Solo Taxonomy

Solo Taxonomy has been sitting on my to do list for a while. Dean Groom during his presentation at MICDS reminded me and I took a little time to have a play with it.

SOLO stands for Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. It was developed in 1982 by John B. Biggs and Kelvin Collis. It is essentially a hierarchy which has 5 stages or levels that attempts to assess the students learning based on the quality of their work. Like Bloom’s taxonomy it looks and structures many of the key verbs used in assessment into different levels.


Prestructural – Lower Order

Students acquires unconnected information. The information is not organised amd makes no sense



Simple connections are created between ideas. Connections are obvious – Keywords: Identify, Name


More connections are being created, but lacks the meta-connections between them Keywords: combine, describe, list, order


Student sees the significence of the various pieces of information and can develop relationships between them. Keywords: Analyse, apply, argue, debate, compare, contrast, check, judge, critique, explain, moderate, relate, integrate, justify


Extended Abstract

Can make connections beyond the proble, Can generalise and apply to new situation, Can transfer learning and makelinks between subject areas. Keyword: Reflect, evaluate, create, hypothesis, design, invent, conceptualise, theorise, project, abstract


We want to have our students working at the highest levels of extended abstract. Where they can make relationships that stretch be beyond the bounds of the discipline or subject area and can be applied in a variety of situations.


Solo Taxonomy shares similarities with the Modified Daggett’s Application Model, where the higher levels of learning are achieved when learning is applied in real world unpredicatable situations, rather than just applying it to studies within a single unit of learning


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