Fiona Williamson

Home Economics

Chryston High

  • Assessment For Learning

What Happens When Pupils Set Their Own Targets in the Classroom?


It is evident in Curriculum for Excellence that self-assessment is a vital part of learning and teaching (The Scottish Government, 2011). Black and Wiliam (1998) argue that formative assessment is at the heart of effective teaching and by using this method it can help pupils to increase their motivation level and increase their work ethic. Exit passes are utilised as a formative assessment tool by many teachers because it can be easily incorporated into the end of the lesson. A benefit to using this as a tool is that pupils can write their feedback anonymously and are therefore more likely to provide honest feedback (Black and Wiliam, 1998). It was decided that use of exit passes would be a suitable method of formative assessment to use within the scope of this research. This would highlight if pupils had achieved the target they set for the lesson.

This practitioner enquiry was carried out as a small-scale study within the classroom. It was identified that there was a requirement for pupils in a North Lanarkshire secondary school to take more responsibility for their learning. This study was in place to identify what impact target setting would have on pupil motivation and learning. This was achieved through a self- assessment technique in the form of exit passes. Pupils were asked to set a target for the lesson and then write down on a Post-It note exit pass the outcome of their lesson.


The aim of this enquiry was to assess what impact, if any, would occur when pupils set their own targets in lessons. From pupils setting their own targets it was hoped that pupils would increase their motivation and pace of work in the lesson.

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