As classroom-based practitioners, it is important to be aware of the challenges and issues being faced in their current educational context. In Scotland, one of the priorities in education is focusing on closing the poverty related attainment gap (Edward & Ellis, 2014). To respond to this issue, the Scottish Government launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge in February 2015 to bring a greater awareness to this issue (Scottish Government, online). Senior Learning Teams and classroom practitioners have responded to the Scottish Attainment Challenge by outlining ‘attainment’ in their school improvement plans. ‘To raise and monitor attainment by ensuring coherent and progressive learning experiences which are well matched to the needs of all pupils’ (St Brendan’s Primary School, 2017).
Edward and Ellis (2014) outline in their report the attempts that have been made to deal with the issue of attainment and have outlined effective pedagogies that have been used in the classroom.
This report highlights that quality feedback can have a positive impact on attainment (Edward and Ellis, 2014). Academics share in this view that delivering feedback can result in improvements in learning (Hattie & Timperley, 2007); (Higgins, 2014). However, Higgins (2014) notes that although providing feedback is an essential part of the learning and teaching cycle, the pitfalls of teacher feedback often come in the delayed delivery. Thus, impinging on students’ ability to make instant progress.
As practitioners, it is important to be aware of a range of approaches in every aspect of the learning and teaching cycle. Therefore, as academic evidence suggests that feedback can be used as a way of closing the attainment gap, this has been chosen for the theme of the enquiry.
The aim of this enquiry was to explore what happens when ‘live marking is used in the classroom’. Although teachers are continually giving feedback throughout a lesson, this enquiry aimed to establish a formalised way of giving students instant feedback. The aim of this was to investigate the link between quality feedback and quality learning and to then investigate if students benefitted from their work being ‘live marked’.