Alison Barr


Coltness High

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Exit Passes are Used in the Classroom?


Formative Assessment is defined by Cowie and Bell (1999) as ‘the process used by teachers and students to recognise and respond to student learning in order to enhance that learning, during the learning’. The role of the teacher is crucial in this process as they respond, in the moment, to students’ understanding and adapt their teaching to meet the needs of the students (Barton, 2018), and this concept is reinforced by the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s stipulation that it is the responsibility of the teacher to use assessment, recording and reporting as an integral part of the teaching process to support and enhance learning (SfPR 3.3.1).

Thus, Formative Assessment is very much an ongoing process in the classroom and can greatly improve attainment levels especially for students of lower achievement (Black & Wiliam, 1998). The purpose of this research is to explore the implementation of Formative Assessment and Assessment is for Learning techniques in the Mathematics classroom. The most effective lessons conclude with an activity where the pupils take time to reflect on their experience of the lesson and evaluate their learning. Therefore, the purpose of this enquiry is to discover the impact of Exit Passes as a vehicle for self-reflection.

This topic is of particular interest to me because although I have used Exit Passes before, these have mainly been designed to ascertain the pupils’ understanding of the lesson. Asking pupils to reflect on their learning in this manner is, hopefully, more likely to elicit more honest responses than asking them verbally. I was also interested to find out if pupils were more likely to identify which parts of the lesson helped with their understanding and convey to me what might aid their learning in future lessons.


The aims of this enquiry were to discover if the use of Exit Passes encouraged pupils to evaluate their level of understanding, which factors contributed to their learning and what enhanced their understanding of the topic.

Download Practitioner Enquiry