What Happens When Peer Learner Conversations are Introduced as a Method of Peer Assessment in the Classroom?
For the purpose of this Practitioner Enquiry I will explore the idea of promoting learner conversations as a method of peer assessment through the question “What happens when learning conversations are introduced as peer assessment in the classroom?”. This area was of particular interest to the group due to those teaching in the secondary sector participating in teacher led learner conversations, thus leading the practitioners to think about introducing peer learning conversations into the classroom. This was an interesting suggestion and was well received by those in the primary sector as we are encouraging peer assessment as a method of formative assessment. The Scottish Government (2008) state in their document Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching, that methods of assessment should be designed to reflect the variety of ways that different pupils progress in order to motivate and encourage learning. This should provide support to all learners and inspire pupils to reflect on their own learning through self and peer assessment. Studies provide evidence that suggests providing learners with feedback as well as the opportunity to self-reflect and evaluate it an important aspect of learning (Quinton & Smallbone, 2010). Promoting the increase of attainment of all pupils is a top priority for the Scottish Government, therefore it is beneficial to the everyday learning and teaching in the classroom. Peer assessment is vital in the classroom as it not only has benefits for those receiving the feedback but also has a positive effect on those providing the feedback (William, D 2018). This occurs as the pupils internalise the success criteria when constructing feedback for their peers, this results in increased attainment from the child marking, as they are able to apply the knowledge gained to their own work in the future. Black and William (1998) detailed the benefits of peer assessment stating that pupils who received good quality feedback on their work have an increased sense of responsibility over their learning, which in turn promotes learning and teaching. During this enquiry I, as a practitioner, engaged with the children in conversations about their learning and encouraged them to converse with a partner about their read to write tasks as a form of peer assessment. This is an area that I as a newly qualified teacher would like to explore further, in relation to my classroom and to promote professional development in this area.
The aim of this enquiry was to evaluate if pupils were able to use peer learning conversations to assess each other’s work, and did the children see the value in introducing peer learning conversations as a method of peer assessment.