You are on page 1of 16

Taxonomy

What is it?
SOLO (Structure of Observed
Learning Outcomes) is a model of
learning that helps develop a
common understanding &
language of learning that helps
teachers (and students)
understand the learning process.
What is it?
• In pairs arrange the five statements
about assessment for learning in order of
understanding
• use the SOLO levels sheet to help you.

• You have 3 minutes
5 typical ways to answer a question
Prestructural
I’m not sure
about this
subject
Unistructural
I have one idea
about this
subject
Multistuctrural
I have several
ideas about this
subject
Relational
I can link my ideas
together to see
the big picture…
Extended abstract
I can look at these
ideas in a new and
different way.
Making it visible
Making
it visible
“SOLO Taxonomy provides a
simple and robust way of
describing how learning
outcomes grow in complexity
from surface to deep
understanding”

Biggs & Collis 1982
With SOLO we can…
• thoughtfully design learning intentions and
learning experiences
• identify and use effective success criteria
• provide feedback and feed forward on
learning outcomes
• reflect meaningfully on what to do next
Why?
• How should we show that
“progress” has been made in a
lesson (or 20 minutes of a
lesson)?
• Numbers? Letters?
The language of learning
SOLO level Verbs
Unistructural define, identify, name. draw, find, label, match,
follow a simple procedure
Multistuctural describe, list, outline, complete, continue,
combine
Relational sequence, classify, compare & contrast, explain
(cause & effect), analyse, form an analogy,
organise, distinguish, question, relate, apply
Extended
abstract
generalise, predict, evaluate, reflect,
hypothesise, theorise, create, prove, justify,
argue, compose, prioritise, design, construct,
perform
Isn’t this a bit like Bloom’s
Taxonomy?
• SOLO is based upon a theory about teaching
and learning rather than a theory about
knowledge, (Hattie and Brown, 2004)
• Bloom’s is ‘good’ for teachers: planning,
questioning & checking learning
• But not great for students:
I’ve done applying sir, can I move on to
analysis now?
• Progress is not implicit with Bloom’s
SOLO is better because:
• It’s a diagnostic tool – provides useful
feedback and makes next steps clear
• It’s a useful assessment tool – clear links with
rubrics
• It can help plan objectives & success criteria
which focus on progress
• It describes the learning outcome
Connecting your learning
Progress
Relational
Understanding
feedback
Deep &
surface
learning
Extended
abstract
Multi
structural
Knowledge
success
criteria
Language of
learning
assessment
Outcomes
Tips for getting started
• Getting to extended abstract requires you to
pose abstract questions:
Does Shakespeare influence all modern writers?
• But, in order to answer these questions
students need a big multistructural base of
knowledge
• Students need to see that progress depends
on finding the relationships between this
knowledge
Does Shakespeare influence all modern writers?
How does Shakespeare compare to a
modern playwright?
Thinking Squares
What did he do and why?
Who is
Shakespeare?
REVIEW
Design an activity which could introduce SOLO
to your students
How could you use SOLO?
What do you know
about SOLO?