Bloom Vs SOLO

So after reading over Bloom’s revised taxonomy it made me reflect on a previous workshop that I have attended, Visible learning by John Hattie.  Within this work shop we looked at using the SOLO taxonomy (Structured Overview of Learning Outcomes) and how it compares with Bloom.
Rather than looking at a process that can used as a way to assess students, we must look at levels and depth of understanding that students have.  I seems rather neat to take Bloom’s taxonomy, modify it and look at it as a ‘one size fits all’, where assessments are created and they are then shoe horned into Bloom’sTaxonomy.  I would suggest that one size does not fit all and on the contrary one size fits might some.


Perhaps I am jaded from experience and SOLO is new and shiny…  However, I do like an approach that looks at levels of understanding and can be used to measure or gauge those levels of understanding:


Unstructured, where one idea has been identified or named
Multi structural, where many ideas have been defineddescribed or listed
Relational, where related ideas are analyzedappliedcause and effect has been explained and ideas have been justified
Extended abstract, where ideas have been extended, and learners are beginning to create their own ideas, hypothesize and generalize


Further to this, it is fair to say that with both taxonomies there are common factors.  Higher order thinking skills are identified in Bloom’s Taxonomy and within the SOLO taxonomy these are termed conceptual. Bloom’s lower order thinking skills are termed surface deep within the SOLO taxonomy.
It also has to be understood that neither of these taxonomies can work in isolation and that there is a great need for teachers to collaborated when assessing learning, not only between year levels but across all year levels from K to 12.  This kind of collaboration will only further strengthen any taxonomy used but it will give us a common idea of progress.

2 thoughts on “Bloom Vs SOLO

  1. This makes me want to learn more about SOLO. I appreciate different models that help me think about what I am doing in the classroom. Solo sounds more well rounded (holistic?) than Bloom’s Taxonomy as it incorporates the relational and emotional aspects of learning. I like the way SOLO seems to frame learning and thinking and as you say focus more on the depth of understanding. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I really like your thoughts on “One size does not fit all”. You are so correct, what works for one student does not necessarily for for another student, or even that same student on a different day. How can we expect that all of our students come to us with the same previous knowledge?
    SOLO sounds like a great approach to learning. How did you discover it? Was or is it something at your school?
    Sylvia you are so correct that there needs to be collaboration between not only the grade levels, but across the school. The vertical alignment allows for scaffolding, and bot reteaching of the same information from year to year. YES!!

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