Table of Contents

Smarter Balanced Preliminary Blueprints, Continued

Depth of Knowledge

The Smarter Balanced assessment system relies on the depth of knowledge (DOK) performance levels to aid in creating and scoring ELA and mathematics items.

The CA CCSS “…require high-level cognitive demand, such as requiring students to demonstrate deeper conceptual understanding through the application of content knowledge and skills to new situations and sustained tasks. For each assessment target in ELA and mathematics, the depth(s) of knowledge that the student needs to bring to the item/task has been identified.”

—Smarter Balanced General Item Specifications April 2012

The more basic levels of knowledge, such as recall, are assessed with selected-response items, while the deeper levels of knowledge, such as reasoning, are most often assessed with constructed-response items or performance tasks.


Review the DOK Levels.