Books by Karin Hess - Sold on

Kid-Friendly Cognitive Rigor Matrix Poster Set

$12.99 for downloadable digital set of 4 posters


In this 4-poster set, learners can edit the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix on their own and challenge themselves to "rock the rigor" while educators can customize and print for their classrooms a complete Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix of their choosing.

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NEW! The Rigor by Design Playbook is now available!

The new 20-page booklet is also printed on heavy cardstock for long-lasting use. It still provides an overview of the development of the Hess CRM, all 8 content-specific Hess CRMs, and illustrates how the roles of students and teachers can shift with appropriate questioning and learning activities that move from surface learning to deeper understanding. Also included:

  • 7 Common Misconceptions about Rigor

  • Unit/Lesson Planning Template with Teacher & Student Roles by DOK level

  • NEW! Karin's Actionable Assessment Cycle

  • Updated classroom examples of strategic scaffolding strategies by DOK level

  • NEW! S-T-A-R-S Performance Task Design Tool

This is a practical resource for coaches and assessment leaders who want handy access to all 8 Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrices and a guide to classroom “look fors” and support strategies at each DOK level.

Download an order form here.

A Local Assessment Toolkit to Promote Deeper Learning: Transforming Research Into Practice (2018, Corwin).

  • Available in paperback or as an ebook from Amazon.

  • Designed to support school leaders, PLC work, and book studies in assessment literacy for preK-16 educators.

  • Includes 5 in-depth PD modules with 90+ downloadable tools!

  • Discounts available for bulk orders.

Two of Karin's Popular Workshops are on Video for Self-Paced PD 

(M-1) Thinking Deeply? Or Just Working Harder?

Based on Module 1, A Local Assessment Toolkit

Use this self-facilitated workshop to learn on your own time or to support locally-designed workshops for your staff. The PD package includes Karin’s presentation with 2 hours of workshop video with UT educators, her PowerPoint presentation, and a facilitator guide with handouts, suggested “turn & talk” places with discussion points, and supplemental video links to spark collaborative discussions about rigor and deeper learning.

(M-3) Student Work to D-I-E For!

Based on Module 3, A Local Assessment Toolkit

For many years, Karin has used the acronym D-I-E to make the student work analysis process more meaningful: First Describe what you actually see/hear; next Interpret what the student does/does not understand as revealed in the evidence; and finally, Evaluate next steps based on your intended purpose (e.g., examining task quality, developing/refining the rubric, next steps for instruction, etc.). The PD package includes Karin’s presentation with 2 hours of video with VT educators, her PowerPoint presentation, and a facilitator guide with student work samples for analysis practice.


Download order form.

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Deeper Competency-Based Learning: Making Equitable, Student-Centered, Sustainable Shiftsby Karin Hess, Rose Colby, & Dan Joseph (2020), Corwin.

Order from Amazon. Get free shipping if you have an Amazon Prime account!

Want to schedule a book study for your staff? Contact Dr. Hess and she can arrange for a discount on bulk orders from Corwin!