Jade Ramsay

Primary Teacher

Westfield Primary

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

What happens to children’s engagement when traffic lights are introduced as a means of Self-Assessment in the virtual classroom?


Formative assessment is defined by Black and Wiliam (1998) as activities utilised by teachers and children to adapt teaching and learning. This definition is expanded upon by Shepard (2019) who states that it is an ongoing assessment to help teachers and children to track their progress and make thinking visible to progress the teaching to suit the current needs. These definitions suggest that formative assessment is continual and is important for both student and teacher learning. It allows teachers to support and assess the children’s learning through various means to ensure that they are providing adaptive, effective teaching and that the children are learning as intended.  

Curriculum for Excellence states that “success in achieving the purposes and principles of the curriculum is likely if children are helped to become actively involved in their own learning.” (Scottish Government, 2011). I was interested to find a way to ensure children felt involved in their learning while working at home using a virtual classroom. Through the implementation of self-assessment children can take an active role in their work by measuring their own areas of strength and areas of development required.  

Chan et al. (2014) suggests that self-assessment allows children to take ownership of their own learning. In addition, “Assessment for Learning Formative Assessment” The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2018) advised that the introduction of self-assessment encourages children’s engagement in their own learning. The aim of this enquiry is to examine the impact of using traffic lights within the curricular area of maths and whether this form of self-assessment enables children to reflect and become more confident in this area. Furthermore, whether it leads to an increase in engagement in maths lessons delivered using a virtual classroom. The use of traffic lights provides a visual way of demonstrating their reflection of the learning during their activity allowing them to reflect on their next steps and allowing me to provide efficient support and challenge where required.  


The aim of my practitioner enquiry was to measure what happens to children’s confidence and engagement within the curricular area of maths when traffic lights are used as a means of self-assessment in the virtual classroom. 

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