Karen MacFarlane

Primary Teacher

Newarthill Primary

  • Assessment For Learning

What happens when live assessment is used in the classroom?


Assessment is a key issue in Scottish classrooms with raising attainment being a current Scottish Government initiative in closing the poverty related attainment gap. Providing constructive formative feedback is suggested as being a key theme to implement and embed within professional teaching practice thus raising attainment within the classroom. The Scottish Government (2011) advocates the vital need for assessment to be evident within teaching thus impacting positively in relation to each child’s learning and needs, therefore meeting the regulatory requirements as stipulated in Getting it right for every child (Scottish Government, 2012). However Black and Wiliam (1998) propose the need for assessment to be meaningful and relevant for all pupils. Therefore I have chosen to investigate live feedback in taught writing as I wish to establish a method of feedback which has a positive and meaningful effect during the learning and teaching process.


The aim of the professional inquiry was to investigate the theory of live feedback improving pupil attainment and progress in literacy. Black and Wiliam (1998) identify the need for both the teacher and pupil to agree on the positive themes in their learning. This enables the teacher to draw the pupil’s attention to next steps in learning, therefore promoting suggested amendments to address during the remainder of the lesson. Feedback should be timely, constructively communicated and relevant to each pupil’s learning and development. Gardner (2012: 2) resonates with Dylan and Wiliam (1998) and recognises that “assessment is our focus but learning is the goal”.

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