Blooms or DoK???


During my summer institute on Common Core Unit planning we were provided several learning opportunities to better understand and apply Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge.  Webb’s analysis of learning presented all of us in the institute with a new way at looking at the ways in which we learn and challenged us to think – Bloom’s Taxonomy or Depth of Knowledge (DoK – for short).

Now, I am in no position to say which is better.  I am without question an educator that has always considered Bloom’s the bible on the ways in which I can challenge not only students but teachers to dig deeper and push harder into learning process.  Yet, after some time exploring DoK, I began to wonder if it is truly a better way to think about acquisition of knowledge.

For those of you who don’t know or use bloom’s taxonomy, the chart below is a good example of it’s purpose -

Bloom's taxonomy

This example came from this blog in a 2009 post and I think it is such a great explanation of the levels of thinking as it provides the students and teachers with a plethora of verbs and activities to use in the classroom.  Several of good examples can be found here -

Bloom’s Taxonomy 1 - a rose wheel for students in older grades.

Bloom’s Taxonomy 2 - a triangle example for students in younger grades.

Bloom’s Taxonomy 3 - a chart with the  a great list of the verbs for Bloom’s

Now, in comparison, DoK looks like this -

Depth of Knowledge

Other examples of DoK can be found here;

DOK 1- This chart has a good explanation of the process

DoK 2 - This chart really explains each level.

So now the question becomes, is one better than the other?  I will say this – I do like DoK because it tends to lean to the idea that learning requires all four levels, where is at times with Bloom’s learning can stop at the first level.  The again, you could argue that it can do that with DoK.

But honestly, I don’t know but I would love to hear what everyone else thinks.  What do you use?  Thoughts???

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4 thoughts on “Blooms or DoK???

  1. Thanks for sharing the information and charts. I was not familiar with DoK before so it was nice to see that perspective. In many ways, its quicker to refer to than Bloom’s I think it woud be great to assist in goal setting—if child has a solid skill at one level to look at another level for a long term goal. My concern is that the levels may indicate to some people that lower level tasks have to be mastered before higher level tasks are introduced. Some students may have memory issues and may have difficulty with the Level 1 task, but could participate in higher level tasks with supports (texts, pictures, charts, etc). Like everything in education, I use these types of systems as guidelines and use different strategies based the time, resources, and task at hand.

  2. This is a great post. Interestingly I really like to use the DoK at university level and openly explain to students why their intellectual enquiry must improve to improve their grades. Really helpful when they realise that it’s not me simply plucking a grade out of thin air for them! Thank you for the chart too, very useful.

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