This workshop can be customized to address specific content areas or grade levels.



Karin begins by defining the concept of “cognitive rigor” and dispelling some common misconceptions about Depth of Knowledge. You’ll hear an overview of how her popular Cognitive Rigor...

On this page, Dr. Norman Webb explains how he came about the creation of his 4 levels of Depth of Knowledge:


His video can be found at this address:

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A brief history of the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix

Today various educational and testing organizations in the US and other countries now use the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix in training materials for their professional development and curriculum work. So...

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In 2010, as the Common Core State Standards were simultaneously being developed, I was charged to recruit researchers, content experts, and master teachers from both general and special education from across the US to review research about how learning...

  • Bloom’s dimensions identify types of thinking that CAN become deeper when matched with increasingly more complex content: deeper application, deeper understanding, deeper analysis, etc. 


  • DOK descriptors reference the complexity of mental processing needed to...

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Karin Hess, Ed.D, is a recognized international leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for formative, interim, and performance assessments.



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© since July 2014 Karin Hess, Ed.D.