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DoK wheel stands for depth of knowledge wheel. To begin with, this framework may seem rather complex but it proves to be working wonderfully.

Introducing the DoK Wheel

The DoK Wheel is a framework by Norman Webb. Webb represents and depicts this framework with the help of a wheel pictorial respresentation. Therefore, this framework came to be known as the Depth of Knowledge ‘Wheel’. Moreover, this knowledge wheel has 4 levels.

In addition, it is important that you know that this is a model that helps you to think about content complexity and not content difficulty. However, that is the first thing that people must comprehend, understand and accept. Complexity is different from difficulty. For example, if students have not seen the word or content before, it might be difficult for them, but that does not necessarily mean that it is complex. Therefore, there is a very fine line between the two. And DoK Wheel helps in establishing the differentiating line.

dok wheel

The 4 levels of the DoK Wheel

In the year 2002, researcher Norman Webb publishes a paper on “Depth of Knowledge in the Four Content Areas” . In this publication, he describes how one can address the depth of knowledge in all the content areas. He also went on to establish the below DoK levels.

  • DoK 1 – What is the knowledge?: Recall and reproduce data, details, facts, procedures, definitions and procedures. This emphasizes more on knowledge acquisition.
  • DoK 2- How can the knowledge be used?: Making use of cognitive skills and academic concepts to answer questions and address problems. It is also helpful in accomplishing tasks and analyze concepts. This emphasizes more on knowledge application.
  • DoK 3 – Why can the knowledge be used?: Thinking strategically, logically and reasonably about why and how certain concepts, ideas, operations, and procedures can be used in order to attain answers, explain conclusions, justify decisions and outcomes, reason the results. This emphasizes more on knowledge analysis.
  • DoK 4 – How else can the knowledge be used?: Think extensively about what else can be done. Also think about how else can learning be used, and how could the student personally and professionally use what they learn in different academic and real world contexts. Moreover, this emphasizes more on knowledge augmentation.

 Sharing the DoK Wheel with Students

Educators spend a considerable amount of time to analyze, diagnose formative performance data. This implementation focuses to individualize instruction for the students. The wheel focuses on concepts of critical thinking in many contexts, including curriculum planning, lesson ideas, and assessment. Some of the techniques to implement DoK Wheel are as follows.

  • Work with students on unpacking strategies that help them engage in that cognitive activity. Consider creating process charts with them to identify the skills that they require. For example, what kinds of skills and tools might we need to analyze a character’s motivation in a story?
  • Have students code their assignments and questions. This is empowering and offers students a chance to reflect on what they are to do.
  • Exclusively train students on the various cognitive levels. Also ensure that they understand what each of the conceptual terms mean. Then, have them analyze question prompts for DoK level and assess what they are being asked to do. For example: Are they asked to categorize, infer, or predict?
  • Offer students the opportunity to reflect on their strengths. Also focus on answering “are they really strong in certain areas, but want to further develop in others?”
  • Give students the opportunity to develop their own questions aligned to the DoK levels. These questions will be useful in collaborative settings through group work, in Socratic seminars, or through a carousel, for example.

Solved Questions for You

What are some of the primary benefits of implementing DoK Wheel for students?

  • Helps in deeper understanding of the concepts
  • Students will begin to study and learn in a manner that associates with practical approaches
  • Moreover, students will begin to understand and work on cognitive and effective learning
  • By making use of the DoK Wheel, students tend to remember and recollect their conceptual knowledge much better.

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