Rachael Bunyan

Home Economics

Chryston High

  • Assessment For Learning

The Use of Traffic Lights in the Classroom


Assessment is fundamental to improving learning outcomes for children, as outlined within the National Improvement Framework, and it has been well established that assessment is for learning (AifL) strategies can be successful in improving attainment and achievement within the classroom (Scottish Government, 2018). Black and Wiliam (1998) consider self-assessment an important aspect of AifL, as it enables pupils take responsibility for their own learning to identify where they currently are in their learning and determine how they can improve. For self-assessment to be effective, however, pupils must honestly and realistically judge their level of understanding (Harris and Brown, 2013), for if pupils misjudge their progress, they cannot accurately set targets that will facilitate to improve their learning. There exist various strategies practitioners can utilise in the classroom to encourage self-assessment. Traffic lighting is one such strategy that can be easily implemented into the classroom. For this reason, this enquiry focuses on the introduction of traffic lighting into the classroom, with a particular focus on how accurately pupils can judge their understanding of their learning through the use of traffic lights and how effective traffic lighting is in assisting pupils with setting targets.


Traffic lighting is an effective self-assessment tool to utilise within the classroom (Black and Harrison, 2001). Thus, the aims of this enquiry were: to introduce traffic lighting into the classroom as a method of self-assessment; determine how accurately pupils can judge their learning progress, through use of traffic lights; and to assess the effectiveness of traffic lighting in helping pupils to set targets.

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