It was decided to conduct the above research as after discussion it became clear that the group shared a common interest in Assessment is for Learning. As emphasised by Black, et al (2003) assessment is what makes teaching and learning effective and successful. Assessment is an extremely important part of education as it reinforces Curriculum for Excellence and encourages high standards of learning and teaching approaches (Curriculum for Excellence 2011). However, ‘Assessment is for Learning’ is unique as it takes place while learning is still in progress in order to enhance learning (Furtak, 2009). Assessment is for Learning has been a salient component of Curriculum for Excellence since its inception and has contributed to the challenge of closing the attainment gap. A number of strategies have been implemented by teachers in order to help pupils better understand the process of their learning and to help them lead their learning by deciding next steps within their curriculum progression (Torrance & Pryor 2011).
Considering this, we chose to look further into formative assessment with a particular focus on peer assessment. We choose this area because we felt our children are either too critical or too kind regarding others work. We also agreed that our pupils feedback to peers lacked purpose, constructive comments and would often not reflect the work completed. Therefore, we considered ways in which we could improve pupil feedback. We decided to look closely at the possible implications of providing pupils with a peer assessment checklist making reference to specific learning success criteria.
The aim of this enquiry was to improve pupil’s ability to give appropriate qualitative feedback to their peers in order to increase pupil achievement. In addition, it was hoped that pupils will become more aware of their own capabilities and the next steps in their learning.