The Assessment is for Learning (AifL) initiative was launched in Scotland in 2002 with a focus on promoting effective formative assessment in classrooms. It involves the use of various activities by teacher and pupil to assess and gain information on current levels of understanding in order to guide and inform the content of subsequent lessons. Pupils are active in their own learning and the evidence points to significant learning gains particularly in low achieving pupils (Black & Wiliam, 1998). This supports the Scottish Government’s vision of reducing the attainment gap in Scotland’s schools through The Scottish Attainment Challenge (The Scottish Government, 2015).
In the improvement plan of my current school, Improvement Priority 1 states that “Learner attainment and achievement will be increased at all levels…” and that learners will “…benefit from effective ranges of assessments and quality learning and teaching experiences” (Our Lady’s High School Cumbernauld, 2018). With this in mind, AifL was chosen as the area of study for this enquiry because of its positive effect on attainment. From experience, techniques such as show-me boards and traffic lighting are used quite extensively in classrooms but the use of exit passes is not commonly observed.
The aims of this enquiry were to investigate whether exit passes are an effective AifL technique for progressing pupil learning and attainment, and to find out which styles of exit pass are most successful at achieving this.