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Assessing complexity in learning outcomes – a comparison between the SOLO taxonomy and the model of hierarchical complexity

Stålne, Kristian LU ; Kjellström, Sofia and Utriainen, Jukka (2016) In Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 41(7). p.1033-1048
Abstract

An important aspect of higher education is to educate students who can manage complex relationships and solve complex problems. Teachers need to be able to evaluate course content with regard to complexity, as well as evaluate students’ ability to assimilate complex content and express it in the form of a learning outcome. One model for evaluating complexity is the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy. The aim of this analysis is to address the limitations of the SOLO taxonomy in detecting the more subtle differences of the learning outcomes and to clarify the concept of learning modes. This is done by analysing the SOLO taxonomy by means of the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC). The two models are compared by... (More)

An important aspect of higher education is to educate students who can manage complex relationships and solve complex problems. Teachers need to be able to evaluate course content with regard to complexity, as well as evaluate students’ ability to assimilate complex content and express it in the form of a learning outcome. One model for evaluating complexity is the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy. The aim of this analysis is to address the limitations of the SOLO taxonomy in detecting the more subtle differences of the learning outcomes and to clarify the concept of learning modes. This is done by analysing the SOLO taxonomy by means of the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC). The two models are compared by examining their respective theoretical background, the definitions and descriptions of the stages of each model, as well as through evaluating examples illustrating the SOLO levels using MHC. The two models can be viewed as compatible, with MHC also being able to put the SOLO taxonomy in an adult development context, thereby emphasising the importance of developing the students’ access to complex thinking.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
complexity, learning outcome, model of hierarchical complexity, neo-Piagetian, SOLO taxonomy
categories
Higher Education
in
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
volume
41
issue
7
pages
16 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84934311637
ISSN
0260-2938
DOI
10.1080/02602938.2015.1047319
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c09f5388-e44b-414f-857b-a2cbf7e62766
date added to LUP
2016-10-14 14:37:18
date last changed
2016-10-14 14:37:18
@misc{c09f5388-e44b-414f-857b-a2cbf7e62766,
  abstract     = {<p>An important aspect of higher education is to educate students who can manage complex relationships and solve complex problems. Teachers need to be able to evaluate course content with regard to complexity, as well as evaluate students’ ability to assimilate complex content and express it in the form of a learning outcome. One model for evaluating complexity is the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy. The aim of this analysis is to address the limitations of the SOLO taxonomy in detecting the more subtle differences of the learning outcomes and to clarify the concept of learning modes. This is done by analysing the SOLO taxonomy by means of the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC). The two models are compared by examining their respective theoretical background, the definitions and descriptions of the stages of each model, as well as through evaluating examples illustrating the SOLO levels using MHC. The two models can be viewed as compatible, with MHC also being able to put the SOLO taxonomy in an adult development context, thereby emphasising the importance of developing the students’ access to complex thinking.</p>},
  author       = {Stålne, Kristian and Kjellström, Sofia and Utriainen, Jukka},
  issn         = {0260-2938},
  keyword      = {complexity,learning outcome,model of hierarchical complexity,neo-Piagetian,SOLO taxonomy},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1033--1048},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9d898a0)},
  series       = {Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education},
  title        = {Assessing complexity in learning outcomes – a comparison between the SOLO taxonomy and the model of hierarchical complexity},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2015.1047319},
  volume       = {41},
  year         = {2016},
}