Student Learning Outcomes Referencing Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy and Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK)

Visit www.pdesas.org to see the relationship between the Big Ideas, the Essential Questions and the Concepts and Competencies. The Concepts refer to what students must KNOW. The competencies refer to what students must be ABLE TO DO. Thus, they are the Student Learning Outcomes. So when you're writing Student Learning Outcomes in your Curriculum Maps, you can use the PDE SAS website for assistance. Click on Curriculum Framework after you log on to the website. Then, reference Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge to develop rigor and relevance in your curriculum expectations for your students.

This is an explanation, along with examples, of Norman Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) for your reference:

Student Learning Objectives includes various kinds of learning objectives. Every Unit of Study will not necessarily have all of the four types of objectives, but it is useful to know that there are various levels of student learning objectives that promote an increased depth of knowledge, critical thinking and the ability to apply and transfer knowledge to other areas of school and life. Work toward include multiple levels of Student Learning Objectives in each of the Units that you teach. The Student Learning Objectives do not need to be labeled by Level. Just keep the level in mind as you write the outcomes you expect from students for each of the Units.

There is no need to label the Student Learning Objectives by Level. There is no need to represent every level of critical thinking in every Unit. There is no need to group the Student Learning Objectives by level. Student Learning Objectives should numbered, written in present tense and include a strong action verb, representative of the various levels, that makes the objective measurable for example:
  1. List the names of animals that survive by eating other animals.
  2. Demonstrate in a lab setting how hydrogen and oxygen combine to make water.
  3. Explain the cause-effect of the Civil War.
  4. Describe Baroque music and its specific characteristics and time period.

Refer to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Charts for lists of strong action verbs that are appropriate for writing Student Learning Objectives. Incorporate higher level thinking using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy www.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

Include higher level thinking using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/msip/DOK_Chart.pdf and http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/CommonCoreLibrary/Toolkit/Assessment/Rigor/Rigor+in+Maps.htm

According to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK), there are four types of student learning objectives. Notice that they can double as assessments as well. For example as an objective you might write: Students describe physical features of geographical areas such as the desert, the wetlands and the Polar Regions. As an assessment item, you could require students to successfully do what the objective states that they will be able to do. Well written student learning objectives can effectively serve as assessment items.

Level 1: KNOWLEDGE - Recall and Reproduction
Level 1 requires recall of information, such as a fact, definition, term or performance of a simple process or procedure. Answering a Level 1 objectives or items can involve following a simple, well-known procedure or formula. Level 1 requires command of facts, definitions, and basic concepts. This is referred to as declarative knowledge.

  1. List animals that survive by eating other animals.
  2. Locate or recall facts found in the text.
  3. Describe physical features of geographical areas.
  4. Determine the perimeter or area of rectangles given a drawing or labels.
  5. Identify elements of music using music technology.
  6. Identify basic rules for participating in simple games and activities.

Level 2: SKILL - Skills and Concepts
Level 2 includes the engagement of some mental processing beyond recalling or reproducing a response. Objectives or items require students to make some decisions as to how to approach the question or problem. Actions imply more than just one mental or cognitive process or step. Level 2 requires students to demonstrate their ability to perform some action or process competently. This is referred to as procedural knowledge.

  1. Compare desert and tropical environments.
  2. Identify and summarize the major events, problems, solutions and/or conflicts in a literary text.
  3. Explain the cause-effect of historical events.
  4. Predict a logical outcome based on the information in a reading selection.
  5. Explain how good work habits are important at home, at school and on the job.
  6. Classify plane and three dimensional figures.
  7. Describe various styles of music

Level 3: UNDERSTANDING - Strategic Thinking
Level 3 Strategic Thinking requires deep understanding exhibited through planning, using evidence and more demanding cognitive reasoning. The cognitive demands are complex and abstract. An objective or assessment item in Level 3 has more than one possible answer and requires students to justify their response with evidence and rationale. Level 3 requires students to demonstrate the ability to take prior learning and use it effectively when confronted with new intellectual challenges and contexts. It requires students to make connections and arrive at important understandings with minimal teacher handholding. Level 3 reflects big ideas in the form of powerful generalizations. They are transferable across situations, places and times. They are constructed in the mind of the learner through the processes of inquiry, inference and rethinking. They are most appropriately assessed through performance tasks requiring one or more facets of understanding such as application and understanding. Understandings cannot merely be covered by the teacher; they must be uncovered or discovered by the students by exploring essential questions, wrestling with challenging problems or debating a complex issue.

  1. Compare consumer actions and analyze how these actions impact the environment.
  2. Analyze or evaluate the effectiveness of literary elements e.g., characterization, setting, point of view, conflict and resolution and/or plot structures.
  3. Solve a multiple step problem and provide support with a mathematical explanation that justifies the answer.
  4. Develop a scientific model for a complex idea.
  5. Propose and evaluate solutions for an economic problem.
  6. Explain, generalize or connect ideas using supporting evidence from a text or source.
  7. Create a dance that represents the characteristics of a culture.

Level 4: TRANSFER - Extended Thinking
Level 4 requires high cognitive demand and is very complex. Students must make connections; relate ideas within the content or among content areas and select or devise one approach among many alternatives on how the situation can be solved. Level 4 objectives and items often require an extended period of time for completion since they have high complexity of cognitive demand. Level 4 requires application of information and knowledge in new and different situations. It requires a thoughtful assessment of which prior learning applies to the specific situation. Students must apply their learning autonomously without the coaching or aid of the teacher. Students must use habits of mind: good judgment, persistence and self-discipline along with academic understanding to persist in the task and perfect the final product.

Gather, analyze, organize and interpret information from multiple print and nonprint sources to draft a reasoned report on a world situation, a societal issue or a research topic.
  1. Analyze the author’s craft, i.e., style, bias, literary technique or point of view.
  2. Create an exercise plan applying the FITT Principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type for yourself.
  3. Write effectively in various genres for various audiences.
  4. Make healthful choices and decisions regarding diet, exercise, stress management and alcohol and drug use.
  5. Read and respond to various types of text.
  6. Create and perform an original work in a selected medium to express ideas and evoke emotion.
  7. Communicate effectively in the target language, in various situations with differing challenges such as speed, accent and over the telephone.

Some other useful documents to help write student learning objectives:

Learning Objective Stems: