Karina McHugh


Taylor High

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Traffic Lights in the Classroom


‘Traffic Light Assessments’ are a form of ‘Formative Assessment.’ Moss & Brookhart, (2009) explains, “Formative assessment is an active and intentional learning process that partners the teacher and the students to continuously and systematically gather evidence of learning with the express goal of improving student achievement.” The aim of traffic lights in the classroom is to provide teacher, peer and self-assessment of pupils’ work in order to ‘help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that require improvement.’ University, C. (2020). By incorporating Formative Assessment in the form of ‘Assessment is for Learning’ (Aifl) strategies, teachers are able to ‘recognise where pupils are struggling and address problems immediately’ by giving formative teacher feedback. University, C. (2020).


This enquiry aims to explore the use of Traffic Lights in the music classroom through self-assessment. Andrade, H. & Valtcheva, A. (2009) states, “Self-assessment is a key element in formative assessment because it involves students in thinking about the quality of their own work, rather than relying on their teacher as the sole source of evaluative judgments.” By exploring formative teacher feedback as well as pupil self-assessment in the classroom, I aim to find out if ‘Traffic Light Assessments’ impact the pupils’ understanding towards their own progress and planning of their next steps. After obtaining reliable results and engaging in previous literature, I will investigate if there are any benefits or disadvantages of traffic lights, and see how this will impact the pupils’ metacognition in the classroom. I believe it is important for pupils to understand what stage of the learning process they are at in order to proceed and succeed. Hopefully, there will be a visible increase in pupil awareness of their next steps in their learning.

Download Practitioner Enquiry