Daniel Lafferty


Airdrie Academy

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens in the Classroom When Traffic Lights are Used as a Self-Assessment Tool?


By having a particular interest in using the traffic lights system as a plenary during lessons, it was decided that implementing the use of post-it notes questions into the traffic lights system to reflect on each lesson and identify if pupils are confident and ready to progress. Dylan Wiliam (1998) argues that “pupils are generally honest and reliable in assessing both themselves and one another; they can even be too hard on themselves”. This interesting quote led to the decision of investigating if pupils pick a question that is appropriate to their working level. There was also a focus on checking whether the pupils were actually able to answer the question, based on the colour and difficultly that they chose.


To investigate what happens in the classroom when traffic lights are used as a self-assessment tool. I will investigate what effect using the post-it notes in cooperation with the traffic light systems have on the pupils’ decisions and their overall reaction to it.

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