Nicola Steel

Primary Teacher

St. Mary's Primary, Cumbernauld

  • Digital Learning: Formative Assessment

The impact of a checklist used to self-assess literacy during online learning


Formative assessment, also known as ‘Assessment is For Learning’ (AIfL), has 4 main elements “sharing learning goals, effective questioning, self- and peer evaluation, and effective feedback” (Clarke, 2011, p. 5). Clarke (2011) describes that effective formative assessment requires children to be an “active learner” (Clarke, 2011, p. 6) with a teacher facilitating and “acting as a coordinator” (Clarke, 2011, p. 6). It is required that children are trained to identify ways to improve learning through providing specific feedback (Clarke, 2011) so that they can proficiently assess learning.

However formative assessment is not just measuring understanding but “deepening and furthering learning” (Clarke, 2011, p. 8) through various assessment techniques and formats. One form is self-assessment, which consists of children assessing their work against explicit success criteria (Clarke, 2011, p. 9) and children identifying successes in the work and where it can be improved to meet the success criteria (Clarke, 2011, p. 10).

GTCS registered teachers are required to “know and understand how to apply the principles of assessment, recording and reporting as an integral part of the teaching process” (The Standards for Registration: mandatory requirements for Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2012, p.13). Therefore, entering into an enquiry process focussing on assessment can help widen and deepen a person’s understanding of assessment. Black and William’s (1998, quoted in Clarke, 2011) outlines that assessment is an important aspect of learning as it can “raise test results and equip children to be lifelong learners” (Clarke, 2011, p. 5).

Therefore, self-assessment has been proven to be effective in a classroom environment it is hoped that using a checklist to self-assess during online learning would be just as effective.


The aims of this particular enquiry are as follows:

Aim 1
Introduce a checklist as a form on self-assessment and monitor engagement with self-assessment in a digital learning context.

Aim 2
Monitor the quality of work being created by children after the introduction of a checklist criteria to identify if quality of work improves.

Aim 3
Equip pupils with the ability to take ownership over their learning and identify the successfulness of their work.

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