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Their SOLO taxonomy (in which SOLO is an acronym for the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) is an attempt at empirical classification of levels of outcome in a form which has wide applicability. They assume that such levels have a general reality, irrespective of content and question form, and describe five categories as follows, with increasing levels of sophistication. Pre-structuraL In relationship to the prerequisites given in the question, the answers are denying, tautological, and transductive.

The answers reveal generalizations only in terms of a few limited and independent aspects. Characterized by induction, and generalizations within a given or experienced context using related aspects. Generalizations to situations not experienced or given in the prerequisites of a question. Biggs and Collis provide several examples from different school subjects showing how the SOLO taxonomy may be applied in analyses of learning outcomes. One of these examples is an analysis of the answers given to a question which asked why the side of a mountain that faces the coast is OUTCOMES OF LEARNING 29 usually wetter than the side facing the interior.

The following responses illustrate the five categories described above. Because the sea breezes hit the coastal side first. By the time the winds cross the mountain they are dry. This is likely to be true only if the prevailing winds are from the sea. When this is so, the water vapour evaporated from the sea is carried to the mountain slopes, where it rises and cools. Cooling causes the water vapour to condense and deposit. Not only is the wind now dryer, it is then carried up the mountain further, is compressed, now warm, and thus is relatively less saturated than before: the effect is similar to the warm climates experienced on the Eastern slopes of the Rockies in Canada in winter. However, all this makes assumptions about the prevailing wind and temperature conditions: if these were altered, then the energy exchanges would differ, resulting in quite a different outcome. The fourth response gives an interconnected and logical explanation, but as the fifth response makes clear, it could be an incorrect overgeneralization. However, the great strength of such a taxonomy — its generality of application — is also its weakness. Differences in outcome which are bound up with the specific content of a particular learning task may remain unaccounted for. Dahlgren and Pramling, 1982) structural differences in outcome similar to those represented in the SOLO taxonomy can be observed, and yet differences dependent on the specific THE EXPERIENCE OF essay writing service scams LEARNING content are repeatedly found.

Thus although structural similarities may be useful up to a point, they are likely to be more informative in their instructional implications, if they are combined with content-specific characteristics. Outcomes as Conceptions The content-specific analysis of outcome is important in another fundamental aspect. In some analyses, the categories of outcome arrived at can be considered as representing qualitatively distinct conceptions of a phenomenon.

In other words, each constitutes a particular way of viewing and thinking about an aspect of the surrounding world.

This is best illustrated by a study (Dahlgren, 1978) which ranged beyond the confines of a text-based learning experience. In this study, university students of economics were asked the apparently simple question: Why does a bun cost about one (Swedish) crown? The price is dependent on the relationship between the supply of and demand for buns. Answers in category A represent a conception of price essay writing service scams as system- dependent, in that the price of a commodity is unknown until it is subject to a bargaining situation between producers and consumers in the market.

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In the long run the price is determined at the point where customers and producers agree that goods or services will be bought and sold. The category B answers on the other hand reveal a more object- oriented conception of price, for these answers state that the price depicts the production costs and reasonable profits essay writing service scams on the various constituents, whether they be products or services. In a sense this also means that B-answers give expression to a product-oriented conception of price. The B conception is one which is commonly found in everyday situations. It is often used, for example, by salesmen of luxury goods like oriental rugs or paintings. To sum up, these two categories of outcome are not just variations in what has been learned from textbooks, but represent two distinct and OUTCOMES OF LEARNING 31 contrasting conceptions of a real-life phenomenon.

The earlier examples can be viewed in the same way. In the case of the article by Dahllof, for example, the variations in outcomes constitute different conceptions of Dahllof s analysis of the shortcomings of an impending reform measure. What distinguishes the example on the price of a bun, from the preceding example, however, is that the phenomenon concerned occupies a relatively wider and more prominent position in everyday life — and thus more obviously draws on our experience and understanding of the surrounding world that is not confined to a particular text or set of learning materials. But in each case, the outcome does not amount to the retention or non-retention of a disembodied fact which has no meaning beyond itself. Instead, the phenomenon is invested with a specific meaning that both reflects and colours how the phenomenon is thought about. From this same perspective, we can go further and define learning itself as a change in conception. In other words, when learning has occurred, there is a shift from one conception to another which is qualitatively distinct. Thus a student who had held conception B prior to an economics course and who is subsequently shown to display conception A has achieved more than the acquisition of an understanding of the laws of supply and demand. For the student, the phenomenon of price is now looked at in a fundamentally essays on the movie the help new way. Thus learning, within this perspective, is not a discrete and self-contained entity but one which has the potential of enabling individuals to consider afresh some part or aspect of the world around them. The Effects of Education on Conceptions But to what extent do learning experiences in formal education result in changes in conception? In reviewing the findings of the study of the introductory economics course (Dahlgren, 1978), we had concluded on a far from optimistic note.

Clearly, if these particular findings were representative of the effects of education in general, a reappraisal of the form and content of curricula seemed to be called for (Dahlgren, 1978, p. And, indeed, similar findings were obtained in an investigation involving mechanical engineering students by Johansson et al.

By choosing the seemingly trivial but very fundamental physical concept of force, they demonstrated that although it was taken for granted that the students held the Newtonian conception of force (i.

One of the questions put to the students was: A car is driven along a motorway in a straight line at a high constant speed. A body in this kind of motion was apprehended either as A.

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