Black and Wiliam (1998) interpret formative assessment as tasks which are undertaken by students and teachers, to provide information that can positively modify learning. The aim of formative assessment is to gain an insight into pupils’ learning processes to see where they are in their learning and how they can improve.
The Assessment Reform Group (2002) state 10 guiding principles to implement formative assessment. One principle outlines that using formative assessment develops pupils’ capacity for self-assessment. Arguably, self-assessment allows the children to take responsibility for their own learning. Upon using self-assessment, the pupils are encouraged to reflect on their learning against a success criterion within the classroom.
Additionally, The Assessment Reform Group (2002) also state that self-assessment can increase pupil engagement and motivate learners. They argue that this is due to this assessment approach promoting a shift to child-led learning where pupils are given the opportunity to create their own targets and next steps for learning. Therefore, pupils are believed to become more engaged and motivated when they are actively involved. Black and Wiliam (1998) further this belief by stating that learning is enhanced when pupils are able to self-evaluate. They state this is because it involves a pupil’s awareness in a gap between a learning goal and their present state of understanding. Next, the pupil can identify the action needed to close the gap.
Due to the potential impact and effect of self-assessment on learning, it was decided that this would become the focus of this study. Data was collected to measure and see the effect, if any, it had when the pupils took ownership of assessing their own writing within Literacy. This research study specifically investigated the use of self-assessment checklists within the classroom environment. Furthermore, the pupils’ engagement, motivation, target setting and writing development became the key focuses upon using the self-assessment checklist.
The aims of this study were to discover how effective self-assessment checklists were within Literacy and the effect this had on learning.