Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Miranda Jennings

Abstract

While research supports that formative assessment can improve student learning, it is rarely used and difficult to implement. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the use of student handheld response systems (SRS) as a tool for formative assessment in high school classes as well as teachers' attitudes towards this emerging technology. Self-efficacy and motivation theories provide the theoretical framework for this study. To explore this phenomenon, data were collected via an online interview from high school teachers (n=11) and were analyzed using inductive coding. Three themes emerged from this analysis and served as a basis for a professional development plan that school districts may use to incorporate formative assessment via SRS into their curriculums. These themes included strong teacher and student satisfaction, improved formative assessment, and improved pace of instruction. This project study will contribute to the existing literature on formative assessment and student response systems. Additionally, it will also initiate social change by giving school districts a framework for how to implement the broader use of these devices in classrooms and may impact how these teachers use assessment. Shifting the focus of classroom assessment from simply measuring student learning to improving instruction can in turn increase student learning.