Knowledge Domains

Research has shed light onto the ways in which the brain changes and creates neural networks through experience. There are many different ways that the brain is organized, such as different knowledge domains.

The knowledge domains serve different functions based on the ways that the brain receives and organizes information and transforms that information into knowledge.

The Different Knowledge Domains

Different types of knowledge domains serve different functions.

For example, declarative knowledge serves to provide factual information such as specific facts or theories. Procedural knowledge stores the ways in which to do procedures and processes. If you are assessing what a student knows about a particular theory, then you would want to ask questions that prompted the declarative knowledge, while if you want the student to talk about a procedure, then you would ask a different set of questions.

The different knowledge domains and interview and assessment strategies that can be used to target specific domains are located below.

Declarative Knowledge

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

  1. The student can give:
    • specific facts
    • terminology
    • trends and sequences
    • classification and categories
    • principles and generalizations
    • theories and structures.
  2. The student can communicate information, arguments and theories.

  • Ask for specific declarative information.
  • Have the student use the information to explain theories and arguments.

  • lower-level undergraduate
  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.

Procedural Knowledge

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

  1. The student can describe and demonstrate procedures or tasks.
  2. The student is able to address methodology and apply pertinent information based on specific criteria.

  • Have the student describe a process.
  • Ask the student about pertinent information and to apply within a given situation.
  • Have the student present situations where there were problems to be solved within the process/procedure.
  • Propose situations for the student to solve (e.g., a case study) or ask the student to solve problems which apply their knowledge within situational contexts.
  • Observe the student demonstrating a procedure or a performance-based problem or task.
  • Ask the student to employ key techniques of the discipline.

  • lower-level undergraduate
  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.

Strategic Knowledge (Metacognitive Knowledge)

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

  1. The student can:
    • relate relevant declarative and procedural knowledge structures to create and implement a plan
    • employ translation, interpretation, extrapolation techniques to solve problems
    • analyze elements, relationships and principles
    • synthesize (production of a unique communication, plan, set of operations, abstract relations)
    • employ appropriate evaluation strategies by using internal evidence and external criteria.
  2. The student applies effective research strategies.

  • Ask the student to describe how she or he has solved problems or situations within multiple applications and/or when multiple solutions were possible.
  • Ask the student to describe how she or he has applied her/his learning in different situations, especially when novel and/or when solutions may not have clear outcomes.
  • Have the student evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions and ways these are applied to solve problems.
  • Have the student justify conclusions drawn from information and research.

  • lower-level undergraduate
  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.

Self-knowledge

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

The student:

  • can reflect upon her or his abilities as a learner in various areas
  • is able to engage self-assessments strategies (evaluations in terms of one’s self beliefs, attitudes, emotions)
  • manages her or his learning to make use of the environment, information and feedback
  • is able to situate her or his knowledge within the context and discipline
  • is able to situate self within the broader context of society and cultures.

  • Have the student engage self-assessments.
  • Utilize reflective dialogue with the student around her or his learning.
  • Have the student demonstrate self-regulated learning and autonomy by tackling and solving problems, advancing her or his knowledge and developing new skills (lifelong learning).
  • Have the student provide originality and creativity and describe her or his thinking process.

  • lower-level undergraduate
  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.

Tacit Knowledge

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

The student:

  • can reflect upon how the different knowledge bases are linked and related
  • can perform action-based skills within novel situations
  • engages reflection and creates links among the different levels of knowledge bases
  • relates different connections, even with missing or incomplete information
  • demonstrates more advanced levels of proficiencies within an area.

  • Have the student provide situational problems and reflect on how they solve these types of problems.
  • Ask the student to think aloud while solving situational problems to determine how the student links different knowledge structures and the extent that uncertainty, ambiguity and knowledge limits are integrated into schemes.
  • Observe the student engaged in performance-based problems or task.

  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.

Integrated Knowledge

Expand to view the indicators, strategies and level of knowledge.

The student:

  • can link different knowledge structures and create new interpretations, strategies and/or new knowledge during novel situations
  • creates new knowledge structures from novel situations.

  • Through multiple methods, have the student link different knowledge structures during unfamiliar situations or procedures.
  • Have the student describe new knowledge and how it is applied into novel situations.

  • upper-level undergraduate
  • graduate.
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