Formative assessment if used correctly, represents one of the most powerful instructional methods available to a teacher, as it can identify student understanding and can clarify what comes next in learning (Stiggins & DuFour, 2009). Nicol & MacFarlane (2006) and Dixon & Worrell (2016) analyse the content of formative assessment, and how it encompasses a whole host of tools that provide feedback to improve, enhance or extend learning and achievement. In addition to helping with the development of interventions that improve student’s learning, formative assessment provides an ongoing source of information on the student’s current understanding of the subject area, which in turn, can help the teacher gauge if the lesson needs adjustment to maximise student learning (Nicol & MacFarlane (2006).
One of the formative assessment methods used to elicit immediate information about student learning is the use of the Exit Slips (ES). Exit slips provides the teacher with knowledge of the pupil’s current level of understanding, with regards to the area being assessed and it informs the teacher how effective the lesson was. Furthermore, it positions the pupil to self-reflect on their own level of understanding within the subject area (Dixon & Worrell, 2016). If a pupil can effectively assess their own learning, teachers can establish next steps for learning.
Based on the evidence above and the Scottish government’s aim to support all learners to be involved in the planning and reflecting of their own learning (Scottish Government, 2008), it was appropriate to focus this enquiry on the use of ES and how effective they are in allowing pupils to self-assess their own level of understanding.
The aim of this enquiry was to investigate the effects of using Exit Slips throughout 4 separate lessons in a secondary PE class, as a means to allow pupils to self-assess their own learning.