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Assessment using SOLO Taxonomy

Using the SOLO Taxonomy (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) to assess student achievement provides a clear pathway of understanding – from surface, through to deep and conceptual levels. The Sorrento Primary School We Love Pi mathematics extension group are provided with problems which develop their ability to think about the strengths and weaknesses of their own thinking – to “learn to learn” (Hook, P).

An overview of a typical SOLO rubric is provided below. Progression points for each 3-Act-Maths task are developed with reference to what learning might look like at each level of understanding, and the types of action verbs that might be appropriate when describing the depth of understanding that is taking place.

Prestructural

Unistructural

Multistructural

Relational

Extended Abstract

At this level, the student does not have any kind of understanding, but uses irrelevant information and/or misses the point altogether. At this level, the student can deal with one single aspect and make obvious connections. At this level, the student can deal with several aspects but these are considered independently and not in connection. At this level, the student may understand relations between several aspects and how they might fit together to form a whole. At this level, the student may generalise structure beyond what was given, may perceive structure from many different perspectives, and transfer ideas to new areas.
Scattered pieces of information may have been acquired, but they are unorganised, unstructured and essentially void of actual content or relation to a topic or problem. The student can use terminology, recite (remember things), perform simple instructions/algorithms, paraphrase, identify, name, count, etc. The student is able to enumerate, describe, classify, combine, apply methods, structure, execute procedures etc. The student may thus have the competence to compare, relate, analyse, apply theory, explain in terms of cause and effect, etc. The student may have the competence to generalise, hypothesise, criticise, theorise, etc.
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