The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence saw a change in assessment. The Scottish Government hopes that teachers will allow for more breadth and depth within learning and thus, the children will have better skills and knowledge (Scottish Government, 2009). From the guidelines of Curriculum for Excellence teachers understand that they should assess children’s skills across the curriculum. Huff and Georgia (2012) view assessment as something that actively engages young people in their own learning, as students set individual goals and monitor progress. Many researchers have looked into effective assessment strategies and they have realised assessment has changed from teacher based to student centred (Huff and Brooke, 2012: 47). One way this can be achieved is through formative assessment as using this type of assessment can stimulate learning and even be motivating for the pupil (Huff and Brooke, 2012: 46). This is something that Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve and this can be seen through the four capacities (Scottish Government, 2009).
One form of formative assessment is peer assessment. Peer assessment can “improve the quality and effectiveness of learning across grade levels” (Huff and Brooke, 2012: 47). This allows children to take on the role of the teacher and by doing this pupils are learning skills such as concentration which will enable them to remain motivated in a lesson (Irfan, 2011). Irfan also argued that peer assessment develops analysis and critical thinking and that assessing peers work encourages co-operative learning instead of competitive (Irfan, 2011). Therefore, assessment can be seen as a tool to enhance children’s learning and teachers should therefore plan for regular formative assessments.
The aim of this enquiry is to find out if using a checklist has an impact on the children’s work during peer assessment.