Assessing for deeper understanding in tertiary examinations in physical education using a SOLO taxonomy

D. Baxter, D. Dudley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


This paper describes a project at the Australian College of Physical Education which takes up Boulton-Lewis’ challenge to tertiary educators to implement the SOLO Taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) (Biggs and Collis, 1982) in order to ‘challenge students to engage in deep learning and to organise and present their knowledge in their own way to demonstrate understanding’ (in Dart & Boulton- Lewis (eds), 1998, p 217) in assessing a specific aspect of Physical Education pedagogy, namely the theory and application of teaching games. A set of examination questions structured to reflect SOLO levels were devised to test relational, higher-order understanding of two approaches to teaching games, Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and Sport Education (SE), the implications of each approach in terms of actual practice and the relationship between these two approaches. Student results indicated that the majority had engaged with both approaches but the SOLO levels described effectively the different levels of understanding and provided an effective discriminating framework for the allocation of grades. This project supports Boulton-Lewis’ contention that SOLO provides an ideal tool for assessing deep learning in the area of Physical Education and provides important feedback and understandingconcerning the future teaching and learning of related content at a tertiary level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalImagination, inspiration, innovation : Australian College of Educators National Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian College of Educators National Conference - Hobart
Duration: 13 Apr 200815 Apr 2008


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