Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Donna Breault - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Hayward Richardson - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Chandler - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Robert Michael - Committee Member


THE NATURE OF FEEDBACK PROVIDED TO ELEMENTARY STUDENTS BY TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS WHERE GRADING AND REPORTING ARE STANDARDS-BASED Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement. Hattie (2002) found that the giving of quality feedback to students is one of the top five strategies teachers can use to improve student achievement. Research has confirmed that the right kind of feedback is essential for effective teaching and learning (McMillan, 2007). The University of Queensland (Australia) notes that feedback is the entity that brings assessment into the learning process (1998). The evidence also shows, however, that how feedback is given and the types of feedback given can provide disparate results with both achievement and student motivation. One mitigating factor to the giving and receiving of feedback in classrooms is a climate of evaluation, competition, rewards, punishments, winners and losers. In fact, research shows that while the giving of descriptive feedback enhances learning and motivation, the giving of norm-referenced grades has a negative impact on students (Bandura, 1993; Black & Wiliam, 1998; Butler & Nisan, 1986; Butler, 1987). This qualitative study used interviews, teacher observations, and document analysis to seek out the nature of feedback provided to students in a standards-based school district, where grading is standards-based rather than norm-referenced. The literature review suggests particular properties and circumstances that make feedback effective, and the researcher has used this research to analyze the oral and written feedback that teachers provide students. The analysis describes the use of feedback and feedback loops in these classrooms and the findings add to the current knowledge-base about the giving and receiving of feedback in standards-based schools and suggests areas for teacher improvement and development.