Exit passes are a type of formative assessment which can be used to assess pupil understanding. Typically, these take the form of some brief questions and can be an effective tool in gathering pupil feedback on a lesson or series of lessons. Exit passes can be utilised in the plenary of a lesson and allow young people to reflect on their learning. These are returned to the teacher following the lesson and the data gathered can provide an insight into pupil understanding.
The use of exit passes has been discussed extensively in the literature. For example, Leahy et al (2005) have argued that exit passes are an effective tool that allows assessment to support learning within the classroom environment. This is supported by Preddy (2008) who stated that exit passes can be used as an Assessment is for Learning (AiFL) strategy and as a means of evaluating young people’s learning, informing next steps and reflecting on teaching. It has also been argued that the feedback and information returned by the learners to the teacher can then be used to adapt learning and teaching accordingly and allow the teacher to better meet the needs of all young people (Leahy et al 2005).
Zagora (2011) analysed the use of exit passes within the context of a social subjects classroom and asserted that they are a valuable tool for integrating writing skills into the classroom and developing and enhancing the literacy skills of learners. Buehl (1995) also highlighted the importance of exit passes in classroom practice, stating that they are an effective way of encouraging young people to reflect on their learning and their understanding of the lesson.
This enquiry will focus on the use of exit passes as a means to evaluate young people’s learning and engagement during the period of remote learning. Zeichner and Noffke (2001: 56) argued that there are a range of purposes for educational enquiries and this includes ‘improving practice and enhancing professional understanding’. According to this view, an enquiry should allow teachers to examine an issue within their class and should be used to enhance future practice as part of continuous professional development.
The enquiry was carried out with the aim of finding out the effect, if any, on pupil engagement when the focus of an exit pass was changed to examine enjoyment of the lesson rather than understanding.