Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

Self-assessment and peer support

This video shows how the use of a progress tracker can prompt self-assessment and peer support.
‘Okay, 82, as soon as you’ve got logged in, can you load up the tracker and can you have a look at how you got on in the previous lesson?’ Traditionally at Denbigh, at the end of every half term or every term reports would be produced for every single year from year 7 right the way up to year 11. Now, the issue was that students were always aware of what they’re trying to achieve but the problem is, they’re not aware of what progress they’re actually making. They often have to ask the teacher, they have to say, you know, how am I getting on Sir? Is it okay? Is it not so good?
‘What was the key bit of learning that we were looking at? Yep? Perfect, okay. We’re looking at user inputs. Okay, so based on your targets remember for this lesson here, okay, last lesson’s focus was on user inputs. So looking across to next lesson, to lesson three, what do you think we’re going to be doing today? Yep? Excellent, selection. Okay, so we’re looking at selection in programming.’ We wanted to create something that would, all the time, be accessible. They’d know, hopefully, what areas they need to improve on and so we decide to create this online document that was available anywhere, anytime.
‘We find it useful because we can see how much we have achieved and how much we need to achieve more. It explains to us what we have done well and what we should do to improve.’ It’s very much personalised, the pupils are able to access the content, knowing what they’re trying to achieve. To try and set it up effectively, it requires a lot of pre-production or pre-work behind the learning but once that’s been established, in terms of marking for each lesson, it is simply a slow good or rapid progress grade that they get. ‘So, our targets, okay so same as the tracker. So the lesson objective, to be able to understand how computers make decisions.
So following on from last lesson, we’re going to follow this four-step process to learning programming. Okay, so first of all look at theory, we’ll then look at try it, we’ll then debug it so try and find some piece of code that have got errors in it, and then I’ll ask you to extend it.’ I think it’s about setting a sort of established culture in the classroom and once you’ve got that set, and the pupils are aware of it, then everyone sort of buys into it. Our motto is high achievement for all is our shared responsibility. So within that, the pupils really think about supporting each other.
So if they know that someone’s struggling with it, they will actually go over and they’ll help them or they’ll ask me and they’ll say, ‘Sir, can I go and help such-and-such with accessing this task?’ So it kind of creates loads of… lots of mini teachers in the classroom where you’ve got other students who are then confident enough to teach another pupil how to do something because they’re aware of what they’re looking for from that pupil’s work so it really just… it helps learning massively.
‘So this is like a shared document, you can’t edit it, you can only add a comment and everyone sees what you get but that would help the peers around you to help the person individually or as a group to meet their target. ‘Ok 82, we’ve got a couple of minutes left until the end of this lesson, can I ask you now to go onto the progress tracker and can you put in a comment on what pieces of work that you’ve fixed from last lesson? So make sure, remember, you’ve read the comment that I’ve put on there. I want you now to tell me what you’ve done to improve that piece of work. Okay, off you go.’
The fantastic thing for parents’ evening is being able to show the progress tracker because, you know, again it’s a fantastic data tool. Immediately I can bring it, I can print it off, I can have my Chromebook up, my laptop, at parents’ evening. I can show the parents exactly that journey that that pupil has taken. ‘I personally do show my parents because I really want them to know how they can help me and on parents’ evening, the teachers do show it as well.’ ‘Our teacher, Mr. James, can give us feedback and he can help us on the tracker so we can understand and develop our ideas and what we do in class.

In this video, Simon James, Teacher of Computing and Co-ordinator for Creative Technologies at Denbigh High School (secondary), shares how he’s developed a progress tracker that can be used to prompt pupils’ self-assessment and support for one another.

Simon shares how the tracker is used to enable dialogue between the teacher and pupils, with pupils replying to comments and logging activities. The tool is a useful resource for parents throughout the year as well as at key points, such as parents’ evenings. The tool can also be used as a reference for peer to peer support and feedback.

The tool used by Simon has been created using:

  • Google Sheets – a free online, collaborative spreadsheet tool
If you choose to focus on this case study as part of this week’s learning, you can share your initial reflections and questions with the course community in the comments space below.
  • How might these approaches be applied in your own context to solve a challenge you’ve identified?
When you are ready click the ‘Mark as complete’ button below and then select ‘Next’ to see the next case study. Just keep clicking ‘Next’ until you arrive at the case study you’ve chosen to focus on this week. Alternatively, you can return to the initial menu of case studies.
This article is from the free online

Using Technology in Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now