What Happens When Peer Learner Conversations are Introduced as a Method of Peer Assessment in the Classroom?
The topic of formative assessment is widely researched as many view it as a key indicator in improving teaching and learning due to its positive impact on pupils learning and attainment (Scottish Government, 2005). One of the key successes reported is children being learning resources for one another i.e. Peer-assessment (Black & William, 1998b; Leahy, Lyon, Thompson & William, 2005). Leahy et al. (2005) views children to be better ‘spotters’ of mistakes in work of their peers, rather than that of their own. The document further explains the benefits, not only to the ‘spotters’ but to those who receive the feedback of recognising any gaps that exist in their learning. Boon (2015) suggested that for peer-assessment to be effective, children must acquire the relevant skills and understanding of how to assess. For my research I decided on daily writing tasks to be the main focus for my peer learner conversations. I decided to choose this area to research as I believe my pupils lack the confidence when providing or receiving feedback from their peers, resulting in a lack of relatable feedback. I feel that my pupils struggle to relate their feedback to the learning intention or success criteria, often commenting on aspects not relatable to the task. I also believe that my pupils will benefit from the more informal conversation about their learning rather than being pressured to write it down. This research should hopefully develop pupil’s confidence in giving and receiving constructive feedback, encourage them to complete their daily writing tasks to a high standard and be able to identify next steps in their learning in order to reach their full potential.
The aim of the enquiry was to investigate if peer learner conversations would help improve the quality of feedback provided during daily writing tasks.