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Enhancing Learning Through The Use Of

An Action Research Report

By

Gloria Coromandel
and
Nigel Waters
Enhancing learning through the use of
Walts, Self-Assessment and Peer-Assessment.
.

Teachers
• Gloria Coromandel & Nigel Waters

Classes
Year 8
Room 15 – 15 Boys / 15 Girls
Room 12 – 15 Boys / 13 Girls

Research Question
 Can Walt’s foster a deeper understanding of their learning?

Rationale
 Teachers are encouraged to use Walts, so we wanted to see if
children knew the purpose of Walts, if Walts did actually improve
their understanding of their learning, and whether feedback that
focussed clearly on the criteria of a given Walt would enhance the
children’s understanding.

Method
 Use Walts in Mathematics, Inquiry and Writing
 Get students to self-assess and peer assess their learning according
to Walt and co-constructed criteria.
 Teachers give feedback according to Walt and co-constructed
criteria.

Initial Testing
 Survey

Post Testing
 Survey

Expected Outcome
 Children will be able to state what Walts are and the purpose for
using them.
 Children will be able to state what self and peer assessment is and
the purpose for using them.
 Children will be able to assess their learning honestly and
competently.
Management Procedures
 Walts were written on the board.
 Students wrote them in their books before each session, unless it
covered more than one session.
 Co-created criteria after first session.
 Revisit walt and write reflections after each session.
 Feedback related to walt.
 Peer assessment against co-constructed criteria.

Observations
 Teacher needed to have a good understanding of tasks in order to
drive the students in the right direction when creating criteria.
 Time – it was sometimes difficult to get students to reflect upon their
work as we would run out of time.
 We found that using Walts in Mathematics was a lot easier as the
criteria was easier for students to create, and also easier to assess.

Conclusions
It is important that children need to understand what they are expected
to do. They also need to have input into their learning which gives
them ownership and increases their understanding.

Our first survey show a varied degree of understanding of and
experience with using Walts, self-assessment and peer-assessment in
both Room 15 and Room 12. Within both classes there was a
familiarity with the term ‘Walt’ but only a few children who had an
understanding of the purpose of a Walt. Room 12 showed some
familiarity with the terms self-assessment and peer-assessment, but
little idea of their purpose, or an understanding of how their learning
could be enhanced through the use of such assessment. Room 15
showed a similar degree of familiarity with the terms but a greater
understanding of how their use could contribute to improved learning.

After 6 weeks of working to the method outlined above, nearly all of
the children in both classes could clearly state what a Walt is, what
self-assessment is, and what peer-assessment is. Most could also
express clearly why each is useful and advantageous to them as
learners.
Our own observations and discussions within each class also
contributed to our understanding of how the learning environment was
enhanced through the use of Walts and clearly expressed criteria for
assessment. Generally there was less confusion regarding the set task,
and it was apparent that the student’s own discussions were more
clearly focussed on the learning criteria of the activity, rather than on
questions such as: “What are we doing?”

In general we found that:

 Walts gave students a purpose for the tasks, and a guideline to what
they are trying to achieve.

 It made the task not so big and achievable.

 Teacher feedback was easier to give and more specific as it related
to the walt and the criteria.

 Student evaluations were connected to the learning and gave
students the opportunity to set their own walts and work out their
where to next steps.

 They also felt an enhanced level of achievement and control each
completed a given task, assessed themselves and their friends, and
understood what they could do to do it better next time.

In both Room 15 and Room 12 we found great value in using Walts,
particularly with a co-constructed assessment criteria that enabled
clearer understanding for the students and better, more focussed
feedback from the teachers. The students were able to take greater
ownership of and more responsibilty for their learning. This, in turn,
fostered an enhanced and more productive learning environment in
both classrooms.
ROOM 15 Term 3 Week 6

What does WALT stand for?

Have you used a WALT before?

How does using a WALT improve your
learning?

How do you feel about using WALTs?

What is Self-Assessment?

What is Peer Assessment?

Advantages of Self-Assessment?

Advantages of Peer-assessment?

What do you find difficult about Self-
assessment?
What do you find difficult about Peer-
assessment?

PUPILS' RESPONSES
Correct / Yes
Don't know / No Answer
Negative response
Encourages reflection
Hard to be fair / accurate
Choose own mark
Nothing

ROOM 15 Term 4 Week 2

What does WALT stand for?

Have you used a WALT before?

How does using a WALT improve your
learning?

How do you feel about using WALTs?

What is Self-Assessment?

What is Peer Assessment?

Advantages of Self-Assessment?

Advantages of Peer-assessment?

What do you find difficult about Self-
assessment?
What do you find difficult about Peer-
assessment?
ROOM 12 Term 3 Week 6

What does WALT stand for?

Have you used a WALT before?

How does using a WALT improve your
learning?

How do you feel about using WALTs?

What is Self-Assessment?

What is Peer Assessment?

Advantages of Self-Assessment?

Advantages of Peer-assessment?

What do you find difficult about Self-
assessment?
What do you find difficult about Peer-
assessment?

PUPILS' RESPONSES
Correct / Yes
Don't know / No Answer
Negative response
Encourages reflection
Hard to be fair / accurate
Choose own mark
Nothing

ROOM 12 Term 4 Week 2

What does WALT stand for?

Have you used a WALT before?

How does using a WALT improve your
learning?

How do you feel about using WALTs?

What is Self-Assessment?

What is Peer Assessment?

Advantages of Self-Assessment?

Advantages of Peer-assessment?

What do you find difficult about Self-
assessment?
What do you find difficult about Peer-
assessment?