Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Research has shown that giving quality feedback to students, which is an aspect of formative assessment, is a high-yield strategy that educators can use to advance academic achievement and support students in their learning process. The study took place in a Virginia school division where formative assessment was not a division-wide initiative used to increase student achievement. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify the perceptions of teachers and students concerning formative feedback and distinguish the types of written feedback that may influence student learning. Bandura's social cognitive theory of self-efficacy and motivation provided the conceptual framework for this study. Teachers' and students' perspectives and student work samples were analyzed to determine the types of feedback that influenced students' learning in mathematics and to gain an understanding of teachers' and students' perceptions of written formative feedback. Data were collected through interviews with 10 elementary teachers and 20 elementary third through fifth grade students at 2 elementary schools and by collecting 318 work samples of these students. Themes emerged from inductive coding, and teachers' feedback was categorized using a feedback typology to determine the types of feedback teachers gave students. The teachers' and students' understanding of written formative feedback varied but both groups found written descriptive feedback aligned with learning outcomes were most beneficial. The results could serve to improve professional development for teachers on formative feedback, which could increase student learning.