Why SOLO Taxonomy? - to encourage students to think more critically. To deepen their learning in order for them to AIM HIGH and reach their potential.

SOLO Taxonomy (structure of observed learning outcomes) provides a simple, reliable and robust model for three levels of understanding – surface, deep and conceptual (Biggs and Collis 1982).

Pam Hook has developed a classroom based approach to the use of SOLO to make learning visible to students and to support them to deepen their learning. The power of SOLO is that it clearly identifies to the student, w​​​​​​​here they are at and what they need to do to show a deeper level of understanding. The focus is on the complexity of the structure of the students response, rather than labelling the student.

Understanding SOLO Levels

When students' learning is aligned to the SOLO levels, it will be at one of the 5 levels. 

PRESTRUCTURAL - The learning outcome does not answer the task. The student has missed the understanding of the learning or skill that was being taught.

Declarative Verbs at each SOLO level

UNISTRUCTURAL - The student has one relevant idea or can do the skill if helped.

Define,  Identify,  List,  Label,   Find

MULTISTRUCTURAL -  The student has several relevant ideas or if a new skill is being acquired the student can do the skill but makes mistakes and is not yet consistent.


Describe,   Find,   Match, List

RELATIONAL - The student has connected the relevant ideas, or if the new skill acquired is done consistently and with the knowledge of when and why to use the skill.

Explain,  Compare,   Sequence,  Classify,  Link,  Integrate,  Analyse,  Relate,   Perform

EXTENDED ABSTRACT - The learning outcome extends the connected ideas, looking at the ideas in a new way. If a skill has been aquired the student can do the skill in a new or imroved way and/or teach tohers how to do it.

Evaluate,  Generalise,  Predict,  show insight,   Create,  Justify,   Reflect,   Prove,   Show mastery