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Quality Questioning Using the SOLO Taxonomy An online workshop. Adapted from a presentation by the Uniservices asTTle team. Who will find this workshop useful?. Teachers Syndicates / departments AtoL facilitators. How to use this workshop:.
Adapted from a presentation by the Uniservices asTTle team
How to use this workshop:
Link:If you are interested in classroom questioning and learning conversations you may also wish to go to: (link to TKI workshop at http://www.tki.org.nz/r/assessment/atol_online/ppt/teacher_student_conversations_28.5.ppt)
When asTTle items were being designed the developers needed to ensure that test questions had differing levels of cognitive demand that required students to think deeply as well as at a surface level.
Why was this an issue?
As we know, not all thinking or knowing is the same.
Yet 80% or more of all questions teachers ask (spoken or written) can be answered with lower-order thinking skills:
If we can develop students’ higher-order thinking skills this will enhance their metacognitive abilities and hence their learning.
set of broad cognitive categories (a taxonomy) that would describe thinking processes in a scale of increasing difficulty or complexity.
SOLO is such a taxonomy
You may also be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Outcomes. This is referred to in another TKI assessment workshop and can be accessed at http://www.tki.org.nz/r/assessment/atol_online/ppt/teacher_student_conversations_28.5.ppt
SOLO stands for the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. It was developed by Biggs and Collis (1982). Biggs describes SOLO as “a framework for understanding”. (1999, p.37)
SOLO identifies five stages of understanding. Each stage embraces the previous level but adds something more.
The following slides identify and describe the five levels or stages and provide examples of each.
Unistructural and multistructural questions test students’ surface thinking (lower-order thinking skills)
Relational and extended abstract questions test deep thinking (higher-order thinking skills)
Use of SOLO allows us to balance the cognitive demand of the questions we ask and to scaffold students into deeper thinking and metacognition
In the diagram below the symbols shown represent:
Irrelevant or not given information is shown as – X
Given facts, ideas, information are shown by –black dots
The student answering the question is represented by the triangle
The response or given answer to the question is shown by the –R
Relevant information that is not given in the question is shown by –O
This key is used to explain each stage on the following slides
To answer the question students need the knowledge or use of only one piece of given information, fact, or idea, that they can get directly from the problem.
Students need to know or use more than one piece of given information, fact, or idea, to answer the question, but do not integrate the ideas.
This is fundamentally an unsorted, unorganised list.
Note that a student may choose to answer this by measuring one side of the arrow and multiplying by 2 which shows relational thinking.
However the question does not require them to do this so we cannot expect them to use this strategy.
and discuss these with a colleague.
These questions require students to integrate more than one piece of given knowledge, information, fact, or idea.
At least two separate ideas are required that, working together, will solve the problem.
At the school swimming sports four children completed in the fifty metres freestyle heat.
Joe came first with a time of 40.395 seconds.
Mary came second, Sam came third and David came fourth.
In the next heat, Jan finished with a time of a second slower than Joe.
What was her time? ____________
Note: this is a relational question because students have to integrate and apply a range of information. They also need to realise that going slower means adding time.
These questions involve a higher level of abstraction. The items require the student to go beyond the given information, knowledge, information, or ideas and to deduce a more general rule or proof that applies to all cases.
An answer requires the explicit expression of understanding of a general principle that applies beyond the specifics of this particular situation. Students need to ‘go beyond the given’.
Discuss examples of questions that are:
Take a unistructural question
Put the list of things into the question
Ask what class of event, personality, situation, rule, etc. applies?
Response versus requirement
Deep thinking and difficulty
Deep thinking and learning
Q What is a tappet? (unistructural and technically hard)
A A cylindrical component that transmits motion from the cam to the valve stem. (relational and technically hard)
Q What is most important in a car: grunt, looks, safety, or economy? And why? (extended abstract but easy)
A Grunt and looks (multistructural but easy)