We start from the self-evident position that the sharing of success criteria is crucial to pupil attainment (Crichton & McDaid 2015). For pupils to know that their work is meeting the required standard they must know what the required standard looks like. The Assessment is for Learning (AifL) approach reinforces this point, by arguing that the sharing of success criteria is crucial if pupils are to measure their work (Dyer 2018). Yet, beyond this there is a growing feeling that – whilst important – learning intentions and success criteria are not widely discussed in the classroom, at least not after their initial discussion (Crichton & McDaid 2015). If we accept both these points to be true it raises the question: would checking in on pupils in relation to success criteria have any bearing on their attainment?
Teachers understand the importance of learning intentions and success criteria and to an extent pupils do as well, but pupils have expressed their frustration at the almost tokenistic way success criteria is discussed (Crichton & McDaid 2015). Dyer (2018) argues that success criteria should be ‘referred to constantly by students’ yet it would seem that this advice is not being followed.
In Scotland AifL is seen as the cornerstone of formative assessment techniques (Crichton & McDaid 2015) and the use of AifL techniques has – as a result – become policy for Scotland (Education Scotland 2009). The same documents argue that the sharing of learning intentions and success criteria are crucial to involving pupils in their own learning and argue that check-ins should be conducted at the end of a lesson to allow teachers the opportunity to reflect on their practice and assess if the aims of the lesson have been met. However, based on the same study by Crichton and McDaid (2015) it quickly becomes apparent that this may have a tokenistic side to it and further enquiry may be needed to assess the value of check-ins where possible.
It follows then that measuring the effects of regular check-ins is a valuable topic for discussion.
This enquiry aims to understand the effects of using regular check-ins on success criteria. It is based on the belief purported by Dyer (2018) that success criteria should be referred to ‘constantly’. The enquiry aims to understand if there are any effects – at all – of making these check-in regular, whether positive or deleterious. It is expected that the use of check-ins should aid pupils in their confidence in attaining the success criteria.