Fiona Caulfield


Greenfaulds High

  • Assessment For Learning

What is the Effect of Introducing Checklists for Self-Assessment?


It is important for learners to be able to self-evaluate and monitor their own progress. Self- evaluation is becoming an ever more popular strategy and form of assessment within the Scottish educational system. The Cox Report (1989) states that learning should, ‘enable pupils to exercise more conscious and critical control over the writing processes. Self- evaluation is a highly sought-after skill as it demonstrates a level of higher order thinking and allows learners to take responsibility for their own learning, as oppose to becoming passive victims of circumstance. This coincides with the Scottish Government Educational Framework, which intends to ensure pupils develop “skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work” (Scottish Government 2009, p.8).

Knowing what is expected from writing is vital when learning to write, at any level, as underpinned by Moss (2009) who emphasises the importance of, ‘models for writing.’ The Scottish Qualifications Authority stipulates that National 5 English courses ‘provide learners with the opportunity to analyse and evaluate texts in the contexts of literature, language and media, to develop an understanding of the complexities of language, and to develop analytical thinking and understanding of the impact of language’ (SQA, 2019). This, in turn, requires pupils to understand the parameters in which they must abide so to exhibit their understanding of texts and contexts of literature and language. Understanding and working with models also allows pupils’ a secure basis when displaying their analytical thinking.

The critical essay component in English commonly accounts for the most loss of marks under examined conditions (SQA Course Report, 2018). Understanding what is desired from this commonly misunderstood area is vital for fulfilling learner’s potentials and success. By clearing away common misunderstandings pupils are given a fairer chance of attaining. By allowing pupils to experience first-hand, the marking process, the stipulation and expectations become ingrained in their mind as a form of learned behaviour (Pavlov, 1960). It therefore seemed appropriate to investigate what effects introducing an objective viewing of criteria on meeting the specification for national certificate standards.


To evaluate the impact of setting an objective observation of the Nationalised standards in order to:

  • The aim of this enquiry is to develop a checklist which can be used by children to support them in effective self and peer assessment with regards to National 5 critical essay component.
  • The aim of this enquiry is to develop a deeper understanding of certification standards that will manifest itself in attainment of literacy tasks.
Download Practitioner Enquiry