depth of knowledge (d.o.k.)

What is Depth of Knowledge?

Depth of knowledge is an academic concept that measures the cognitive demand of grade level expectations and assessments.  The depth of knowledge of an instructional objective is designated by the following:


  • the complexity of the academic behavior 
  • the intricacy of the subject matter content
  • the specificity of the expectations
  • the scope of the learning experience 

What are Webb's D.O.K. Levels?

Webb's D.O.K. Levels designate how deeply and extensively grade level expectations and assessments expect students to transfer, use, and share their learning.


  • D.O.K.-1: Students must recall and reproduce details, facts, information, and procedures correctly.
  • D.O.K.-2: Students must demonstrate and communicate how they can use what they have learned to answer questions, address problems, accomplish tasks, and analyze texts and topics.
  • D.O.K.-3: Students must think strategically and use complex reasoning to examine and explain arguments, conclusions, decisions, hypotheses, ideas, outcomes, results, or solutions.
  • D.O.K.-4: Students must think extensively how they could transfer, use, and share their learning in different contexts and new situations over an extended period of time.

Webb's D.O.K.. levels can be used for a variety of purposes in education including alignment students, lesson planning, and classroom instruction and assessment.

What will we take away from this experience?

  • Recognize what exactly is depth of knowledge, where the concept came from, and why the D.O.K. Wheel is inaccurate.
  • Understand how depth of knowledge marks and measures the cognitive demand of learning activities and assessments.
  • Use Webb's D.O.K.. levels to code and compare the cognitive complexity and demand standards and assessments.
  • Analyze the difference between Webb's D.O.K. Levels and Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and how both can be superimpose to measure the cognitive rigor of learning activities and assessments.
  • Evaluate how Webb's D.O.K. Levels can be used to determine the ceiling of assessment, set the instructional focus, and identify gaps in learning.
  • Create deeper teaching and learning experiences that will engage students to demonstrate higher levels of  thinking and communicate depth of knowledge up to and beyond the ceiling of assessment.

Depth of Knowledge Trainings and Workshops

What Exactly Is Depth of Knowledge?

Learn what exactly is depth of knowledge, why the D.O.K. Wheel is inaccurate, and how to use Webb's D.O.K. Levels to determine the depth and extent students must transfer, use, and share their learning.

ABCDs of D.O.K.: Audience, Behavior, Condition, Demand

Learn how to determine and designate the depth of knowledge of the performance objectives of grade level expectations and assessments using the ABCDs of D.O.K. - audience, behavior, conditions, and demand.

Good Questions for Teaching and Learning for Depth of Knowledge

Learn how to break down and rephrase the  performance objectives of grade level expectations into good questions that will challenge students to demonstrate and communicate depth of knowledge (D.O.K.).

Webb's D.O.K. vs. Bloom's H.O.T.: What's the Connection?

Learn what distinguishes Webb's Depth of Knowledge Levels from Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and how both can be superimpose to determine the cognitive rigor of learning activities and assessments.

Standards-Based Grading & Learning & Depth of Knowledge

Learn how to use Webb's depth of knowledge (D.O.K.) levels to break down the performance objectives of standards, set ceilings of assessment, and create standard-based learning experiences and report cards. 

Let's Make A D.O.K.! Teaching & Learning for Depth of Knowledge

Learn how teaching and learning experiences for depth of knowledge are similar to Jeopardy!   (D.O.K.-1), The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross (D.O.K.-2), Top Chef (D.O.K.-3), and Shark Tank (D.O.K.-4).

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