key action words also assist educators in designing instruction at each stage. 

As educators, it is critical we address rigor in our instruction to facilitate appropriate challenges that promote growth without causing frustration. Let’s review DOK levels for a better understanding of the framework and take a look at how Progress Learning uses DOK in developing standards-aligned content.

Level 1: Recall and Reproduction

At this level, we ask students to recall information such as facts, definitions, terms, or simple procedures. This level asks students to provide basic, rote responses or to perform a well-known procedure or calculation based on information they have been provided. A task at this level in mathematics, for example, would be a simple one-step, well-defined, and straight algorithmic procedure.

Keywords: arrange, calculate, define, draw, identify, state, label, illustrate, measure, quote, recognize, recall, report, use

Sample Tasks:

  • Locate or label information in maps, charts, tables, and graphs
  • Recite facts, terms, and definitions
  • Draw a timeline and place events in order

Level 2: Skills and Concepts

At this level, students are required to use their own skills and conceptual knowledge in order to determine the appropriate approach to a specific problem or activity. Tasks at this level ask students to complete multiple steps to find a solution.

Keywords: categorize, classify, compare, estimate, graph, identify patterns, infer, modify, predict, show, summarize, use context clues

Sample Tasks:

  • Collect and display data
  • Use context clues to find the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Describe the cause and effect of a particular event
  • Identify patterns in events or behavior

Level 3: Strategic Thinking

At this level, students use reasoning to develop a plan or sequence of steps with some complexity by planning and using evidence & a higher order level of thinking. Students must draw conclusions from their observations and justify or explain answers with evidence.

Keywords: assess, cite evidence, develop a logical argument, draw conclusions, explain in terms of concepts, formulate, hypothesize, investigate, revise

Sample Tasks:

  • Identify research questions and design investigations for a scientific problem
  • Develop a scientific model for a complex situation
  • Support ideas with details and examples

Level 4: Extended Thinking

At this level, students conduct investigations and take time to process multiple conditions of the task or problem. This level requires complex reasoning, developing, or thinking over a period of time as students must design and conduct their own experiments.

Keywords: analyze, apply concepts, compose, connect, create, critique, design, prove, synthesize

Sample Tasks:

  • Design an experiment to solve a specific problem, analyze data, and report solutions
  • Apply a mathematical model to illuminate a problem or solution
  • Analyze and synthesize information from multiple sources

How Progress Learning Utilizes DOK to Develop Quality Instructional Materials

At Progress Learning, we understand the importance of rigorous, 100% standards-aligned instruction that provides students with opportunities to reach mastery at all levels. This is why we use the DOK framework to create content that prepares students for assessments and gives them the practice they need to develop mastery of tasks at each level of learning. Our content creators use DOK keywords to design questions with appropriate rigor that will engage students with the content and type of instructional tasks they are completing.

We also provide a detailed alignment to every individual standard your students will encounter, specific to your state. Educators can use our Assessment/Assignment Builder and filter questions based on DOK level and/or standard to meet the individual needs of their students when creating classroom materials. The combination of a strong commitment to rigor and DOK levels with quality standards alignment is what makes Progress Learning such an individualized and impactful solution for student success.

Why Is Rigor Important?

As educators, we know that students must be appropriately challenged in order to develop the thinking skills needed for academic growth. Now, it’s important to note that rigor doesn’t simply refer to a difficult class or a heavy workload. Appropriate incorporation of rigor takes into account interactions between the content, method of instruction, tasks, and needs of the learners. Our goal at Progress Learning is to provide teachers with all of the support and materials they need to provide adequate rigor in their quality instructional design without leading to frustration or burnout.

Where the Rigor Meets the Road

Our content creators have a deep understanding of pedagogy and bring their expertise into designing our instructional materials. They are guided to use the DOK framework and appropriate keywords in order to differentiate questions based on level of rigor. 

As most standards-based assessments closely align with DOK level 2, we align our content with DOK levels 1-3. We create a wide range of materials that match each of these DOK levels, and we also give teachers the ability to sort and select our questions by DOK to craft their own desired level of rigor. 

Our materials enable teachers to individualize content for their students based on their personal learning goals and needs. By providing a library of standards-aligned questions at each DOK level, as well as instructional games and activities, Progress Learning keeps students motivated and engaged at all stages of their educational journey.

Are you looking to create quality, rigorous learning experiences that are aligned with your state’s standards and incorporate appropriate DOK levels? Request a demo today to learn how Progress Learning can support you.

Interested in preparing your students with DOK and standards-aligned materials? REQUEST A DEMO WITH US TODAY!



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