In 1997, Norman Webb developed depth-of-knowledge levels to facilitate the evaluation of questions and tasks in grade-level and standards-based assessments. Many educators have found these levels to be useful in evaluating the cognitive complexity of their own instructional tasks.
Wixie can help you engage and support primary learners at all levels of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK). Wixie is both a curriculum tool and a student productivity tool; it can be used for lower-level assessments of existing student knowledge, higher-level demonstrations of solutions and ideas, and everything in between.
Level 1 - Routine Thinking
Level 1 tasks are less about thinking, and more about knowing. At level 1, tasks require students to define, identify, label, and remember. Because level 1 tasks don’t require a lot of thinking, they provide great opportunities for emerging readers and writers to practice new literacy skills.
Wixie includes a library of curriculum-based templates you can use to assess student knowledge without needing high levels of reading ability. For example, a level 1 language arts template might ask students to identify words or retell events in a story. Level 1 templates in math, science, and social studies typically involve definitions and labeling.
Students can also start from a blank screen and use Wixie’s paint tools and image library to draw pictures to recall events or demonstrate knowledge. Students can use Wixie’s tools to develop science diagrams and add text labels or write sentence strips with supporting illustrations that tell or retell.
Level one tasks make great formative assessments, helping you quickly evaluate a student’s knowledge. Level one tasks can help you determine whether students are ready to engage with more complex ideas or apply knowledge to solve a problem.
Level 2 - Conceptual Thinking
Level 2 tasks require students to think about the things they know. Level 2 tasks involve sorting, classification, and comparison. In addition to knowing facts and details, students are asked to summarize and prioritize information.
Teachers can assign existing Wixie sorting or classification templates or create their own customized organizers, such as Venn Diagrams.
Students can also start projects on their own using graphic organizer templates available in their Templates library. They can add text bubbles to show connections between ideas and processes. By combining text, images, and voice recording, they can write and illustrate their own alliterative sentences as well as create adaptations of their favorite pattern stories.
Because level 2 assignments require students to organize and apply information for understanding, they are helpful for assessing student comprehension of information.
Level 3 - Strategic Thinking
Level 3 tasks require students to think for a purpose. Students must be able to justify opinions, support arguments with evidence, and solve problems. Instead of simply sorting data or choosing a correct answer, students must process complex topics that frequently have more than one right answer.
Teachers can assign Wixie templates that help students manage strategies for arguing, justifying, and designing for a purpose. As students work to identify main ideas, key details and supporting evidence, teachers can provide feedback on student work in Wixie.
It is at the higher DOK levels where Wixie’s open-ended nature promotes student creativity, thinking, and learning. Students can use Wixie to develop and share solutions in a variety of formats including letters, interviews, eBooks, commercials, and public service announcements.
Level 3 assignments are about thinking for a purpose and students will work harder when they understand the underlying reason for their efforts. Projects that are created for and/or evaluated by someone outside the classroom provide the answer to that ubiquitous question: "Why do we have to do this?"
When first-grade teacher Barbara Fairchild's students were studying families, she asked her students to create stories that shared their ideas and opinions as to why someone was their favorite relative. They then shared these “eCards” with the person they chose. One father even cried when he learned that he was his son’s hero… now that’s learning with a real world impact!
Because Wixie work exists online, students can easily share it with a wide audience. While young students aren’t likely to be developing resources for the business community, they are able to develop materials and work to persuade family members and adults in their close community.
Level 4 - Extended Thinking
Level 4 tasks ask students to reason over an extended period of time. At level 4, teachers don't plan a lesson; rather, students are exploring issues, formulating questions, engaging with complex problems, and working to develop solutions. Many primary educators encourage this type of work through passion projects, where students share their findings through a final “report” or presentation.
Students can use Wixie to help them make sense of information and prioritize thinking and actions during their inquiry process. For example, students might create a sequence to show the steps in a process, use a fact vs. opinion chart to clarify information, or use a main idea-key details-evidence organizer to develop their argument.
At Level 4, Wixie can be used as both a digital notebook during the research process as well as a canvas for student design.
Wixie is up to the task, no matter what level
Wixie is both a curriculum tool and a student productivity tool. Wixie works to support learning at any grade or depth of knowledge level, from a basic evaluation of student knowledge to the extended thinking involved with organizing ideas and showcasing solutions.