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Bridging the Gap ICTPD Cluster Reflection December 2012

Title: Bridging the Gap ICTPD Cluster Reflection December 2012
Year level: Three
Cluster type: Traditional

The Context: The impact of understanding student learning outcomes through SOLO Taxonomy, and the effective integration of e-learning across cluster schools.   

National Goal 3: Teachers to integrate e-learning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students;

Bridging the Gap Goal 3: Implement the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum/Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, through learning programmes that develop; an understanding of student learning outcomes through SOLO Taxonomy, and the effective integration of e-learning.

Success Criteria: Evidence will show that:

Evidence will show that schools have

  • A planned programme of professional learning based around the effective integration of e-learning through planning learning experiences designed with the New Zealand Curriculum/Te Marautanga o Aotearoa Principles, SOLO Taxonomy, and the Key Competencies.
  • Learning programmes and learning environments integrating SOLO Taxonomy, the Key Competencies and e-learning.
  • Coherent planning units integrate SOLO Taxonomy (model of learning outcomes) and incorporate e-learning for teaching and assessment to raise student achievement.
  • Pedagogical approaches and student learning outcomes that show a breadth and depth of SOLO based e-learning approaches and outcomes based on the learning needs, interests and abilities of the students.  

Research model used:
Guskey's Professional Development Assessment Model was used to determine the effects and effectiveness of BTG Cluster’s professional learning. Reflective questions will be asked five increasing levels of sophistication:

  • Participants' reactions to professional development
  • How much participants learn
  • Evaluating organizational support and change
  • How participants use their new knowledge and skills
  • Improvement in student learning

Refer: Thomas R Guskey Evaluating Professional Development 2000 Corwin Press

The Focus: Strengthening student learning outcomes through effective integration of e-learning and SOLO Taxonomy.

What was important for us?
Using SOLO Taxonomy to strengthen teacher planning and purposeful integration of e-learning within the cluster schools.

What did we do?

Refer BTG Cluster PL Programme

The Rationale:
Why was this important?

The myriad different potential uses of computers have led many to wax lyrical about their future. Some claim that computer-aided instruction will revolutionise how we teach and learn, and some say that computers have come and just sit there mostly unused (Cuban 2001).  My own view is that, like many structural innovations in education, computers can increase the probability of learning, but there is no necessary relation between having computers, using computers, and learning outcomes. Hattie 2009 p221

As a consequence - the BTG ICTPD Cluster has used school and teacher professional inquiry into three key questions:

  • What is needed to learn how to "live well" and to learn how to "learn well"?
  • What are the conditions of value in teaching and learning that will support these learning experiences?
  • How might e-learning enhance or betray these conditions of value

Schools, teachers and students use the different levels of SOLO Taxonomy to measure the relationship between using e-learning approaches and “learning well”

What happened as a result?

Implementation of SOLO and e-learning was advocated, facilitated and supported across all levels of cluster schools.

Refer professional learning activity and outcomes over the three years on the BTG ICTPD Cluster Wiki.

Evidence of organisational support and change is seen through the following examples.

Impact on students/teachers/whanau/schools

The impact of the contract on cluster schools is seen in the shift towards teaching and learning for deep understanding.  Students and teachers have moved from a reliance on surface understanding (multistructural tasks and understandings) to cognitively more challenging activities and understandings where learning outcomes show the integration of isolated ideas facts and information through teaching and learning for pattern recognition and organisation (relational understanding) - and from there to elaborative or extension of understanding through learning experiences requiring generalisation or looking at the integrated ideas in a new way (extended abstract understanding)

Lessons start with an assessment of prior learning - this can use the HOT SOLO Define Map and self-assessment rubric or discussion and SOLO hand signs or other assessment. Learning intentions are developed against SOLO outcomes using the process of constructive alignment (See HookED Learning Intention Generator)   Learning experiences aligned to different levels of SOLO are supported with appropriate elearning interventions, target and technical vocabulary and SOLO coded self assessment rubrics for declarative or functioning knowledge. (Refer Hook and Mills 2011 and 2012)

Cluster students know their next learning steps and cluster teachers are evaluators of the effect they have on student outcomes.

Learning outcomes are visible to schools, teachers, students and whanau.

Refer BTG ICTPD Cluster VLN Evidence page


Student voice reflecting on SOLO/e-learning:




What did we learn?

Response from cluster principals.

Response from teachers.

Response from students.

Response from families and whanau.

Response from members of BOT.

What are our next steps?

Our next steps are to continue to support schools, teachers, students and the local community to evaluate the effect of teaching and the integration of elearning interventions on student learning. The experience of cluster schools over the three year contract affirms Hattie's claim (2012 p54) that SOLO is the most powerful model for understanding surface deep and conceptual levels of understanding and integrating them into learning intentions. We intend to continue to support the various use of SOLO differentiated learning intentions and assessments and look for evidence (data with attitude) that can be used to assess the ongoing quality of student learning (surface and deep) in our cluster schools - and to specifically include in this critique - the influence of different elearning interventions on student outcomes.


Biggs, J and Collis, K. (1982). Evaluating the Quality of Learning: The SOLO Taxonomy. New York: Academic Press.

Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: Computerssin the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hook, P. and Mills, J. (2012). SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools. Book 2. Planning for Differentiation. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

Hook, P. and Mills, J. (2011). SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools. Book 1. A common language of learning. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: maximising impact on learning. Routledge - London and New York.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning. A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Routledge -London and New York.