Publications & Resources

Benchmarks for Deeper Learning on Next Generation Tests: A Study of PISA

Jul 2016

Joan L. Herman, Deborah La Torre, Scott Epstein, and Jia Wang

This report presents the results of expert panels’ item-by-item analysis of the 2015 PISA Reading Literacy and Mathematics Literacy assessments and compares study findings on PISA’s representation of deeper learning with that of other related studies. Results indicate that about 11% to 14% of PISA’s total raw score value for reading and mathematics literacy respectively are devoted to deeper learning, defined as items addressing depth of knowledge (DOK) Levels 3 or 4, based on Norman Webb’s framework (Webb, Alt, Ely, & Vesperman, 2005). These levels are compared to those in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and in recent tests of the CCSS. Study results suggest the complexity of establishing deeper learning benchmarks.

Herman, J. L., La Torre, D., Epstein, S., & Wang, J. (2016). Benchmarks for deeper learning on next generation tests: A study of PISA (CRESST Report 855). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).