Co-constructing Assessment rubrics with students.

Team effort

An ePortfolio is a place for co-constructing learning with our students and providing opportunities for self directed learning. Students then demonstrate their understanding by providing examples of their learning against the agreed criteria.

SOLO stages described by students

Language of learning

You know a student understands a concept when they can demonstrate or verbalise their understanding. Having a common learning language in a school or classroom helps everyone understand where they are at and the next steps in their learning.

Taking responsibility for learning (Senior HS)

Understanding the learning

This student speaks very well about how SOLO helped him to understand the types of questions being asked of him in NCEA. BY understanding the learning he is positioned better to achieve.

Overview: Why use SOLO taxonomy?

Because the ownership of  MyPortfolio belongs to the student it is the perfect vehicle for encouraging the principles of Learning to Learn. An ePortfolio should consist of more than snapshots of learning through time but be a place where a student can clarify their learning, co-construct learning with their teachers support, reflect on their learning and scaffold their learning towards higher achievement in the future.

This page aims to find a few examples of SOLO integration to allow teachers to see the context of its' use within the classroom setting. It is hoped that teachers will begin to share templates and examples of SOLO use within MYPortfolio.

The following is taken straight from the Hooked on Think website. It introduces Pam Hooks and Julie Mills vision statement for SOLO taxonomy in the NZ curriculum context.  


The foundation of our work in schools is The New Zealand Curriculum Principle "Learning to Learn".

We use SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis 1982) as a model of learning.

"Learning how to learn" requires the learner to think about the strengths and weaknesses of their own learning.
The learner needs to make thoughtful decisions on what to do next.

For the "learner" to be thoughtfully involved in "learning how to learn" there must be more than "institutional provision and procedure".
Students need to be involved in the planning, delivery and assessment of their own learning before we can claim personalisation.

Students of all ages need to be able to answer the following questions with respect to their learning goals.

  • What am I doing?
  • How am I going?
  • What should I do next?

Learning goals can be task related, process related, self regulating or self evaluation goals.

We believe that "learning how to learn" requires a common, school wide approach to making learning processes and learning outcomes visible to students.

Using SOLO Taxonomy as a model of learning along with HOT Visual Mapping and self-assessment rubrics makes implementing and sustaining "learning to learn" a straightforward process of whole school change .

VIEW HOT Talks and hear what New Zealand teachers think about using SOLO Taxonomy to improve teaching and learning and help students learn to learn.

READ the HOT Online Book to find out how to use SOLO Taxonomy to improve teaching and learning in your school.

Y 7/8 template: Teacher makes copiable for students

Students using this example rubric would identify where they are in their learning at an early stage. As they progress through activities they can collect samples / evidence of each SOLO stage. The teacher can discuss those examples, negotiate further learning or revision. The language used in this rubric would have meaning to the student and there would be classroom examples available to compare and clarify understanding.

SOLO taxonomy Assessment Sheet: The PLANET EARTH and BEYOND


What can I do and what do I need to do to improve my learning outcomes?

Evidence listed and sited by teacher.



Putting linked ideas in another context (Predict/ Hypothesise/ Generalise/Imagine/ Reflect/ Evaluate/ Create)




I can show my understanding of space by

Linking ideas: (Sequence/ Classify/ Compare-Contrast/ Cause Effect/ Analysis Part whole/Explain/Analogy/Question)




I know several facts about space and have been able to share these with my group when creating a KWL.

Bringing in ideas: (Identify/ Label/ List/Define/ Describe/ Retell/ Recall/ Recite)        



I am able to give one fact about space. I need some assistance to further my knowledge.




I have no knowledge of this topic and cannot answer simple questions about space. I have shown a total lack of interest and lack all motivation. I need help.