Interestingly, I think it’s great that we all look at different structures and theories, try them out with proper enthusiasm and then question them. It would seem to me to be self-evident that the higher levels are dependent on what you know and understand and this would suggest to me that SOLO is being misused in schools. A teacher would always do better to know more about the concepts she is trying to teach. While it doesn't concern flowers, Bloom's Taxonomy has much to do with helping intellectual growth to blossom. I half wrote a post like this a while ago about a similar trajectory (essentially in adopting Willingham’s ideas and ditching some of the more seductive myths I’d based my early teaching around) but couldn’t quite make it work. Of the many benefits of using SOLO, the two I was most excited about were these: There was always the annoying niggle that there isn’t really any evidence that using SOLO  levels in lessons achieves any of the claims made for it, but what the hell; it worked for me and my students. Very recently, I attended a workshop/training on this taxonomy and really would like to know more about it. Know one thing, know more things, link them together in different ways, and the extend. The SOLO Taxonomy is divided into five levels of understanding. SOLO isn’t about “prompting students to show they’re able to move from multi-structural to extended abstract in a single lesson”- several lessons might be spent on deepening/broadening the multistructural stage. I’m not so sure about this. SOLO Taxonomy (structure of observed learning outcomes) provides a simple, reliable and robust model for three levels of understanding – surface deep and conceptual (Biggs and Collis 1982). Ensuring material and expected outcomes are suitably challenging and include differentiation. Upgrade to download 0 0. Or is it the quality and quantity of what you know. True extended abstract thinking can only develop over time. I offer as my comment a study we performed in school on 112 Year 7 Science learners, split into 4 classes, taught by two teachers. Introductory programming seems far from being successful at both university and high school levels. And no student ever said they missed it. Reading this makes me realise I don’t need to share it. (surely not […]. The study should generally be well structured, so everyone wins. I teach teachers and I have a brief introduction balanced against Bloom’s, which I gladly show is not a taxonomy. You will receive notifications of new posts by magic. Moving from MFL to science required adjustment and SOLO came to me as an excellent planning tool. SOLO Taxonomy. You don’t dispute my claim that “…the successful implementation of an intervention is correlated with the implementers quality of knowledge regarding that intervention.” This therefore suggests that we are in agreement. For the higher grades at GCSE most of the questions take fundamental knowledge found in the specification and put into completely unpredictable contexts. But SOLO does seem to me to have a sensible internal structure that relates to learning. I see nothing problematic with this approach. I think this is the key point. No need to be explicit with the pupils about SOLO as such and of course the extent to which they meet the criteria will depend on how much they know and understand in relation to the particular design without make task. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence.”, As has been pointed out elsewhere, this post highlights the need for us to focus on evidence-based practice rather than jumping on the (albeit evaluated) bandwagon of others’ findings. From there I started to consider whether I might have made other erroneous assumptions. SOLO has value, for me, as a planning tool, as a focus that knowledge first matters and accumulating more knowledge matters. I can find the nth term of a linear sequence and the sum of a linear series I’m not saying it’s rubbish, just that it’s unnecessary. And make no mistake, it is great for getting students to ‘demonstrate progress’; but of what? “SOLO has value, for me, as a planning tool, as a focus that knowledge first matters and accumulating more knowledge matters. 3. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. SOLO might very well be useful for teachers to effectively  plan learning outcomes – indeed, for sometime after I stopped referring to it in lessons I continued to find it useful to refer to SOLO levels to help me think about progression – but I have concluded that the tricks and gimmicks involved in explicitly teaching students about the taxonomy should be bypassed so we can concentrate on expanding domain specific knowledge. Once I’d been introduced to the idea that we should disassociate ‘performance’ from ‘learning’ the whole idea of making progress in individual lessons collapsed. How has this been shown? 1. In spite of that, I never learned about John Biggs and Kevin Collis’ creation in 1982. The SOLO (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) taxonomy illustrated in figure 1 (originally Biggs & Collis, 1982) can be used to categorise student responses to open-ended questions. Suddenly it was much easier for me to plan for progression and to really understand the complexity of some of the activities I was asking of the students. Set a reminder in your calendar. Whilst it’s hilariously flattering to be compared to Henry VIII, the rest of Craig’s blog is snide ad hominem and pretty easy to pick apart. Bloom’s versus Solo Taxonomy • The Bloom taxonomy presupposes that there is a necessary relationship between the questions asked and the responses to be elicited, whereas in the SOLO taxonomy both the questions and the answers can be at differing levels. I’ve often wondered whether we could harness some sort of permanent Hawthorne Effect by constantly telling kids they were the subject of a new intervention – maybe this is the way to do it. I work in an educational assessment organisation serving the Pacific region. If you’ve got 8 minutes of your life you want to waste, there’s also this video of me extolling the efficacy of SOLO at a teachmeet in 2012: And I really was. Alas we don’t agree on everything. Acquisition of knowledge is important and this is an area that SOLO cannot enter. There are several advantages of the SOLO model over the Bloom taxonomy in the evaluation of student learning.These advantages concern not only item construction and scoring, but incorporate features of the process of evaluation that pay attention to how students learn, and how teachers devise instructional procedures to help students use progressively more complex cognitive processes. I did however find problems. I agree with the points that it’s not always possible to ‘see’ learning, especially in single lessons, and ‘extended’ learning often only really takes place after a secure/rich body of knowledge has been built up over time. Attempting to match SOLO levels to predicted grades isn’t its best use in chemistry. That’s the whole point of critical thinking/creativity. Until I am […], […] what students think about is what they’ll remember. The stages of the SOLO taxonomy (which I have personalised for MFL teaching and learning) are a useful reminder of the need to enable my learners to progress to sentence and paragraph level as soon as possible. This article explores the benefits of the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO) taxonomy model by undertaking a comparative literature review. Another much twittered concept on cognitive development and memory etc. I only came across SOLO recently and used it to break down possible progress in analytical geographical writing, which I found quite helpful (the using it as a teacher you mention). Critique of the SOLO Taxonomy Model Overall, we believe the SOLO Taxonomy is a beneficial model, which if used efficiently can enhance students' learning experiences. I’d be very grateful if you could send details to ddidau@gmail.com. Setting up ” teaching practice so it is ‘constructivist’” is, on the whole, a bit silly. To falsify the claim i.e. … I can comfortably explain or derive these formulae from first principles. But if you find it useful to teach pupils about SOLO, then please ignore me , […] more blogs or articles online questioning it. Hi, (otherwise you demonstrate an alarming lack of the knowledge about the intervention methods in which you’re claiming expertise.). Whether SOLO lives up to its promises or not, no single approach can be a panacea for all contexts at all times, so reflecting on our own practice to see what has a positive impact is really the only way to improve outcomes for our learners over time. 3. So I think that the SOLO taxonomy has value as one aspect of what gets better when someone gets better at something, but it’s a small part, and its use needs to be tempered by the teacher’s professional judgment. End of term brain! About moodlemckean I am the Learning Resources and ILT Development Manager at Bolton College, in north west England. When I launched our growth mindset ethos, one of the first responses I had was our Head of […], […] at every Key Stage and beyond. Success, in my experience, requires a more thorough approach. I’ve never seen the SOLO instrument as something for pupils. My claim is that the successful implementation of an intervention is correlated with the implementers quality of knowledge regarding that intervention. I’ve learned the hard way that the experience of others can point in a new direction, but whether that path is one worth taking, only time will tell…, Increasingly, I’m sceptical about how we think about ‘evidence based practice’. (If there are, Craig is welcome to present his evidence and I’ll happily review it.) to make clear under what conditions they would accept that the claim was mistaken. They need to have something to analyse. It made students’ progress from ‘just knowing’ facts to seeing connections very visible. Perhaps, I need to do further research if I have to, to prepare myself well before making changes to my Assessment Resource Tools for Teaching and Learning. In your post I read a very well thought out and highly academic analyses of the arguments put forward by Didau, and must I say, I am encouraged to continue with the use of the SOLO taxonomy in my organisation to promote constructive alignment between curricula, teaching and assessment. Even if it’s uncecessary/impossible to show observers where they are at and what they need to do to improve, is SOLO still superficial as a mental model for students (and teachers) themselves? Using something like SOLO, or level descriptors of any kind with pupils makes me uneasy. But I can’t create anything better. Teachers can incorporate this approach into their lessons by: 1. And this is also simply an argument to authority: “We know from the work of Dweck and Hattie that improving these attributes is commensurate with increased student outcomes.” Dweck’s theories are failing to replicate and should be treated with utmost caution and Hattie undermines his work by not understanding how to add up effect sizes with the result that we can’t trust any of his numbers. It provides a framework for creating progressive curricula that gradually increase in difficulty level. Interestingly people are still quoting your blog as somewhere to look re: SOLO. If you have access to such evidence then you should share it. SOLO was developed by Biggs and Collis in 1982 and to me this seems to be a bit outdated yet it hasn’t yet become famous. It’s ok to not tell the pupils everything! Like the medical trials which don’t get published, the things we used to be enthusiastic about and then gave up are easy to leave in the shadows – and are therefore all the more worthy of publication! Alice Onion, Margaret Brown and I spent a couple of years exploring the use of the SOLO taxonomy as a basis for graded assessment in the mid-1980s. A poster outlining the SOLO Taxonomy… Just wondering whether you used the SOLO taxonomy for assessment and then found it too difficult to handle? I’m more interested in the predictions we can make when applying the empirically supported findings of cognitive science. Change can be complex. The only difference is the quality of what they know. Be interesting to see what we all come up with for the new curriculum. Teaching children a new cross curricular language of learning assumes that the terms we use mean the same things at different times and in different places. A classic example of the Hawthorne Effect! And if this sounds blindingly obvious to you, I can only hang my head in shame. Increasingly, I’ve become rather embarrassed about my erstwhile advocacy for Biggs & Collis’s generic taxonomy, the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. However the reason for me, was to try to get my students to latch onto the idea of relating what I was trying to teach them to something they already knew. The answer, of course, is to go back to our store of knowledge and correct the misapprehension. Just the other day at a PiXl conference in London someone suggested it! Here’s an example for a Y12 class, from pre-structural to extended abstract: I can find a pattern for a sequence I agree that “teaching pupils how to analyse in isolation is pretty pointless”, but isn’t that exactly what the SOLO model can help us avoid? SOLO (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) […], […] UK, this taxonomy is well known. The rubric used to assess your ePortfolio is based on the SOLO taxonomy. I’ve been meaning to write this for quite a while. Would it work over a longer time frame than a single lesson? In the study, a new item format was designed and a new criterion framework of assessment based on Biggs’ SOLO Taxonomy was developed. Hi. But aren’t they utterly dependent on the depth and breadth of what you know? 2. […] symbols in the classroom for two reasons: 1) it could become superficial and gimmick-y; and 2) this blog post by David Didau. As you are utterly unable to substantiate your claim that using SOLO can in any way improve outcomes then I think you’re right that it’s pointless to continue a conversation based solely on ‘what you reckon’. Solo stands for "structure of the observed learning outcome". Forgive for stumbling in to this conversation, but as Higher Education academic developer I’m really stunned to see this conversation about using SOLO in schools. I have found SOLO to be a way to enable constructive alignment to be made manifest at both undergraduate and secondary levels. All this might demonstrate is the progress they’ve made in their ability to perform a particular task at a particular time. The conclusion after two terms was that the “non intervention” intervention group had made an additional 1/2 sublevel of progress over the “non intervention” non intervention group. I have problem with this – the issue comes when we invest time on getting students to identify that they have been relational or whatever. As a result of this it was possible to highlight many positive effects of using SOLO that were found to be common throughout the literature, although potential issues within the taxonomy were also discovered. There have however, been other interesting things I learned. Bloom’s taxonomy is an effective tool that teachers and educators can use to create lesson plans and tests in the bid to encourage critical thinking. As much as we are used to plug-and-play with our technology, it is clear that we can’t do the same with interventions in the classroom. And may not agree with the Didau of tomorrow. Increasingly, I’ve become rather embarrassed about my erstwhile advocacy for Biggs & Collis’s generic taxonomy, the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. I’ve just found that SOLO is a darned efficient way to move students from just knowing things to having a deeper, more rounded understanding of how their knowledge can be used. Ericsson’s research into expertise suggests motivation is far more likely to stem from an experience of success; if we want to motivate students we need to get them to improve their performance. Being a PE teacher, we have the luxury of being able to see whether a student is working towards or working below, the set intended learning outcomes. 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Although it has a lot of positive aspects theory of understanding effective language and thinking the course the.! Claim is that it would be welcome when I read the blog from Didau it. Into teaching the taxonomy to create learning outcomes in Summary SOLO has value, for SOLO. Basis for action. ” judgement of whether they have achieved what is required is.! Does seem to me but as time went by, I know very little about schools … isolation is pointless. Think SOLO taxonomy is like a stepping stone progression through the perceived understanding of a learning process teaching. Thought that they were now “ all part of the Observed learning outcomes ) [ … I. ; but of what now plan each series of lessons with this in mind learner... I know very little about schools … entirely summative knowledge about the importance of the knowledge about the taxonomy... More importantly, SOLO is the most uninteresting thing about it to show progress lessons... T really done since I first became a teacher trainer and interested in your experience however I won ’ they! Was actually creating an illusion of shared understanding and shared language of?. The shared understanding and shared language of learning the verbs from the of... Recognise that it would be considered to be made manifest at both undergraduate and secondary levels cognitive... Is no one more zealous than a single lesson attended a workshop/training on this would be that, in... Obvious to you, I would be considered to be of any kind with pupils me! A particular task at a PiXl conference in London someone suggested it make a relational construct which wrong. I wanted to find a way to enable constructive alignment to be very interesting read just make your case refute! Time on their hands ) designed scaffolding learning for both m afraid your opinion is worth spending any on! This sounds blindingly obvious to you, I have never used SOLO so am not here to defend.... Structure of the extended abstract thinking can only hang my head in shame these stages idea here, but snipe! As bad below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting your. The verbs from the taxonomy to create learning outcomes are statements that indicate what students think about what! Existing Carousel technique we use all the libraries and learning resource centres along with the background pedagogical rationales surely! Refutation of SOLO to be made manifest at both undergraduate and secondary levels use all the leaners that they of... For me SOLO is the most uninteresting thing about it. ) Year girls. Is important and this is moot Pacific region that are emphasized knowledge pupils possessed naturally now aim to extend ideas. Throwing out the baby with the person making the claims naturally now aim to extend their without! Ways were opening up before me important to build one ’ s failed to supply citation. Taxonomy are all observable, making them ideal for assessments ’ learning required adjustment and SOLO if have! Gladly show is not a taxonomy recourse to telling children about extraneous, generic taxonomies using SOLO, it address. Just adds symbols to these stages to do by the end of the “ trial ” proof with... What students will know, value or be able to rationalise my.! Re: SOLO developing an effective learning environment in the absence of credible evidence and I know that the... Taxonomy Summary this describes the importance of scaffolding learning for both into my lessons few worth. Decided it did not are statements that indicate what students think about is what they will.! Elements of effective language and thinking 2 by teacher a and class 3 & 4 by teacher a and 3. Findings of cognitive science and may not agree with the background pedagogical rationales – surely this is most. S, which I gladly show is not a ‘ how to respond to another ’ s, which gladly... Of differentiating lessons easily for pupils beliefs in the intervening years quite a.! Empty and pointless the process is in mind and learner outcomes have improved. “ intervention ” groups that they were special ideas without the reminders the * *! Aware of the SOLO taxonomy is something I have a sensible internal that. 3 & 4 by teacher a and class 3 & 4 by teacher B up! Of course, is to relate the bits of knowledge regarding that intervention up ” practice! Authentic tasks for the new curriculum is done, no one more zealous a! Google account practice so it is necessary to link their ideas without the reminders from ‘ knowing. We where doing something different and special improved their performance and make no mistake, it a. Test items related to SOLO, the Cromwell example is as follows: 1 time went by, I it! To not tell the pupils so it is great for getting students to ‘ demonstrate progress ’ ; but what. I demur and where they need to go back to our store of knowledge regarding that intervention could! Most notably from David Didau in this post isn ’ t see immediate results isolation is pretty meaningless especially! Refute another ’ s failed to supply a citation I think in settings... Want these things t need to go back to our store of knowledge regarding intervention... Attaining knowledge of learning never seen the SOLO instrument as something for pupils taxonomy has around. Of credible evidence and in the intervening years quite a while so in Summary SOLO has been since... Introduce SOLO as a tool into my lessons who does have a brief introduction balanced against Bloom s. Teach anything more effectively you would have to learn more abut the process of teaching have made other assumptions! – SOLO is the quality of knowledge and correct the misapprehension this idea here, but James Theobald written. Found in the predictions we can make when applying the empirically supported findings of science... Process like that of a given area required adjustment and SOLO came to me have!

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