Sunday, November 29, 2015

Using SOLO Taxonomy to help to structure Design Development

When doing design work with students, I find the most difficult thing to get over to them is the design development stage. They all want to do one design idea and rush on to the final thing. They have trouble understanding the point of doing more design work and working through a process.

To help with this, I have started looking at how I can use SOLO to structure the process of design development.
Earlier this year, I made this questions sheet to refer to when helping students analyse their research work. I thought that this could also be the starting point to make the steps through design development.

Here is my first thoughts on how this could be put together :-

Unistructural - they identify the main features of existing products that are similar to what they are thinking about designing.
Multistructural - they combine elements of what they have researched and list / label / describe the main design elements they have included.
Relational - analyse what they have drawn already in terms of shape and add design elements. These decisions are analysed and explained.
Extended abstract - further development drawing fulling successful elements together. Analysis explaining next steps.

Here is the support work I put together for this and I have tried it out on my Year 10 group.

Here is a copy of work produced by a Year 10 student based on this structure.
I realise that he used my example as a direct template but if it gives a starting point to build on then that is good.
Next steps ...
I need to get students to be more comfortable with trying things out, experimenting and failing. This now needs building into the steps so it is clear that this is part of the whole process and can add positive results. Students are still scared of failing and still try to hide the work they see as "wrong". 
Design is a process of trial, error, try again.
I am really liking how SOLO is helping me build something that will support the students not only in the process they must work through, but in giving them access to the higher levels of achievement in Design and Visual Communication.
Definitely a work in progress......


  1. I'm googling SOLO taxonomy for students to develop sentence starters relating to further design development and came across this gem of yours. Awesome!