SOLO Taxonomy

                        SOLO Taxonomy


SOLO Taxonomy

This describes the importance of assessment as a tool for developing an effective learning environment in the school. It describes different levels of competency of the learner and how to develop test items related to these levels.

       Learning Outcomes of the Session

·        To share the concept of SOLO taxonomy with participants
·         To help them understand the competency levels as given by SOLO
·         To enable them to identify the level of SOLO for each test item
·         To practice the development of test items for different competency levels of SOLO for a single concept of different subjects

SOLO Taxonomy

SOLO stands for:

Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes   There are five ‘level’ at which we can classify a student response to an examination question
·         Pre – structural
·         Uni- structural
·         Multi-structural
·         Relational
·         Extended abstract

Understanding The Level Of Questions and Level of Responses

Pre-structural Level


·         Pre-structural is that in which students respond to a question in a meaningless way or irrelevantly.  Some time the children are incapable of responding or do not wish to respond as required from them


·         Here is an example of pre-structural level in which the student response is a repetition of the question. This indicates the most undeveloped or basic level of learning response.
              Question:          What is your name?
               Answer: What is your name?


·         This set of responses uses only one relevant element of data from the stimulus item.
·         A feature of responses at this level is the desire to close quickly and to ignore variation that may result from the response.

Example of Uni – structural Questions

                       Some examples of questions that will only allow a Uni-structural answer
                       1 the symbol of 50 in Roman Numerial is  (a) V   (b)  x     (c) L  (d)  C
                      2. Circle the right answers. Children hear by (a) teeth (b) Lips    (c) Ears    (d) Eyes
                      3. For a balanced economy, how much part of the area of a country should be under forests.
                     4. Write an essay on: “What I did on the week end”

 Uni-structural answer

                  On the week end I went to grandma’s house
                  5. Expression 130-20*3 is equal to   (a)    70   (b)   110    (c)   330     (d)  60
                 6. Circle the group of words, which are nouns.
                       (a)    That, This, My, His
                      (b) Tree, Plates, Those,  Aress
                      ©    Apple, Lion, Umbrella, Monkey
                     (d)     Birds, These,  Coats, Those


·         The learner at this level can use multiple data elements, but the elements are not integrated.
·         Hence the response can consist of a number of discrete closur.
·         Typical of these responses would be the following of strict algorithmic procedures that involve a number of steps. However, if a single step was forgotten, or an error made, the respondent would be unable to reconstruct the algorithm.
·         This lack of an overview of the data elents and their relationships makes the response patterns unstable and thus considerable variability may be expected from children responding at this level.

Example of Multi-Structural Questions

1.       Circle the group of all rhyming words
(a)   Pair, Park, Peak, Pot
(b)   Dog, Duck, Dear, Desk
(c)    Cup, Put, Hut, Nut
(d)   Buy, Cry, Sky, Fly
2.       Circle the correct answer.
(a)   Islam Abad is the capital of Pakistan
(b)   Islam Abad is the capital of   pakistan
(c)    Islam Abad is the capital of  pakistan
(d)   Islam Abad is the capital of Pakistan
3.       Which provincial areas of our country are devoid of forests?
4.       “what I did on the weekend” question

Multi- Structural answer

I went to grandma’s house and I watched football and played with my friends and I had ice-cream on Sunday and I helped with the harvest.
5.       Solution of expression   10-(-2-1) is (a)   4   (b)    6    (c)    8     (d) 10
6.       A person went to market he purchased 3 apples at the rate of 5 rupees per apple. After purchase he has 2 rupees in his pocket. Find the amount with which he went to market?
(a)   15 rupees          (b)       17 rupees   (c) 30 rupees (d) 13 rupees


·         A relational response reflects the ability to integrate the elements and operations of the question in way that enables an overview of the stimulus items
·         Children using an algorithm at this level would be able to check for errors and inconsistencies, and would be able to reconstruct missing elements of the algorithm.
·         Features of responses at this level include the ability to reverse operations.
·         Often an indication of cause and effect in the answer is an indication of relational level thinking.

Example of Relational Questions

1.       Area of shaded region in


(a)    9    (b)   24     (c)     27          (d) 45
2.       If the area of rectangular regions is 48 cm2 and its length is 1cm then its width would be?
3.       How did the forests improve the environment and help in socio-economic development of a country?
4.       What is acid rain? What its effects on animals and plants. Why should alternative sources of energy be used instead of oil and coal to reduce pollution?
5.       “What I did on the weekend” (question).

Relational answer

·         We were going to the beach but it started to rain so we decided to go to grandma’s house. We were lucky that we decided not to go to the beach because the road flooded during the storm and we would not have been able to get home until the next day.
·         Sometimes we cannot determine if a student is operating Multi-structurally or relationally just from their answer. We need to know how they found their answer.
·         Consider    156+93+44
·         Is there a difference between?
(156+93) then adding 44 and  (156+44) then adding 93


1 thought on “SOLO Taxonomy”

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