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Using SOLO Taxonomy in Lessons: How to and why to

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Fearghal Kelly

on 25 June 2014

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Transcript of Using SOLO Taxonomy in Lessons: How to and why to

Katie D'Arcy-Burt
Fearghal Kelly
Emma Webster
Preston Lodge
High School
Maths Teacher & Learning Coach
Biology Teacher & Learning Coach
Computing Science Teacher & Learning Coach
Forward looking comprehensive school in East Lothian, Scotland
Why would you use SOLO?
How have we used SOLO?
7 minutes "TeachMeet"session with each of us...
How might you use SOLO?
Outcomes from our
Collaborative Enquiry

What is
What was our evidence?
Impact on pupils...
Impact on staff...
Resources for SOLO...
How might SOLO be useful to your learners?
How might it work in your context?
What impact might it have?
How would you know?
Any questions?
What is SOLO?
Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome
means of classifying learning outcomes in terms of their complexity
provides a simple and robust way of describing how learning outcomes grow in complexity from
Biggs & Collis 1982
“I don’t know anything”
“I have an idea about this”
“I know lots about…”
“I know how this links with…”
Extended Abstract
“I think this about…”
I’ve never heard of SOLO.
I’ve heard of SOLO and know it has those strange names.
I know what SOLO is and can describe each of the levels.
I understand the purpose of SOLO and how the levels link with each other.
I can think of ways of applying SOLO in my own practice.
How's your SOLO?
Flavell (1987) proposed that a good school should be 'hotbeds of metacognitive development' because of the opportunities they offer
for self conscious learning
Petros Georghiades (2004)
"Without a framework such as SOLO, teachers could offer little guidance on how they might decide consistently and across a range of activities whether assessment items were appropriate, whether student responses to assessment items were adequate, what skills and understanding students possessed, and where instruction might be directed most profitably in the future."
John Pegg (2010)
Why did we want to use it?
Create structured and clear learning intentions.
Provide opportunity for pupils to see their learning as part of the big picture.
Allow pupils to take ownership of their learning.
Allow pupils to progress at their own pace and help them to see their own progress.
Establish a reflective classroom ethos.
Promote a growth mindset.
Enable efficient differentiation in the classroom.
More self-directed learning
Working at their own pace and level
Knowing what level or stage you are at in your learning
Ability to progress themselves
Thinking in more detail about the structure of a topic and the levels of understanding and what demonstrates that understanding

Big shift from being a teacher to a
facilitator of learning

Blog Posts:
Biggs J. and Collis K. (1982) Evaluating the Quality of Learning: the SOLO Taxonomy. New York Academic Press

Biggs J. and Tang C. (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University Maidenhead: Open University Press

Flavell J. H. (1987) Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition. In F. E. Weinert and R. H. Kluwe (Eds) Metacognition, Motivation and Understanding. Hillsdale NJ

Georghiades P. (2004) From the general to the situated: three decades of metacognition. International Journal of Science Education.

Jackson, D. and Street, H. (2005) What Does ‘Collaborative Enquiry’ Look Like? In: Street, H. & Temperley, J. ed. Improving Schools Through Collaborative Enquiry. London, Continuum, pp.41-70

Pegg J. (2010) Promoting the acquisition of higher order thinking skills and understanding in primary and secondary mathematics. University of New England.
Pupil interviews

Pupil work

Staff reflections
One of the reasons why collaborative enquiry is potentially such a powerful development tool is that it is appropriate to the needs of adult learners. It starts from where the learners are and takes their current situation, needs and concerns as the starting point for any learning. Collaborative enquiry is self-directed – individual staff choose to engage with the process, and it therefore builds on individual staff motivation. It is applied and relevant learning.
Jackson & Street (2005)
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