Developing Higher Order Thinking QuestionsBased on Webb’s DOK andFCAT Content ComplexityPresented by Brenda Matthews, District Literacy CoachNovember 22 & 23, 2010
Fascinating Brain Facts Learning two languages before the age of fivealters the brain structure. While awake, your brain generates between 10and 23 watts of power–or enough energy topower a light bulb. A study of one million students in New Yorkshowed that students who ate lunches that didnot include artificial flavors, preservatives, anddyes did 14% better on IQ tests than studentswho ate lunches with these additives.
Fascinating Brain Facts Every time you recall a memory or have anew thought, you are creating a newconnection in your brain. The average number of thoughts thathumans are believed to experience each dayis 70,000. A living brain is so soft you could cut it with atable knife. There are about 100,000 miles of bloodvessels in the brain.
Fascinating Brain Facts Our brain oftenfools us. It oftenperceives thingsdifferently from thereality. Look at thepicture on the right.Squares A and Bare actually thesame shade of gray.
What is Depth of Knowledge(DOK)? A scale of cognitive demand (thinking) toalign standards with assessments Based on the research of Norman Webb,University of Wisconsin Center for EducationResearch and the National Institute forScience Education Defines the “ceiling” or highest DOK level foreach Core Content standard for the stateassessment Guides item development for stateassessments
Webb’s Depth of KnowledgeLevel 1 Recall of a fact, information, orprocedure.Level 2 Skill/Concept: Use information orconceptual knowledge, two or moresteps, etc.Level 3 Strategic Thinking: Requiresreasoning, developing plan or asequence of steps, some complexity,more than one possible answer.Level 4 Extended Thinking: Requires aninvestigation, time to think andprocess multiple conditions of theproblem
Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in ReadingLevel 1: requires students to use simple skills orabilities to recall or locate facts from thetext focus on basic initial comprehension, noton analysis or interpretation Items require shallow/literalunderstanding of text presented and oftenconsist of verbatim recall from text orsimple understanding of a single word orphrase
Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in ReadingLevel 2 Requires both initial comprehension andsubsequent processing of text or portion oftext Important concepts are covered but not in acomplex way Items at this level may include words such as“paraphrase, summarize, interpret, infer,classify, organize, collect, display, andcompare” Items may require students to apply skills andconcepts that are covered in level 1
Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in ReadingLevel 3 Requires deep knowledge Students encouraged to go beyond text Students asked to explain, generalize, or connectideas Students must be able to support their thinking, citingreferences from the text or other sources Items may involve abstract theme identification,inferences between or across passages, application ofprior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgmentabout a text
Applying Webb’s DOK Levels in ReadingLevel 4 Requires complex reasoning, planning, developing, and thinkingmost likely over an extended period of time, such as multipleworks by the same author or from the same time period Students take information from at least one passage and areasked to apply this information to a new task. They may also be asked to develop hypotheses and performcomplex analyses of the connections among texts. Someexamples that represent but do not constitute all of Level 4performance are: Analyze and synthesize information from multiple sources. Examine and explain alternative perspectives across a varietyof sources. Describe and illustrate how common themes are found acrosstexts from different cultures.
Why Depthof Knowledge (DOK)?Mechanism to ensure that the intent ofthe standard and the level of studentdemonstration required by thatstandard matches the assessmentitems(required under NCLB)To ensure that teachers areteaching to a level that willpromote student achievement.
DOK is NOT.a taxonomy(Bloom’s) the same asdifficulty about using“verbs”
It’s NOT about the verb.The Depth ofKnowledge is NOTdetermined by the verb(Bloom’s Taxonomy),but by the context inwhich the verb is usedand the depth ofthinking required.
Verbs are not alwaysused appropriately.Words like explain or analyze have to beconsidered in context. “Explain to me where you live” doesnot raise the DOK of a simple roteresponse. Even if the student has to useaddresses or landmarks, the studentis doing nothing more than recallingand reciting.
Same Verb—Three Different DOK LevelsDOK 1- Describe three characteristics ofmetamorphic rocks. (Requires simple recall)DOK 2- Describe the difference betweenmetamorphic and igneous rocks. (Requirescognitive processing to determine the differencesin the two rock types)DOK 3- Describe a model that you might use torepresent the relationships that exist within therock cycle. (Requires deep understanding of rockcycle and a determination of how best torepresent it)
Cognitive Complexity vs DifficultyWhat is the difference betweenCognitive Complexity and DifficultyLevel?– Difficulty refers to how manystudents answered thequestion correctly.– High Order Thinking refers tohow many steps it takes toanswer the question.
DOK is about complexity The intended studentlearning outcomedetermines the DOKlevel. Every objective in theNGSSS has beenassigned a DOK level. Instruction andclassroom assessmentsmust reflect the DOKlevel of the objective orintended learningoutcome.
How to Ask HOT QuestionsOften Level 1 & 2 students are denied access to higher levelquestions because they still have difficulty with skillsHowever, higher level thinking questionsare sometimes easier for level 1 & 2students to answer because openended questions have more entry pointsand require more “think time” by the restof the class.When a class is heavily focused onrecall questions, lower readers maybe limited because of their need forprocessing time.
Suggestions for Drafting Questions atHigher Levels Model Thinking Process Explicitly for some students learning what is required willremain a mystery unless taught explicitly Use Advance Organizers Using note-taking and graphic organizersBEFORE the lesson can cue students as towhat to expect Questions and agendas can also be used tohelp students anticipate what to look for inthe coming lesson Use Concept Mapping Concept Mapping provides students with aframework for visualizing thinking.
Questioning Strategies That ProvokeHOT Require students to manipulate prior information Why do you suppose .? “What can you conclude from the evidence? Ask students to state an idea or definition in their ownwords. Ask questions that require a solution to a problem. Involve students in observing and describing an eventor object. “What do you notice?” “Tell me about this.” “What do you see?” Ask students to compare or contrast.
Tips for Creating High-Level QuestionsThe following simple tips can get ALL studentsinvolved in the lesson and help them gain adeeper understanding of the content bychallenging them to think critically.1. Create a “HOT” Question for Each Lesson2. Require ALL students to answer the question (“all-write”strategy).3. Require students to defend answers.4. Differentiate questions as appropriate.5. Promote examination of new and differentperspectives.
Questions? Usually questions at the lower levels areappropriate for:– Evaluating students’ preparation and comprehension.– Diagnosing students’ strengths and weaknesses.– Reviewing and/or summarizing content. Questions at higher levels are usually moreappropriate for––––Encouraging students to think deeply and critically.Problem-solving.Encouraging discussions.Stimulating students to seek information on their own.
If 10-20% of the questions onFCAT are low Level ofComplexity.How much classtime would we devote to DOKLevel 1 thinking? If 80% of the question onFCAT (and in life) requireModerate to High levels ofComplexity.What are wedoing to promote thesecomplex levels of higherorder thinking?
Your Turn Read the article, “Do We Need 75,000 aYear To Be Happy?” Write one question for each of the threeDOK levels represented on FCAT.
Students must be able to support their thinking, citing references from the text or other sources Items may involve abstract theme identification, inferences between or across passages, application of prior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgment about a text