Understanding depth of knowledge and cognitive complexity

Posted by Nate Green on Dec 5, 2017 10:45:38 AM

We've built a highly-attributed database of high-quality content that is served up to students at massive scale. Part of managing a platform of this size, with tens of thousands of questions answered over 300M times, is deeply understanding not just our subject matter focus but also our ability to assess depth of knowledge and cognitive complexity. 

In close partnership with school faculty and administrators that use Firecracker in their programs, we share many different views of student activity on our platform. One recent report analyzed student's level of cognition using both Bloom's Taxonomy (revised) and Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). If you are unfamiliar with either of these, Bloom's was intended to write learning objectives for tasks with a focus on the verbs to classify levels of thinking using hierarchical verbs, while Webb's DOK aims to evaluate thinking processes with a focus on cognitive demand to identify depth of knowledge using a description of activities at various levels. This short video provides a concise comparison of both models. 

Blooms-Taxonomy-650x366

Bloom's Taxonomy

 

Screenshot 2017-12-05 09.58.53Webb's Depth of Knowledge

 

In our analysis of a summative assessment for one of our course exams, our items covered over 30 different USMLE Outline content areas across the following Bloom's Taxonomy and Webb's DOK elements:

Bloom’s Taxonomy
Number of
questions
Remember
61
Understand
20
Apply
16
Analyze
18
Evaluate
23
Create
3

 

Webb’s DOK
Number of
questions
Recall/Reproduce
60
Skills and Concepts
41
Strategic Thinking 
20
Extended Thinking
20

Providing our school partners with analysis like this helps them better understand both the performance of their students and the efficacy of their curriculum.  

Topics: blooms, webb, depth-of-knowledge

Welcome to Firecracker

Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at chat@firecracker.me.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts