Assessment is a huge and powerful component of learning and teaching. The principles of Assessment is for Learning (AifL) are woven throughout Scottish educational policy. “Assessment is for Learning supports the purposes of A Curriculum for Excellence and is developing teachers’ skills and understanding about using assessment to support learning” (Scottish Government, 2006: p17). Black et al (2003) state that the four main areas of assessment for learning are questioning, feedback, sharing criteria and self-assessment. Feedback is hugely important and of great benefit to learning if it is done correctly. The use of assessment information therefore should not simply be an afterthought. “Day-to-day assessment is an essential aspect of effective teaching. It involves the teacher or practitioner focusing on how learning is progressing during the lesson, determining where improvements can be made and identifying the next steps” (DfES, 2004: p42). Most marking of pupil’s work is carried out after lessons are completed, so they are not always able to recall the content later when they can read the written comments. Also, they may not have the opportunity to use the feedback in a meaningful way or understand the relevance of feedback given. In ‘Excellence and Enjoyment’ (2004) the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) found that for feedback to be effective it must be specific, timely and clear. Children should be given time to read the comments and make improvements to their work. There is much evidence to support a move towards “a more ‘integrated’ approach that utilises assessment as the learning is happening, whilst the child still has the opportunity to redirect or develop the initial quality of the piece of work” (MAP, 2016: online).
The aim of this enquiry is to determine if giving live feedback during daily writing lessons in a primary classroom has an impact on teaching and learning and whether children are able to improve their work as a result.