Every year it seems there is a new list of buzz words thrown around in professional development and staff meetings. Some words last longer than others and many times, people aren’t aligned on their true meaning. Rigor is one such buzz word. According to EdGlossary.org, rigor is “instruction, schoolwork, learning experiences, and educational expectations that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging.”
Only 33% of teachers report having access to high quality instructional materials. This means it falls on the teacher to provide the rigor. But how do teachers do it without adding more to their plate? In this blog, I’ll show you how to use Kiddom’s question types to do just that.
Defining Depth of Knowledge
The term “depth of knowledge” came from Norman Webb of the Wisconsin Center for Education. He defines depth of knowledge as “the degree or complexity of knowledge that the content curriculum standards and expectations require.” There are 4 levels of DoK (depth of knowledge).
- Level 1–Recall and Reproduction
- Level 2–Skills and Concepts
- Level 3–Strategic Thinking
- Level 4-Extended Thinking
Creating Questions Using Depth of Knowledge Levels
When I was in the classroom, one of my favorite lessons was during our unit on different fictional genres. We read the story of Cinderella from cultures around the world and compared and contrasted them. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to create questions relating to our Cinderella lesson.
At this level, students use their basic knowledge to recall the story. Multiple choice, fill in the blank, and ordering questions would fit well with this level. Below you will see how I use a fill in the blank question to assess vocabulary and an ordering question to assess sequencing. Both of these questions are auto-graded, as indicated by the blue robot.
This level takes things a step further. Students will need to formulate their own thoughts instead of just recalling information. Using the DoK chart found at the bottom of this page, I created my own written response question.
To help my students organize their thoughts for deeper level questions, I used graphic organizers. Kiddom allows you to use graphic organizers digitally by uploading a background to a drawing question. I uploaded a Venn Diagram for a compare and contrast question. When students click on the pencil icon, they will be able to type or write on their own diagram.
This level requires students to use knowledge gained from outside of the text. Students will need prior knowledge to be able to answer these questions. Because we read the different versions of Cinderella during our fictional genres unit, I chose to assess the story elements of each genre using the categorization question type.
Level 4 questions are the most rigorous because they require higher order thinking. Students will need to synthesize information from different sources and transfer their knowledge. I chose written response and video response questions to allow students to showcase their creativity.
This helpful chart can guide you in creating your DoK questions. Just remember what Gerald August writes for Edutopia, “The verb does not define the level. Instead, consider the cognitive effort that a student will use to complete the task.”
Rigor doesn’t have to be a bad word after all. Using varying DoK questions allows for a deeper understanding of the standard. Kiddom makes it much easier to do this with the variety of question types they offer, many of which are self grading.
Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.
For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one place. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.
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