Posts Tagged ‘SOLO’

SOLO Taxonomy and RealSmart

Posted: September 23, 2012 in 5Rs, learning, SOLO
Tags: ,

Following on from the success of SOLO Stations (see blog post here) I wanted to tweak it even further and so decided to link the idea with RealSmart. Now before I go on I must point out that I have no commercial connection or professional bias with or towards RealSmart – the simple fact is, we’ve just bought it at our school and it’s bloody great. Rather than a hardware based VLE it works on a platform that allows students to create collaborative learning portfolios which helps the process of learning through peer, mentor and self assessment. Each item can be created quickly and easily and shared for students and teachers to contribute by leaving feedback and comments. Out of the five tools available on RealSmart I opted to use the rAfL tool, which allowed me and my students to visualise and track their progress of the SOLO Stations.

My Year 7 class were in an ICT suite and all were logged on to RealSmart to view their own personal learning portfolio

Don’t be alarmed – my students have their own picture or chosen avatar on their portfolio – I don’t subject them to see my mush anymore than I have to!

– we have been using since the half term break so the students were pretty comfortable in using it. On their own personal learning portfolio, I shared this with them.

The rAfl overview

The overview gave them guidance on their lesson, it was as follows

Have you seen the film Alien? The tag line for the film is “In space no one can hear you scream”

I want you to use your scientific knowledge and your research skills to explain this.

We will be using SOLO Taxonomy for this to allow you to progress and build up your learning. Start at prestructural and then see if you could get up to Extended Abstract, be resilient! For each stage we have a success criteria to help you understand what you need to do. This is a bit like our SOLO Station lessons but this time you will learn independently using RealSmart.

Below is the SOLO Taxonomy rubric to remind you…

For each stage upload some evidence of your learning this could be something that you type or maybe an image or video to help you explain it. When you have completed each SOLO stage click on the green RealSmart face {#Happy} to show me that you have completed it – if you think you haven’t fully completed it but had a real go then use the orange face {#Unsure}.

Start the task off in today’s lesson and finish off for your home learning task for this week.


Here are some websites that you may want to look at to help you’t_sound_travel_in_a_vacuum

As indicated above each SOLO station had it’s own success criteria – this was displayed on the four circles when the students clicked on each circle.


Success Criteria for Unistructural

I CAN…..

come up with one piece of useful information to help me answer the question


researched on the internet and written one piece of useful information on our rafl


Success Criteria for Multistructural

I CAN…..

come up with several pieces of useful information to help me answer the question


researched on the internet and written some text (maybe a list of key points) to explain the several pieces of useful information that I have learnt


Success Criteria for Relational

I CAN…..

link and connect all the pieces of information that I have found out and learnt about


showed that I now have a deeper understanding of the question by linking together all the stuff that I have learnt

Extended Abstract

Success Criteria for Extended Abstract

I CAN…..

reflect on the information I have found and linked together to answer the question


showed that I have a deep understanding and successfully answered the question – the extended abstract could be completed in a very creative way

The students then worked through the SOLO stations just like they had done in previous weeks, but instead of being in the Science lab physically moving from one station to the next this time they progressed through the stations using RealSmart…….sat down! OK, so far so good, students being resilient and resourceful, learning independently, many collaboratively supporting each other, all students understanding what they had to achieve, how they would achieve it and what they would learn by doing this………..but how could I check the progress. This is where the rAfl comes into it’s own in my opinion. By clicking on the class overview you can get accurate and instant progress check based on how the students are doing. Every time they completed a SOLO station they would self assess their work and award themselves a green RealSmart face icon if they believed they had successfully completed it and an orange one if completed but not entirely happy. As this was instant, the overview which was on the class IWB clearly showed the progress of my students – I took a picture of it here.

10 minutes in on our RealSmart SOLO Station lesson

In fact I was so happy with how it enabled not only me to see where my students were at but also allowed the students to see how they were doing compared to their peers, I sent the picture over to two other RealSmart advocates @JamiePortman and @pauldavidmac straight after the lesson………..I am under no illusion, I AM a learning geek!

The whole class overview – student names removed

This whole class overview then allowed me to select a piece of work during the actual lesson and show it to the students, we discussed and critiqued the piece of work against the success criteria. Pieces of work were compared with each other, work was used to inspire others and feedback was encouraged throughout. Before the next lesson I then added individual feedback to each student on each piece of work – again a really simple task when using RealSmart. The majority of my students completed the Extended Abstract task for their Home Learning – again feedback was given by me to each of these pieces of work and in many instances students then commented on the feedback and improved their work.

A great tool for making the progress of learning explicit and visible to all.