Michaela Reilly


Our Lady's High School Cumbernauld

  • Assessment For Learning

What Impact Will Self-Assessment Checklists Have In My Classroom?


The growing demand for lifelong learning and reflective practitioners has influenced a re-evaluation of the relationship between learning and assessment (Dochy et al. 1999). Curriculum for Excellence states that “Assessment is an integral part of learning and teaching” (Donnelley, 2017, pg.6) through both summative and formative approaches. Natriello (1987) and Black and Wiliam (1998) agree that substantial learning gains are possible when teachers introduce formative assessment into their classroom.

One key element in formative assessment is self- assessment. This involves student’s reflecting on the quality of their work, judging the degree to which it reflects explicitly stated criteria, and revising accordingly. The primary purpose of engaging students in self-assessment is to boost learning and achievement, and to promote academic self-regulation, or the tendency to monitor and manage one’s own learning (Schunk, 2003). Therefore, process no longer relies on their teacher as the sole source of evaluative judgement. Furthermore, students in the study undertaken by Andrade and Valtcheva (2009) maintained that criteria-referenced self-assessment helped them focus on key elements of an assignment, learn the material, increase their effectiveness in identifying strengths and weaknesses of their work, increase their motivation and mindfulness, and even decrease anxiety.

Due to the benefits, research clearly encourages educators and researchers to take advantage of what we now know about the conditions under self-assessment to ensure success (Ross, 2006). Andrade and Valtcheva (2009) maintain the conditions as to: define the criteria by which students assess their work, teach students how to apply the criteria, give students feedback on their self-assessments, and give students help in using self-assessment data to improve performance. I believe that, as part of my practitioner enquiry, I should follow these conditions to ensure optimum results. I will provide a criteria-referenced self-assessment checklist and ensure that all students get the kind of feedback they need and when they need it, in order to learn and achieve.


The aim of this enquiry was to use a planned and structured approach to measure the impact of using a self- assessment checklist in my S3 Graphic Communication class during the drawing board unit tasks. I aim to measure the:

  • overall impact, if any, of checklists on the individuals learning.
  • pupil’s understanding of the expectations.
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