Date of Conferral







Gladys Arome


Alternative grading practices are often used in authentic learning environments where the focus is on connecting instruction to real-world issues, problems, and applications. Scholarly literature lacks research studies related to teacher perceptions of alternative grading to support authentic learning. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of high school science teachers regarding their use of alternative grading to support authentic learning, student self-reflection, and student articulation of their learning. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Herrington and Oliver’s instructional design framework for authentic learning environments. The focus of the research questions was on how high school science teachers perceive their implementation of alternative grading as a support for authentic learning, student reflection, and student articulation of their learning. Data were collected from 11 high school science teachers using qualitative interviews. Participants were selected through the purposeful sampling method. The data collected were then coded by hand and using qualitative data analysis software to discover emergent themes. Findings indicated that educators perceived their use of alternative grading, student self-reflection, and articulation opportunities to be essential for supporting student learning in an authentic learning environment. This study may contribute to best practices in education by providing school district administrators with information they can use to develop professional development for new teachers that is focused on alternative assessment strategies. With this knowledge, educators may be more empowered to provide education that prepares students for real-world challenges.