University of Tasmania
whole_LeeHelenOriel1991.pdf (20.06 MB)

Listening to music : the development of a technique to evaluate the quality of responses to music using the SOLO taxonomy

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:44 authored by Lee, HO
Music Education throughout the world recognises three main areas of activity : Listening, Performance and Composition, and requires that they all be evaluated effectively. This study, which began as an attempt to devise an effective evaluation tool for moderating standards in the Listening area between schools, has developed an evaluation technique for assessing written responses to music which can be used for any type of music in any classroom situation. It does not separate music listening experiences into separate elements but deals with the total gestalt of the listening to music experience. The test used in developing the technique consisted of three extracts from music written for orchestral instruments which were played three times to students (Grades 7-10, aged 12-16) An open ended question was set to which students gave a written response in their own words. Responses were analysed for the musical elements mentioned and levels of thought were revealed using the SOLO Taxonomy. The SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs and Collis 1982) provides a mechanism to evaluate the quality of learning by examination of the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO). Student responses to classroom tasks are classified into five levels of increasing complexity of thought : Prestructural, Unistructural, Multistructural, Relational and Extended Abstract. The most complex level, Extended Abstract, is a recognition of new, flexible, original thinking. Each of the levels reveals a new stage in comprehension of the implications of the task and of thinking about it, and they can be applied to almost any topic. In order to stimulate the higher levels, Relational and Extended Abstract, problems must be devised which do not have instant one word solutions, but which require the activation of deeper thought processes through recall of previous knowledge, comparison, discrimination, recognition, clarification, classification, review and restructuring of knowledge. Trials of the test materials were made in a one year Pilot Study, and 328 students in two Tasmanian High Schools tested in the three year Main Study produced 1260 individual responses. Some students were tested twice, and after SOLO-based tuition, a small group was tested for a third time. The influence of Written Fluency, Music Listening Ability, Performance ability and Motivation upon responses was examined. Comparisons were made with response assessments by nine experienced Music teachers, who also classified responses into SOLO levels.


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Copyright 1991 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Ed.)--University of Tasmania, 1991. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 199-212)

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