Gemma Kane


Chryston High

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when learner diaries are introduced in the classroom?


This enquiry seeks to investigate what impact, if any, reflection learner diaries have within the classroom. Learner diaries are a form of formative assessment, as students reflect on and assess their progress each level. Self-assessments are essential to learning as pupils can only achieve a learning goal if they themselves understand that goal and can assess what they need to do in order to achieve this target (Sadler, 1989).

I made the decision to investigate the impact of learner diaries on student learning as I had the desire to encourage independent working amongst pupils. Poehner (2012) states that a way in which pupils can improve their independence is through self-assessment. The purposes of self-assessment are to identify areas of strength and weakness in one’s work in order to make improvements and promote autonomous learning.

Our group chose to research this area as it fits in well with the information and guidance given in the Curriculum for Excellence: A Framework for Assessment. This framework discusses the need for sophisticated and varied forms of assessment to ensure learner engagement and that pupils are active in their own development. Additionally, according to the Assessment is For Learning document, children’s best learning can occur when they are actively involved in choosing their own next steps. (Scottish Government, 2005).

Zimmerman and Schunk (2004) believe that the primary purpose of engaging students in careful self-assessment are to boost learning and achievement, and to promote academic self- regulation, or the tendency to monitory and manage one’s own learning.


The aims of this enquiry were:

  1. To explore if introducing learner diaries to each student would be effective in improving independence through self-assessing strengths and areas of improvement in their work and learning.
  2. To investigate if introducing learner diaries could assist students in meeting success criteria more effectively.
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