The approaches for formative assessment have been looked at vigorously in the teaching pedagogy in the recent years, having caused an intrinsic interlink of the principles of Assessment is for Learning (AifL) with the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). Dylan Wiliam (1998) suggests that formative assessment is categorised as a form of assessment undertaken by teachers, and students, where the provided information is used as feedback to revise the teaching and learning activities in which they are involved. Assessments where the evidence is used to truly adapt the way of teaching to meet the needs of individuals become formative at this point (Black and Wiliam, 1998).
It is argued that the greatest impact on achievement through learning is from formative assessment. Peer assessment allows learners to ask and answer the questions in regards to their learning. This allows them to become learning orientated students who are known to take ownership of their learning, become a learning resource for one another, become assessors of their own work as well as their peers’ work, and be able to assess their own understanding to make improvements (Wiliam, 2008).
Peer assessment not only enables learners to become confident with assessing each other’s progress but it stops them from always relying on teacher judgement. Thus, supporting learners to become more independent and motivated as well as being actively involved in the learning process (Andrade and Valtcheva, 2009). To enhance such an integral part of the curriculum within a classroom, it is the intention of this practitioner enquiry to critically analyse the effectiveness of incorporating peer assessment as ‘2 stars and a wish’ – a method of formative assessment as part of the children’s learning process.
The aim of this enquiry was to research the use of 2 stars and a wish as a peer assessment tool in the primary classroom setting.