Caragh O’Brien

Primary Teacher

St. Thomas's Primary

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

The impact of a checklist used to self-assess literacy during online learning


Promoting and appropriately facilitating the learning of each student is the principle aim of every teacher. Assessment exists as a crucial part of this process. It is the role of the teacher to plan coherent and progressive learning programmes and part of this is to implement appropriate assessment strategies to ensure learning is taking place and it is understood. However, assessment means nothing unless the focus is on the learning and places the student at the centre (Hayward, 2012). Proper implementation of assessment can provide educators with a guide and framework to set the learning intentions, track pupil progress, identify gaps and plan next steps in response to the learning needs of the pupils Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & William (2003).

Formative assessment is used to support learning and teaching in the classroom. Black and William (2009) identified five key strategies to better support learning using formative assessment and recognised the importance of involving the pupils in assessing their own learning. ‘If formative assessment is to be productive, pupils should be trained in self-assessment so that they can understand the main purposes of their learning and thereby grasp what they need to do to achieve’ (Black and Williams, 2010). Self-assessment encourages the learner to activate ownership and take responsibility over their learning, which helps to teach the child to self-regulate, self-motivate and develop the tools required to do so.

As a result of remote learning and having to adapt to a new online learning platform, I was interested to see if self-assessment strategies could be used in this new environment and could be utilised successfully. Within the classroom, self-assessment is utilised through various strategies and benefits both learning and understanding of tasks. I was keen to continue this practice within the online learning environment, to ensure pupils would keep developing the skills and increase their confidence to self-assess and become independent learners.


The aims of this enquiry were:

  1. to investigate the effects of using a self-assessment checklist in an online learning environment.
  2. how a self-assessment checklist would impact pupil self-assessment skills and quality of submitted work.
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